Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

I rank Just Listen by Sarah Dessen as one of the books in my top ten books of all time, so I count myself as a bit of a fangirl. I mean, a bit. I didn't rush out to buy this book or anything, but waited very patiently until it was on the shelves at my library (I have a...thing...about requesting young adult novels because it makes me feel crappy if I request a book that some teenage girl really wants, so I rarely log in to request books that are aimed at younger readers even if I really want to read them) and then I snatched it up as fast as I could.

But Saint Anything, while a compelling read, is not part of the awesome Dessen oeuvre with Just Listen and dreamland, but is part of the read and forget about it oevre like This Lullaby and Lock and Key

When I try to figure out what sets Dessen's best works apart from her more mediocre work is about how much self-worth and self-discovery comes from the main character herself and how much comes from external sources, particularly boyfriends.  In Saint Anything, I wanted to keep turning pages, but mostly because I wanted to know about how the main character's relationship with her new boyfriend was progressing, not because I was interested in how the main character herself was progressing.

Most of Just Listen took place inside the main character's head, and while there was a boyfriend, it took a long, long time for that relationship to develop AND they weren't even together when major self-discoveries took place.  The main character in dreamland developed despite her relationship with her boyfriend. 

Anyway, I can't expect Dessen to hit a home run every time and this is certainly a solid book, but it's not going to go on my list of "every teenage girl must read this book" anytime soon.

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