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Publisher's Summary

Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and - lately - concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her 12th novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.

©2015 Sarah Dessen (P)2015 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

A New York Times best seller

Kids' Indie Next List Pick (Summer 2015)

A Time Top 10 YA Book of the Year

"Saint Anything is a poignant, honest story about how we might suffer the misfortune of someone else's bad choices, how people who love us can become family when we desperately need it, and how starting over might - miraculously - mean taking a solid leap forward. Is there anyone who can write about what matters most to teens as well as Dessen can? I sincerely doubt it." (Jodi Picoult, New York Times best-selling novelist of Leaving Time and My Sister’s Keeper

"A quiet marvel." (LA Times

"The novel’s strengths - how it unpacks the perplexities of guilt, friendships, and family dynamics - are what readers will remember." (Boston Globe)  

What listeners say about Saint Anything

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite.

I have loved many books by Sarah Dessen but this one falls short. The plot is rambling and gets tedious fast. Nothing ever really happens and then it's over, tied up neatly with an unbelievable bow.

I didn't develop a sense of connection to the characters or sense their connections to one another (an area in which Dessen usually shines). Everyone gets an off book but I hope she is back on her game next time around.

The narrator didn't add anything to the story with her performance and wasn't a favorite for me either. Her delivery often contributed to the draggy feel of the story.

7 people found this helpful

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Not my favorite

Not one of my favorite Sarah Dessen books. Seemed to drag on and story line not very exciting. Liked some of her earlier stuff better. This story did not have a strong theme.

2 people found this helpful

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Pretty good. Different from the usual.

I liked it but I wish there was less detail about her family, mainly her mom, and more about Sydney and her friends. Honestly, her mom made me so angry, am I the only one who would have fought for what I wanted? Sydney just sat back and took it. Thinking about it now, she's pretty weak. She has no backbone. She only screamed near the end of the book because she was being attacked, and she definitely made it last longer that it should have. Actually, the only reason it stopped was because her dad stepped in. Sarah is my favorite author but this isn't the best representation of what she is capable of.

4 people found this helpful

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Good listen

It was a good book, I really like Sarah Dessen. It was similar to her other books and predictable but I enjoyed the story line and the characters.

1 person found this helpful

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I LIKED This Book, But Can’t Say I LOVED It…

I’ve read many of Ms. Dessen’s books (my favorite so far has been “Lock & Key”). In a lot of ways, I didn’t find this book as satisfying as others I have read.

The narration felt draggy to me. I sped it up to 1.2 and it felt more like a regular speaking rate.

It wasn’t too long into the book when I found myself desperately wanting to shout at the main character, Sydney, “TELL YOUR PARENTS TO STOP JUDGING YOU BY YOUR BROTHER’S PAST ACTIONS AND POOR JUDGEMENT!” It never happened…Sydney remained passive throughout the book.

I found two characters extremely irritating — SPENCER (so whiny, wimpy and a poor excuse for a guy who thinks he’s such a hit with the ladies). Then there was Ames. He left me with a “slimy” feeling. It was hard for me to believe that, as intelligent as Sydney’s parents were supposed to be, they didn’t immediately see through him for what he really was — a complete creep. They were both so easily fooled by him.

At one point Sydney was talking about her teaching her best friend Leila how to drive. That gave me a little pause. I don’t know where this story took place, but all of the states in which I’ve lived, do not allow a teenager to teach another teenager how to drive — only a licensed adult is allowed to do so!

Although I did finish this book and LIKED it, I did find it to be draggy in places and some things were drawn out for far too long.

One thing I do like about Ms. Dessen’s characters (at least in her books that I’ve read to date) is her main characters are usually introspective, deep thinkers; good students who enjoy school. Especially in this character trait, the main character Sydney, reminded me so much of myself at her age. Introspective, over-analyzed and over-thought EVERYTHING; I was the PERFECT, well-behaved, straight “A” student who wanted to please everyone in order to keep the peace rather than rock the boat, but in doing so, wondered if I would eventually become so invisible, I’d disappear altogether. I found myself wanting to tell Sydney to not worry — life gets better as one ages. With time and experience, most of us find our way, and she too will leave her mark on the world, she will find her own voice; and at some point she will stop feeling invisible.

The fact that I didn’t LOVE this book won’t keep me from going off in search of another of Ms. Dessen’s books immediately after submitting this review.😊

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Everyone should hear this book

I absolutely love this story. I read it back in high school and returning to it on Audible was such an experience. The story is beautiful and the characters are so real I find it hard to believe they don’t exist in real life.
I could read/listen to this book a million times and never tire of it.

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A good story, a less good listen.

I’ve read this book before and liked it so much I wanted to be able to listen to it since I didn’t have the hardcover. While listening to this I found that it was a better book when having the real book. This could just be because I already had a voice for all characters, but I felt that the narrating fell a bit short. Nonetheless I recommend listening.

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Not my favorite Dessen novel, but worth the read, as always

Let me start by saying I’ve loved Sarah Dessen’s books since I was a teen, and this one doesn’t stray far from her typical formula. There’s a reason she’s one of the top authors in YA.

I will say that I found the protagonist in this one so. frustratingly. passive. I was desperate for her to stand up for herself and to be the catalyst for change in her life, rather than letting others around her determine her course in the story. (Though I know some of her passiveness was intended for her character, it still drove me nuts!)

Also, the narrator killed me. Her inflections and the high tilt of her voice at the end of sentences made the protagonist sound “surprised” by everything. That was not a style fit for a protagonist who was very introspective and observational, as it made her seem confused by almost all of her internal thoughts.

I will say that this is a novel I could easily (and would be happy to) see turned into a film, or even a mini series. Thanks to Dessen’s effortlessly clean but descriptive writing style, I could see all of the characters clearly in my head while listening, and I know they would shine even brighter onscreen.

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A lovely book

I insist on reading this book, there are so many twists and turns and unexpected things that happen.

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Best book yet!

I have read almost all of Sarah Dessen's books but this has by far been her best yet, in my opinion.

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  • michaela
  • 10-12-15

After the first chapter I couldn't stop

I was unsure to start with and this was my first audio book but after the first chapter I couldn't stop listening. lovely story and brilliant characters. I did feel the ending could have been more it is a somewhat happy ending but I wanted to know what happened, did David except her apology ? that's the only reason for the Los of star. I didn't expect it to finish there. That said it is well worth the read and would highly recommend