*I received a copy of this book off NetGalley, this has not affected my opinion of the book in any way.
Sarah Dessen is one of those authors that I can sort of guess what I’m going to get when I start one of my books. Maybe it’s because I’d read four of her other books before this one, or maybe it’s something else entirely. Whatever it was, I started Saint Anything knowing exactly what to expect—some family drama, a few dark moments, and some cutesy romance. That’s exactly what I got too. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. Despite the formula to Sarah Dessen’s books, she always manages to tell a different story with each of her books, or at least the ones I’ve read.
This one focuses on Sydney’s whose older brother, Peyton, is in prison after a drunk driving incident. It looks a lot at the guilt Sydney feels for the victim of her brother’s accident, and how that affects her life and the family dynamic. While it’s mentioned a lot, I wish we could have seen a bit more of the backlash and of Peyton rather than just being told what had/was happening. I think it would have been really interesting to see some more interaction between Sydney and Peyton as someone whose had a sort of bumpy relationship with my own older brother. Though, thankfully he’s not in prison.
On things I’d have liked to have seen more of—I wish we got to see more of Sydney’s relationship with Mac and Layla. Just like with the Peyton thing, it was like I was being told that they were great friends and a couple rather than actually seeing them blossom into that. It might be a weird thing, but I really like seeing friendships obviously grow and strengthen within books. It just felt like I was supposed to know they were best friends without really seeing that in play.
Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed Saint Anything but I’m still feeling a little mixed about it.