Friday, August 7, 2015

Review: Saint Anything

Title: Saint Anything
Author: Sarah Dessen
Year published: 2015
How I got this book: BookDepository
My rating: 3,5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
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 runs 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.

My thoughts:
While I did enjoy this book, I also had some problems with it. 

The one thing that annoyed me a lot was the typical YA-saying. "I realized I was holding my breath." I don't know how many times I read that throughout the book, but more than enough. I'm fine with it happening one time, but come on, how many times can one character not be aware of her own breathing? I mean, I can't recall a single time I was holding my breath without consciously deciding to do so.

I also had a big problem with the parents, they annoyed me so much. I got so frustrated every time Sydney interacted with them, and her mother, especially, just shut her down completely and decided everything and didn't really care about her. And the fact that her father just sat there, not helping Sydney really got to me. I just wanted to go into the book and shake some sense into them. 

Other than the parents - and Ames - I really liked the characters in this book. My heart really broke for Sydney at times because of how she felt with the situation with her family. I think Layla is my favourite character in this book, I absolutely adore her. She was such a wonderful friend for Sydney, but she wasn't perfect either. She wasn't just a one-dimensional side-character, but a character with depth that made a huge impact in Sydney's life.

There was a lot of stuff going on at once in this book, so much that it could almost be hard to keep track of it all. I just think it maybe would have been better if Dessen had decided on a couple less plot-lines and developed them more, instead of putting in something new all the time and never really going all inn. And the ending was too abrupt for me. I wanted more. I understand why it ended like that, but it didn't really feel like that much was resolved. It just sort of ended.

This was a typical YA-contemporary with a predictable plot and to unexpected twists and turns. While this is something that could be boring, it is executed quite well in this book, I think. But most important, you have to know the genre you're reading. This genre doesn't usually have big plot-twist, they are just cute stories about girls who fall in love or gains a best friend. They make you feel good, but they're nothing that'll stay in you memory for a long time. 

Even though this is not my favourite Sarah Dessen book, I will recommend it to every one that likes this genre. If you're into YA contemporary romance books, this will be perfect for you.

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