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5.0 2
Young Adult Fiction 93
A delight to long time fans.
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I can tell you the year I picked my very first Sarah Dessen book up off my cousin’s shelf. I can tell you where I was sitting when I finished it, awestruck and in love. I can also tell you that I immediately borrowed from friends and checked out from libraries and bought every book she had wrote up until that fall of 2008.

For me, reading a Sarah Dessen book is like coming home to a warm cup of cocoa after a long winter night out. It’s the sweet tea or sticky snow cone on a hot summer day.

Currently, I’ m sitting on the deck of the beach house we rented for our family vacation this summer (waiting for the ice cream truck). I can hear the ocean, the waves rough. I can see the white caps beating against the shore just over the dunes. Pelicans and sea gulls fly above, creating shadows across my tanned legs and sunburned shoulders (why my shoulders only burn, I have no idea). Despite the recent shark attacks, the North Carolina coast is littered with people. It is beautiful here.

And all of that is what I expect when I read any one of Sarah’s books. The tranquil and relatable books. The ones I know will never let me down. The best books for the summer.

So when I picked up Saint Anything and started reading on the beach earlier this week, I fell back into that place. A thousand miles from home and this book was making it seem not so far away.

Sydney is a regular girl with a small situation at home (who hasn’t had the police called to their house because their brother did some sketchy stuff? Oh, just me and Sydney? Okay.) I quickly got sucked into her life. And then I was hooked when she fell in with Layla and her family.

That’s one of my favorite things about these books. The friendships are realistic. Sydney and Layla reminded me of one of my friends (especially the French fry thing. SO US!)

It’s just so easy to read when you feel like you’re a part of what’s going on. I need to know what happens with all the characters once the books are over.

I loved finding little easter eggs from her previous books. Hate Spinnerbait. (My cousin and I still say this occasionally!) The towns I’m familiar with, like I’ve actually been there and walked the streets.

The romance was cute. Not rushed or mushy or unbelievable. It’s the kind you expect a 17 year old to find.

Saint Anything is a book about family and finding out that this doesn’t always have to be blood relations. About showing your blood family that forgiveness and apologies are only just the start, and that no matter what they will have your back.

If you’re familiar with Sarah Dessen’s books, you’ll find the same thing going on here, but you’ll also know there is a surprise right there somewhere. Something to make it special, something separating it from her cookie cutter mold of writing. It’s always there, and that’s why she remains my favorite author.
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