Smooth. Dependable. Page-turner.
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 behavior culminates in an 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 parlor, 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.
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know how my relationship with Dessen’s book hasn’t been an easy one. Ultimately, I think I started with the wrong one. But I’m happy to say that I’m now an honest-to-goodness Sarah Dessen fan girl.
I will read anything she writes. End of.
Why? I think it’s in that word ‘dependable’. I always know I’m getting a book that will be well-written and so easy to sink into. That’s not to say that there aren’t any cons, but it’s mostly pros.
Saint Anything might just have topped the list for me.
I think you can very fondly expect certain things in a Dessen book, and this one is no different. It delivers. But there is more shade than light in this story that I’m not used to. I liked it. The writing itself is as polished as ever (even if it still has the use of the word ‘Really.’ without a question mark that almost drives me to distraction) and there’s a love interest (yay!), but there’s a creepy element too. And be ‘creepy’, I mean there’s ‘a creep’.
It’s a story that has real heart, and heartache, it’s tender and raw, delicate and dark. The portrayal of the family dynamic is expertly done, and I feel like no one in YA can top Dessen for themes surrounding ‘family’ and change.
What more can I say? It was a page turner. It had everything I was expecting, and a little that I didn’t. It was a page-turner and once again I found myself binge-reading, because this is what this author does to me! Ha ha!
Concept – 3.5/5
Plot – 4/5
Ending or Twist – 3.5/5
Overall – 4/5
(Borrowed from my local library. Opinions all my own, ta.)