"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."
I have all of Sarah Dessen’s books; however, I have to admit that I have only read three. Mainly because when I started buying her books I was young and full of teenage angst, and there just was not enough kissing and displays of love and devotion, and her characters did not declare they would die for one another and et cetera. You know, the normal wants of a teenage reader.
But then you grow up and realize that Sarah Dessen writes real stories about love and friendship and life, and you just wish you could go back in time and kick yourself for wanting anything other than books like hers.
Saint Anything is just so special; I have never met a friend who didn’t feel invisible at some point in their life like Sydney. Unlike Sydney, I do not have an older brother who steals all of my parents attention, but I do have a younger sister who can “do no wrong”.
And I really felt so much pain for Sydney.
And then I read this quote: “I’d done the right thing. I always did. It just would have been nice if someone had noticed.”
I can’t relate to feeling this way with my parents, because my parents really do always notice when I’m doing the right thing. Instead, I was instantly thrown back to when I lost my first group of friends I made at school, because I felt so alone. The friends I have now are so supportive and kind, and they didn’t care that I couldn’t afford pizza in college.
They just loved me.
Which is why I really enjoyed Layla’s character in the book, because she was just such a good friend. I’m really starting to enjoy friendship stories, because having friends is one of the greatest joys in life. Having people to laugh with, who share your views, and who support you fully is so magical. All of the Chathams really made the story. I felt that Mrs. Chatham’s lines were the absolute best, and I was constantly surprised by her strength and humor. She was definitely my favorite character, and she never failed to make me feel when she was in the scene.
I’m so glad that the story was not about a boy and a girl declaring they would die for one another; I much rather enjoyed reading about a young girl who realizes how strong she really is.