Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen


Genre: Contemporary Young Adult Romance Fiction
Pages: Print 417
Digital: eAdudiobook 13 hours
Release Date: May 5, 2017
Author: Sarah Dessen
Rating: ★★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I checked out an e-aduiobook copy of this book from my local library using Libby by Overdrive. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copy used in this review is an unabridged e-aduiobook. Image taken from

Goodreads Synopsis 

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 twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.

Final Thoughts

This contemporary young adult fiction romance is written so well. The novel starts with a scene of Sydney and her family in a court room. Then from their the book continues by following her life after that day in the court room. Sydney, a junior in high school, is used to being invisible. Her brother Peyton has always been the center of her family’s attention and she has been in his shadow. Peyton has made a grave mistake that has changed her family’s life and the life of another family. Somehow Sydney carries some of the guilt from his mistake as she tries to start over at a new school. Imagine being invisible to everyone and then someone finally notices you. Sydney adjusts to her new school, she makes a friend that leads her to other friends, and she finds a new home in the Chathams family restaurant. She truly learns the meaning of friendship, of being there for someone, and she finds her voice in the shadow of her brother’s mistake. Her mother and father continue to put Peyton first, ignoring Sydney, until she makes a mistake that causes them to pay attention to her. In that moment Sydney wishes to become invisible again. In this novel written by Sarah Dessen, I could feel the emotions of each character and understand each decision made. Dessen has done an amazing job with this novel and the events inside felt real. Each supporting character playing a huge role in the overall dynamics of the story. The plot is captivating enough to make you want to not put this book down.

I stumbled upon this book while browsing through the available e-audibooks in Libby by Overdrive. I remember seeing this book when it first released in 2015 but I didn’t purchase it. I was so glad to get a chance to listen to the audio version of this novel. If you are interested in reading a novel that focuses on the importance of family, forgiveness, friendship, and first loves, then you should check this one out. The beginning will grab your attention, the middle will keep you interested, and the ending will have you wanting more. This novel is appropriate for upper middle school, teens, and adults interested in a good young adult romance novel. The romance in this novel is subtle, which is why I say it is appropriate for tweens.

To purchase your copy of this novel, visit Sarah Dessen’s website at  for access to purchasing links. 

Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!

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The Book of Storms by Ruth Hatfield

img_2051Title: The Book of Storms
Author: Ruth Hatfield
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Pages: Print 357
Rating: ★★★★.5

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I purchased a copy of this book on my own from book outlet. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher.

This Middle-Grade fantasy fiction novel follows the life of Danny. He awakes one morning to find out that his parents are missing after a harsh storm that occurred the night prior. Danny searches outside in hopes of locating his parents and discovers the sycamore tree in his yard has been struck by lightning. As he examines the tree more closely, gazing upon the charcoal color, he finds a piece of the tree that looks different. Danny reaches to pick up the stick, and from that moment on he can hear the sounds of the earth. This startles him, and he takes the stick places it in his pocket and heads to school assuming his parents will be home when he returns. Danny returns home and realizes his parents are indeed missing. He must journey to find his parents and uncover their secrets. While searching his parent’s room for clues, he stumbles upon a journal that explains that his parents were storm chasers. With the help of the neighborhood cat, Mitzy, Danny journeys to the home of Abel Korsakof in hopes of discovering what the Book of Storms is. Danny must learn who to trust and who not to trust. He must also find his parents, the Book of Storms, and try not to be killed by Sammael. Will Danny see his parents or will he be killed?

Favorite Quotes:

“What would you do if you woke up and your mum was missing?”

Danny said this line to his cousin Tom after arriving at his Aunt’s farm.

“He waited for an uncountable time in the hop of seeing the earth re-form and rise up into the shape of the great gray dog he had loved, but there was nothing there.”

This was one of the saddest parts for me. Even though I know Sammael is the villain in this story, he still had a heart for his dog. I am assuming Sammael will seek vengeance for the death of his dog and still continue to try to control the storms.

Final Thoughts:

I thought this was a great story. I liked the way this book was written and felt the same feelings Danny felt. Danny was in complete shock at the beginning of the book, not realizing his parents were indeed missing. He struggled to come to terms with the fact that he had to journey alone to find them but continued to seek out help from others such as Mitzy and the creatures of the earth. I did not wholly understand the power that Sammael had or the importance of his dog, other than being a companion. I also did not understand the concept of a Lurcher and felt that could have been explained more in the book. Overall, I thought this book did a great job of capturing my attention and had me on the edge of my seat a good portion of the time. I recommend this book for anyone in middle school interested in a fantasy novel that focuses on the importance of working together. I assume the overall lesson in this book is not to give up and to seek out help when needed. It is also important to be careful who you trust because Tom made a mistake in this book towards the end and I am curious as to how his error will affect everyone else.

What would you do if you came home and your parents were missing?