One of my favorite young adult authors, Sarah Dessen, came out with a new book last week called Saint Anything, and it was just as fabulous, if not more so, than her previous books. Dessen’s strengths come from her ability to capture the feelings that teenagers, well, actually all of us, feel at one time of another. Her characters face the usual coming-of-age woes but also deal with other serious issues.
Her stories have such a wonderful, solid feel to them, with universal themes and lovely, subtle symbolism. You don’t need to be a teenage girl to enjoy her novels. She doesn’t “talk down” to her audience whatsoever. She treats her audience for who they are, adults-in-the-making, people with adult feelings and issues.
Saint Anything is about a teenage girl named Sydney whose brother is in jail for a hit-and-run that injured a boy and her family is a mess. She transfers to a new school and meets the Chatham family; bubbly Layla, abrasive Rosie, wise Mrs. Chatham, the quiet and observant, good-looking, Mac. She discovers friendship, love and most importantly, herself, in the process.
It’s been a few years since I’ve read any of Sarah Dessen’s books, but all it took was reading one chapter to remind me how much I’ve missed her writing. Saint Anything didn’t disappoint, it lived up to my memory of how wonderful her other books were, and I devoured it within 24 hours.
Do you read young adult novels? Have you read any of Sarah Dessen’s novels?