Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
I love a good Sarah Dessen Novel as much as the next person, but sometimes when I read too many of her works in one go, it’s hard to avoid the cookie cutter mould that she uses for every novel: girl with not-so common name has family issues, meets a guy, dates said guy, something happens usually to do with the aforementioned family issues and she ends up pushing him away, and then of course everything gets resolved in time for the end of the novel.
However despite this ‘Saint Anything’ is still a good book, but if authors who have a blueprint for all of their works annoys you, then maybe leaving gaps when reading Sarah Dessen books is a good idea.
I liked Sydney as a character, but like pretty much every Dessen character she is pretty passive and doesn’t like to disobey her parents or add to the stress her brother caused. I just wish Sydney had stuck up for herself at some point in the novel. I loved Mac, and I loved his friendship with Sydney; I loved it when they are ordering pizzas and try to guess what type of people are ordering the pizzas. I also liked learning about Mac’s past (although I felt like it was a bit rushed due to everything else that was happening).
I also found that there was too much going on in the novel Peyton’s in prison, Layla and her boyfriend, Sydney’s dealing with guilt that her brother caused, Ames, Mrs Chatham’s illness and those are only a few of the many subplots I can actually remember. I feel like if only a few of these were covered in greater depth this book would’ve been more enjoyable. Instead I found myself getting lost because of the many characters and subplots.
However her friendship with Layla is probably one of the best friendships in any Sarah Dessen novel. I loved reading how their relationship developed over the course of the novel and I really wish I had a friend like Layla! For me, Layla was by far the best character in this novel; from her love of chips (sorry, fries) to her quirks such as ‘never forgetting a face’, I have a feeling that I wouldn’t have enjoyed this book nearly as much without her.
I did enjoy reading about how Sydney dealt with her guilt, and how even though she wasn’t responsible for her brother’s actions she still feels responsible. I felt like the ending gave us closure on how she dealt with her guilt.
Overall I’d give this 4/5 stars, it was an enjoyable book, but I felt like it dragged on for too long at the beginning and all the action was left until the end (and by this point I thought that there was too much going on). To conclude, this was a good read but not one of my favourite Sarah Dessen novels, also if you plan on reading this then make sure you have a lot of snacks!
Also I wished that the carousel had appeared in more than one scene, I mean it is on the cover after all, you’d think that it would play a bigger role in the book…