"I was used to being invisible. People rarely saw me, and if they did, they never looked close." (Sydney Stanford)
I don't know when was the last time I read a book that I found difficult to put down.
In Saint Anything, Sydney, the main character, is invisible. She's in the shadow of her older brother, Peyton, who is charismatic and popular. After a string of bad decisions which ultimately leads to an accident, Sydney's brother ends up in prison. Saint Anything is about Sydney and her life after her brother has gone to prison as she tries to define who she is outside of her brother's sphere.
Sydney is a likeable and relatable character. She's a good girl who always tries to do the right thing, but she's still a teenager and a human who makes mistakes. She struggles with feelings of guilt and loneliness and she tries to overcome this. I loved witnessing her compassion, her considerate nature and her growth as she tries to adapt to the changes in her life, while still being true to herself.
Saint Anything is quiet and subtle, but it's also engrossing and impactful. The focus of Saint Anything is family relationships and friendship.
The characters seem so real. I'm in love with the chaotic Chatham family. Layla is a character that jumps off the pages of Saint Anything and she's a true friend - self-aware, understanding and non-judgemental. There is a love interest, but romance is not the focus in Saint Anything. The relationship between Sydney and Mac is cute. Saint Anything also shows the repercussions of Peyton's actions on Sydney's family. While I found Sydney's mom to be a little overbearing at times, I could understand why she chose to act the way she did. Also, Ames reminded me of people in real-life who give off creepy vibes.
I don't usually comment on writing styles unless they really bother me, but after reading Saint Anything, I can't help but appreciate Sarah Dessen's writing style. Her writing is simple, but yet it seems so effortless and reads so easily.
Saint Anything is a quiet and simple story that's genuine and heartfelt.
"You only really fall apart in front of the people you know can piece you back together." (Sydney Stanford)