JUST FINISHED: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen.
A not-so-light romance novel about a teenage girl called Sydney, who is struggling to make her voice heard in the chaos that follows her brother’s arrest and subsequent imprisonment. Emotionally disconnected from both her family and friends, she is able to find an escape from her troubles in the company of Layla and Mac Chatham, her new schoolmates.
I was a little nervous going into this book, because I wasn’t quite so keen on Sarah Dessen’s last two books (What Happened to Goodbye and The Moon and More), but it turns out that I needn’t have been! I loved this book. It actually reminded me quite a bit of Just Listen, which is my favourite Sarah Dessen book – Sydney was a lot like Annabel, in that her main trouble was just that she had trouble expressing herself honestly.
The writing was excellent, and I was rarely willing to put the book down, despite it being over 400 pages long; and the story – though never particularly surprising – was tense and gripping. But as usual, the charm of this story was in the characters: Sydney was likeable and relatable; Layla was a tonne of fun, and made an excellent best-friend character; Mac was both swoon-worthy and incredibly sweet; and Ames was distinctly creepy. I wasn’t too impressed by Sydney’s parents, and her mother in particular, who was in turns over- and under-involved, regardless of anyone else’s feelings on the matter, but even she had improved by the end of the book, and was beginning to recognise her faults.
Another thing that I really like about Sarah Dessen’s books is that they’re all connected, and that when she brings out a new one, there’s always a cameo or two, and this one didn’t disappoint on that side of things either! I only noticed one actual cameo (Dave from What Happened to Goodbye), but there were references to characters/key plot points from several of her other books, including Just Listen, This Lullaby, and (most surprisingly to me) Dreamland.
CURRENT READATHON STATUS: Bedtime, I think. 😉
Books Completed: 7
Pages Read: 1715
Challenges Completed: All 7!!!