By: Sarah Dessen
Expected Publication Date: May 5, 2015
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“You always think you want to be noticed. Until you are”
Sydney’s brother Peyton is in jail for paralyzing a teen in a drunk driving accident. Among all this, Sydney tries to be noticed by her parents but she gets some much needed attention from Layla, Mac, and the rest of the Chatham family.
Dang, That was Good
- It’s a VERY good discussion book. If you are a librarian with a middle grade book club and are looking for a good book that doesn’t have sex, violence, or a lot of language-Saint Anything is perfect!
- There are some good discussions about parents and friendship.
- It was refreshing to read a story about a teen who doesn’t have sex because she fell in love with some guy two months prior. I am soooo sick of that bullshit. It was also nice to see a teen girl respect her parents even though she disagreed with them. She spoke to them like an adult and accepted her fate. I can’t remember the last time read that in YA. (Then again, I don’t read a lot of contemporary so don’t go by me).
That’s Too Bad, Dang-So I had some major problems with this book.
- The Writing. The writing was a bit weak. This is my first Dessen novel and I didn’t enjoy it. What upset me was that with a little bit more effort, her writing could be profound and beautiful. I wanted more meaningful dialogues and not three pages about french fries. Sydney was going through some major issues with her brother and her mother yet her conversations with her peers and even adults were subpar. I could have written those exchanges and I am by no means an author/writer.
- The Characters. There were no compelling characters, including Sydney. Everyone was just…meh. Layla who was supposed to be the antithesis of Sydney’s other friends was not special. Mac, the love interest, was a good guy but once again…meh. Irving and Eric were damn near pointless, The only character who was remotely interesting was Ames because he was creepy and manipulative.
- The Story. In my opinion, a good contemporary like this one contains a protagonist who grows. Sydney didn’t start off in the hole so there was really no where for her to grow. She was rational and was able to express her issues with everyone but her mother and at the end, she really didn’t tell her mother much of anything.
- I felt like other characters in the book grew such as the mom, Layla, and her brother but it had nothing to do with Sydney. She wasn’t like Pollyanna who impacted these people’s lives. The characters had their own epiphanies.
Saint Anything possesses great lessons on friendship and parents but the weak writing and characters is the reason why this book was okay instead of great.