Many of us have felt overshadowed in our lives to the point that we have felt invisible – whether it’s by a sibling, a friend or a loved one. Sarah Dessen’s latest novel, Saint Anything, is dedicated to the “invisible girls,” and tells readers the story of Sydney Stanford, who has always felt invisible because of her larger-than-life older brother, Peyton. Even after Peyton gets in a drunk driving accident that paralyzes a 15-year-old and lands him in jail, her entire family is overly concerned about Peyton’s jail sentence, with very little regard for the boy he hit. Sydney can’t seem to find her place in the world, until she transfers schools and meets the Chatham family.
Layla Chatham quickly becomes Sydney’s best friend, and their family accepts her as one of their own, and begins to feel ‘seen’ for the first time. While spending time at their pizza parlor, Sydney meets Mac, who is a sweet, gentle protector.
Saint Anything is Sarah Dessen’s twelfth novel, and the way it deals with family, friendship, and invisibility makes it one of my favorites.
One of Dessen’s greatest talents in writing, in my opinion, is writing realistic, relatable characters, and she did not fail with the characters here. Sydney felt very realistic, but Layla was the character that truly popped out of the page with me. I completely understood her thoughts about french fries and ketchup, and I’d love to try her “secret sauce,” because it sounds delicious.
Sydney’s slow transformation into herself, and learning how to deal with all of the pain and anger that she’s feeling, not to mention dealing with her family and Ames, makes this story an amazing one.
If you’ve never read or heard of Sarah Dessen before, you must have been living under a rock. Kidding! If you enjoy authors like Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins or Curtis Sittenfeld, you’ll definitely enjoy her books. This one is one of my favorites, from another girl who used to feel invisible.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and would recommend it to pretty much everyone that enjoys contemporary fiction, and for that I’m rating it 4 stars!