I’ve been reading Sarah Dessen’s novels for longer than I can remember. I’ve read each and every one of them, own a number of them in a number of languages and I will always have a soft spot for everything she writes. This is quite a late review, considering I read Saint Anything the day after it was released on 5th May, but I really wanted to review this one, especially since I loved it so much.
I read a lot of YA novels and a lot of contemporary fiction as well, so I have particularly high expectations as far as these categories are concerned. I must admit I’m ridiculously biased as far as Sarah Dessen is concerned because she is everything I aspire to be as a writer and as a human being, but I’m happy to report that once again her book has not disappointed.
In brief, Sydney, the protagonist, has lived most of her life following in the footsteps of her reckless (but perfect) older brother, Peyton. A terrible accident occurs and Peyton is imprisoned, leaving Sydney to pick up the pieces at home, all while trying to get through high school. Her brother’s recklessness has significantly restricted her own life and her friendships have ultimately suffered as a result. When she meets the Chatham family, her life starts tor return to the normality she has always craved and from there onwards everything starts to look up. I’m going to stop with my explanation of the novel here as I really don’t want to spoil it, but in true Sarah Dessen style there is romance, philosophy and a whole lot of junk food cravings (this time; pizza and fries.)
Sarah Dessen is arguably one of the Queens of teen romance. She knows how to tell a story in the most subtle and moving ways, turning friendship into relationships with ease. I love how she manages to tie all of her novels together in subtle ways (with Mac introduced wearing an Anger Management radio station t-shirt à la Owen from my ultimate Dessen novel Just Listen). I love how easily she allows you to connect with the characters, and here it is particularly easy to find something in common with one of them, whether it be Sydney herself, or Lola with her boyfriend problems. I also love that she discusses and focuses on the importance of suffering consequences, as well as the idea that a parent will love their child no matter what!
I thoroughly recommend this book and if you haven’t already, and I also recommend reading the rest of Sarah’s collection. She’s an asset to the YA genre and I am proud to have her on my shelves.