About Convince Me To Read Reviews
While we all have fairly similar tastes, sometimes we need a little push to read a certain book. The Convince Me to Read Review will be a review of the novel plus a section on why we think the other would enjoy it.
Published by Viking on May 5th 2015
Amazon ♡ Chapters ♡ TBD
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.
The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.
I love Sarah Dessen. I wrote a whole post about my love for her, actually. So tbh I’m not surprised I really enjoyed SAINT ANYTHING. I thought it had the right mix of friendship, romance, and coming of age that Sarah Dessen is known for. Is this in my top five Sarah Dessen books? No. But I think it adds to her canon in a way that some of her more recent releases didn’t for me. This feels like a very typical Sarah Dessen novel and if you liked her previous novels, or novels by Jennifer E. Smith and Kasie West, you will enjoy this one.
I really liked Sydney and her story. I liked the idea of the collateral damage that her brother left behind after he went to prison. I liked seeing Sydney try to assert herself in relation to her brother. I also liked that even though she wanted to be noticed, she wanted to be noticed for being her not in relation to her brother. But the scene with Mac when View Spoiler »he tells her he always noticed her? SWOON. My heart SOARED, my friends « Hide Spoiler. I also really liked that Sydney stood up for herself in context of other people at first because it made sense for her character. She was the loyal friend (almost to a fault) and it made sense to me that when she finally realized that she needed to be a priority that it would be for someone else, not herself.
At the same time however, I felt like I was missing something emotionally from this one. I was heavily invested in Sydney’s relationship with her brother and Layla, but I didn’t really care about her relationship with her parents. I felt as though we were told too much at the end rather than being shown it. For a book that is over 400 pages, I wanted more at the end about what Sydney and her mom talked about rather than just saying “we talked about these topics.” I was let down by this because I wanted to know what her mom actually thought about these things.
The best part of this was Sydney’s relationship with Layla. I think it was really a testament to female friendships that they were really close but grew a bit apart when they both had relationships. I thought that they had a really good rapport and I liked that they made time for one another no matter what. I also liked that Sydney stayed close to her friends from her previous school. I think it is so hard, especially when going to different schools, even when you live in the same town, so it was nice to see all of them put in the effort to stay friends.
I was very glad that Rogerson is still in a shitty place because he is literally the worst. Read DREAMLAND to find out why.
SAINT ANYTHING is another great book from my Queen of Contemporary Sarah Dessen. It tackles a tough family situation with a relatable heroine who has great female friendships and a swoony love interest. I thought it was well done, but just at the end it needed more showing instead of telling. But I would definitely recommend this one to Dani because I think she will enjoy the exposition of family and how sometimes it is friends who piece you back together.