I was used to being invisible. People rarely saw me, and if they did, they never looked close. I wasn’t shiny and charming like my brother, stunning and graceful like my mother, or smart and dynamic like my friends. That’s the thing, though. You always think you want to be noticed. Until you are.
Author: Sarah Dessen
Published: May 5th, 2015
Nominations: Goodreads Choice Awards Best Young Adult Fiction
Peyton, Sydney’s older brother, has always been the star of the family especially when he lands himself in prison from drunk driving and landing a 15 year old boy forever in a wheelchair. Sydney doesn’t ask to be center of attention, in fact she doesn’t want that all. But when you feel invisible to your own family, Prison is treated like your starting preschool by their mother and the guilt of David Ibarra health state is upon her things can be difficult.
As Sydney starts a new school she meets the Chatham’s, a loving different family. Filled with bluegrass local pizza businesses, abandoned carousels and french fry examinations.
A story with self perception and improvement, what family truly is, the pressures and attention of having a brother in prison and friendship.
Why I Recommend
I was very hesitant to pick up a YA novel by Sarah Dessen because her stories are usually very YA romance, I crave something more than just dram and love. But after a recommendation from ReadbyZoe, (B-T-DUBS if you’re looking for a good booktuber.. *wink wink*) I decided to give it chance. BEST DECISION EVER. I would say this book is 60% friendship, 30% family pressures, 5% love story, and 5% laughs. The all around story line is so different from what I’ve read before with the family relationship between each family member of both the Chatham’s and Stanford’s. I found myself constantly shaking my head at Sydney’s mother and how she reacts to Peyton’s prison time.
The characters all had such a clear representation of who they were from Sydney to Layla Stanford to Peyton’s creepy best friend Ames. I found myself cheering on the Chatham’s and Sydney herself more than the 5% love story between Mac Stanford and Sydney. Although it was so darn cute, it was not my top interest in the book! Which is saying something because I absolutely LOVE the romance stories.
The title itself was so intriguing and when it was finally revealed I was basically left in awe and amazement from Sarah. Honestly, Sarah, I congratulate you for this clever and amazing idea of Saint Anything!
I’d definitely give this a 5 out of 5 star rating and would recommend this book to anyone.
OKAY. Lets first talk about the Stanford’s!
In every book, I think we always have one character that we just cannot stand. And mine was definitely Julie Stanford. Her reaction and actions towards Peyton’s jail time and to Sydney annoyed me SO MUCH. It was so unfair to Sydney to be treated as if this jail time wasn’t affecting her at all and the pressure to not be her brother. I tried to understand Julie so hard honestly, even when Mrs. Chatham would explain to Sydney how she was feeling I just could not accept she was just being a mother. Anyone else???
Next, Ames. Let me just say even before Sydney stated the fact he was creepy I found him very disturbing and interesting. Even in just writing, Sarah did SO well making every character their own. And so when the sexual assault scene happened, as I anticipated it with every scene I was so sad.
The Chatham’s I love so much like you have no idea! I really want to try Seaside pizza guys and go french fry hunting with Layla because that is ME guys that is me. I honestly felt like I was in a dream in the scene where Sydney stayed the night. I wanted so much to be physically there and go to the carousel…
I had a couple post its I marked in the book to go over with you guys! First, on page 196. That whole page is a page of wisdom and SO COOL GUYS SO COOL. First the quote “Can’t change the past, doesn’t mean you should dwell on it” is so important to me. How do you feel about it?
Also, I want a saint pendent. I really want one. Though I’m not sure I can decide what it would mean, I don’t think you should be able to choose actually. Someone give me a saint pendent.
On the SAME PAGE, Sydney thought it was a little weird to hear that no longer having something could be a good thing, and the proof of it as well. I think to a lot of people this could be hard to accept because isn’t loss suppose to be something to grieve over? I think of it maybe as sheading skin for a brand new shiny coat. I think also this quote could go hand in hand with a mistake you made, and what you learnt from that mistake. Although that does not apply much to Mac, quotes mean something different to everyone.
My next marked page is page 413 and it simply is this:
The future was one thing that could never be broken, because it had not yet had the chance to be anything. One minute you’re walking through dark woods, alone, and then the landscape shifts, and you see it. Something wondrous and unexpected, almost magical, that you would never have found had you not keep going.