Oh, Sarah Dessen, how you made me swoon when I was young.
I read a lot of her books when I was a teen and loved them. This was my first Dessen novel in a while and…I’m not sure if I’ve outgrown their splendor or if this one just wasn’t as good as her previous books.
It took a lot of work to get into the story, and it still wasn’t a smooth ride once I began to feel at all invested in the ending. Also, disclaimer, I finished this one a few months back and never got around to reviewing it. Typical.
I did genuinely like Sydney, our main character in Saint Anything, but I had a hard time relating to most of the characters’ problems. The story begins when Sydney needs to transfer to a — gasp! — public high school because her brother Peyton has been incarcerated for killing someone while driving drunk, and the lawyer’s fees are stacking up.
Sydney is nervous about starting at a new school, especially since her parents seem totally obsessed with Peyton and are not giving her the emotional support she needs for anything, really. Luckily, she befriends a bubbily gal named Layla — thank god, she’s also kind of poor! — and Layla’s hot brother Mac. Their down-to-earth family runs a local pizza shop. The pizza is good.
Sydney’s older brother seems like a total loser, her mom is shallowly frantic, and her dad is…wait, where was her dad? Was he dead? I can’t remember. (Just double-checked and he was definitely not dead. Probably not a good sign that I couldn’t remember him.)
The only character who made any sort of sense to me was hot Mac, who just wants to be able to afford to go to college and also used to be overweight but now is not. Because of this latter fact, he does not realize that he is fine.
I’d definitely try another Dessen novel. This one just wasn’t for me.
Not sure what a 3/5 star rating means? Check out the Book Talk Review Guide here!