Saturday, July 30, 2016

Saint Anything

Sydney's older brother Peyton has always been the golden child, but now he's in prison after paralyzing a 15 year old while driving drunk.  This has thrown her family into disarray.  Her mother has become dedicated to Peyton's recovery in an all-absorbing manner that leaves Sydney to her own devices.  Her father tries to live life as normally as possible while going along with any idea her mother has.

As for Sydney, she realizes the family finances are suffering because of Peyton's legal fees, so she decides to leave her expensive private school and transfer to public school.  She's pretty much lived in the shadow of her older brother her whole life, and now she retreats even further into herself.

But public school turns out to be just what she needs.  She makes a new friend named Layla who is confident, warm, and genuinely interested in Sydney.  She becomes the kind of friend Sydney has never had.  Along with Layla, Sydney get a group of guys who are in a band, including Layla's brother, Mac.  She also gets the Chatham family who seem to be the opposite of her own now empty home.

As her new friendships develop, Sydney begins to acknowledge her own feelings about her brother and her family.  But her new life is also causing friction at home which pushes her even closer Mac.

Sarah Dessen's new book is an engaging story about friendship, loyalty, and family dynamics with a sweet romance on top.  Grades 8 and up.

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