I have been a fan of Sarah Dessen novels for years now, starting with Along for the Ride, Dreamland, Someone Like You, and now to my pleasant surprise, another great hit will be on the book-stands on May 5, 2015 called Saint Anything.
Saint Anything is about a girl, Sydney Stanford, who had willingly lived in her brother’s shadow for as long as she could remember. Many of us know that our families influence some of our most keen personality traits; sometimes it is our parents, but in Sydney’s case, it was her brother, Peyton. He was older, smarter, and loved to be in the center of everyone’s attention. Sydney never envied her brother for his innate charisma and charm; she enjoyed living in his shadow, where she could easily follow his footsteps without fear of failure.
It isn’t until Peyton gets into some trouble that Sydney realizes that she needs to stop idealizing her brother and start being true to who she really is, even if she doesn’t know it yet. Her parents unknowingly give her the opportunity when they move her out of her private school and enroll her into a public school. They are worried that too many people might be talking about her brother, but Sydney is appreciative for the opportunity to start somewhere that she could be more than Peyton’s little sister.
The first day of school comes with nerves and an unexpected, welcoming crowd of people. Sydney starts to love her new school, and before she knows it, she is becoming more her own person every day. This new side of her might look great on Sydney, but when her parents start noticing her friendly and talkative attitude, they start to get flashbacks of Peyton’s behavior and buckle down. This means more curfews, part-time jobs, and less time for her new friends. Sydney’s changes aren’t rebellious, but her parent’s lack of interest and harsh rules start to get the best of her. Now, we have a young girl who has outgrown living in her brother’s shadow, but her old friends and parents wont let her be anything else but Peyton’s little sister.
Saint Anything is beautifully written, and I felt like I was right there with Sydney as she was growing. It wasn’t anything obvious, but by the end of the book you realize you are in the mind of a completely different character. Someone who is smart, beautiful, and finally confident enough to speak up.
Saint Anything will be available on May 5, 2015.