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 run 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. – Goodreads
Before I jump into my super-short review, let me say: this was a sampler, not the full version. Just saying. I’m basing this “review” off of the few chapters I read. Thanks, NetGalley, for the free sample!
Growing up, Sarah Dessen was my jam. It has been years since I’ve picked up a Dessen novel, and to be honest, I was a little bit nervous. Why? Because sometimes nostalgic things are better left as memories (I’m looking at you, Brave Little Toaster).
I had no reason to be nervous—in fact, the only thing that bummed me out about this sampler was the fact that it was just that: a sample.
Sydney’s brother, Peyton, is the standout child of the family. Popular, attractive, charismatic…he’s got it all. Until he was busted for smoking dope, and later, other various criminal deeds. One night after drinking with buddies, he hits a boy on a bicycle with his car, which ultimately ends in a DUI and a jail sentence.
Sydney is “average” but “cute”. I wish this hadn’t been pointed out, but it’s stereotypical younger sibling comparing themselves to the illustrious older sibling, but I ignored it. She blends in. After Peyton’s conviction, she decides to transfer from her expensive private school to the beaten down public school. After her first day, she walks into the pizza parlor across the street (and a bunch of stuff happens over a discussion of root beer YumYums, which is copyright code for DumDums, I believe). That is where the synopsis stops and I got hooked, so that was a bummer.
Overall, it looks like it will be another great Dessen read. Saint Anything will be released on May 5th, 2015.