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August 04, 2015

Literary Ladies Book Review - Saint Anything!

Hi guys!!! It's been a while since we've reviewed anything for book club! We took a month off to launch Literary Ladies and the Summer reading challenge. But we're back.

Literary Ladies

Speaking of summer reading challenges.... three lucky ladies completed the challenge and won the first 3 prizes. So congrats to Olya, Steph and Amy for participating and winning. To the rest of you, dont give up yet, there's still the wild card prize to one of the persons who finish by the end of the challenge on September 21st! So on that date, just link up and you will automatically be entered for a fantabuloustic prize!! 

Ok... on to the review:

sarah dessen saint anything book review

Per Goodreads:
Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents attention and lately concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behaviour culminated in and accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?
Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlour, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here, Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance, and here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time. 

Let me start by saying I love Sarah Dessen and her style of writing. This novel did not disappoint. I rarely love YA novels but I love this one – possibly because of the intricacy and sophistication of the writing and the complexity of the story told - Still very YA but you know... more. What a mind warp story and what a beautiful novel. Can I also say that a lot of books purport to be about self discovery and then take a nose dive when the author tries to actually portray that. This book is actually a book about self discovery. It didn't need to be labelled that, the reader could clearly feel it.

I usually sit and wax poetic about the story, but I just want to talk about the main character Sydney. She was so well developed. I am not even kidding when I say that. It’s been a while since I immediately connected and felt for a character. She was likeable and she was complex and while was the center of this book and story - her main character trait was that she always felt invisible. She’s a girl who is growing up or "finding herself" whilst in terrible situation - with her spoilt child brother being sentenced to prison for a drunk driving escapade, with stupid parents (ok maybe that’s harsh but I really did not care for the portrayal of her parents in the novel) … yet her focus was not only on her brother but on the victim of her brother’s stupidity. We experience the emotions of Sydney in the novel, her feeling of being invisible because she grew up in the shadow of her stupid brother (I really need to work on my adjectives ..), her transfer to another school to escape reality, her feeling of being lost and then her feeling of being accepted when she meets people to just get her. I feel like I felt sad for and with Sydney at certain points in her story and happy for her when things went her way. In some respects she reminded me of some girls in High School – girls I probably looked past because they made themselves invisible - and I guess that’s why I was rooting for Sydney to come out of her shell. 

I'm rambling about Sydney. I didn't speak too much about the story itself - really its because if I'm honest, while I loved the story, I loved Sydney more than the actual taleI don’t review books to give too much away, but to encourage people to read it … so please do just that. I promise it’s worth the read. 
"You really only fall apart in front of the people you know can piece you back together"

"That's the thing though. You always think you want to be noticed. Until you are."

"You get used to people being a certain way; you depend on it. And when they surprise you, for better or worse it can shake you to the core."

Next month - September 1st - we take a stab at Judy Blume In the Unlikely Event. Join us and link up on that day :)

Link up your Saint Anything reviews past or present below. I'd love to read them!!

Have a great Tuesday guys!!

Add your comment

  1. I read this book on you girls suggested. I liked it but I didn't love it. I probably wouldn't have read it if you hadn't suggested it. However, you all have encouraged me to read more. I'm happy to report that I just finished Sea of Tranquility and loved it. Thank you for encouraging me to read more, I have rediscovered my love for reading.

  2. I love hearing everyone's take on the same book! Sounds really interesting! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  3. sounds like it's a great read! I love YA and well developed characters- so that's a win win!

  4. Adding to the never ending list of books I want to read :)

  5. I enjoyed this book, but it was amazing for me. Most YA novels aren't amazing to me, to be fair haha. I really agree with you on the development of Sydney. She really grew throughout the book and the story was very understandable and relate-able. I just wish some of the side stories had developed more.

  6. that is in my queue! can't wait to read it.

  7. love this review girl! totally agree about Sydney, she was a great character.

  8. Yes, yes, yes!! That first quote was one of my favorites as well.

  9. That first quote you mentioned *sigh* love it! Your review totally sold m on this book. Adding it to my TBR now.

  10. Her mother was an asshole. No other word, until she sort of redeemed herself at the end.

    I loved Sydney and found myself alternating between pitying her and rooting for her. There were some undeveloped parts of the plot, like the carousel and that whole thing with the one ice skater girl hitting on Mac and the plotline with the brother's friend (Ames, right?) just bothered me but for the most part, I enjoyed reading it.

    It was a 4 star book for me. A Very Good YA Novel. You guys made a good choice.

  11. I loved this book! Thank you guys for suggesting it. I may never have found it otherwise.

  12. I haven't heard of this author but the story line sounds great. Once I knock out my 800-pager I'll need something a bit lighter next so this may be it ;)

  13. I enjoyed it. It was a really quick read for me. Not my usual pick, but hey I was reading. Whoop! :) XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  14. I skimmed this post because I haven't read the book yet BUT it is on my ereader and I do hope to get to it before the summer is over. I will definitely be joining in for the Judy Blume pick!

  15. I agree with Jana - I gave it 4 stars as well and Sydney's mother was a total asshole. There were a few flaws, but overall I really enjoyed this book.Can't wait to read the new Judy Blume!

  16. Kay girl, you always introduce me to new books I have never heard of. I definitely have to check this one out. Book store here I come lol.

    Kia / House of KTS

    1. You have to let me know how it goes and if you like it!

  17. Completely agree with your review. I also thought Sydney was the best part of this book. I love how clear of a character she was and I related loads. Also, I feel like stupid is the perfect adjective for her family LOL

  18. I really love Sarah Dessen as an Author. I need to start reading more of her books!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

  19. I've read a lot of good reviews about this book, have added onto my TBR shelf ;)

  20. I have been seeing that book everywhere. Glad you enjoyed it!


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