Saturday, May 2, 2015

(34)Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen


High school junior, Sydney, is used to living in her brother Peyton's shadow.  He was always her mother's pride and joy.  and then he starts getting into trouble.   First it was simple stuff like drinking, and then it was breaking and entering, then he graduated to hard stuff and just when his family had thought Peyton had been sober for a year when he gets behind the wheel while drunk and hits a young man, paralyzing him for life.  Peyton is now serving time in prison and Sydney is still living in his shadow. His creepy sponser, Ames, is hanging around.  She has to leave her private school and start attending the public high school.  One day after school she stops by a local pizza parlor and meets Layla Chatham, her family owns the restaurant and it is definitely a family business.  Layla and Sydney become fast friends and soon the whole Chatham family has welcomed her into their fold, including Layla's cute older brother, Mac. Soon Layla is spending more time with the Chatham's then she is her own family.  Will her own fractured family be able to move forward or will they lose Sydney in their effort to save Peyton?

Saint Anything was a completely enjoyable novel about a young woman trying to survive the mess her brother created.  It is completely understandable that she sought normalcy with the Chatham family.  Her mother was so obsessed with Peyton and acted like he was off at summer camp as opposed to prison.  And Sydney's father was so busy burying himself in work that Sydney wasn't sure he even realized that Sydney was alive. Sydney seems like a really good kid. Even though she comes from privilege,   she study's hard and follows the rules. She just wishes that Peyton never got behind the wheel and guilt that is not hers, weigh on her heavily.   The Chatham's on the other hand are tight-knit.  Layla and her sister, Rosie, take turns caring for their mother who is battling MS. They work hard for every nickel and dime they have and their vehicles are basically held together by duct tape and super glue.  I love how they work hard, play hard, and stand beside each other no matter what. I was very satisfied with the ending.

Bottom line,  Sarah Dessen has a way of writing books about normal girls with fairly normal lives.  There aren't any fireworks, but they aren't perfect and the way she ends her books is exactly how they should end.  Definitely worth the read for you and/or your teen and will be on sale Tuesday.


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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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