Tuesday, November 10, 2015

YA Summer Contemporaries: Saint Anything + Emmy and Oliver

Saint Anything

Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking, published May 5, 2015
Page Number: 417
Genre: Contemporary
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

My Review:
“I was used to being invisible. People rarely saw me, and if they did, they never looked close.”

Saint Anything was my first Dessen novel, and hearing that they have similar plots, I’m not sure if I’m going to pick up another one. The beginning started out interesting, and I found myself really enjoying the story, despite the dullness of Sydney’s characters. Insert the Chatham family, and I don’t know whether or not it’s a good thing that I like the secondary characters rather than the main character. There’s quirky Layla, who always falls for the wrong guy, Rosie, and Mac, who was a pain in the ass throughout the beginning of the book, with his strange diet and whatnot, but I grew to love him.

I just felt really bad for Sydney. Her mother was a pain the head, and Sydney had done NOTHING wrong. It was her brother, who I DESPISE, who was the drug addict and nearly killed someone. Sydney hadn’t even touched liquor! ERGH. NO, JUST NO.

Huge Dessen fan? Pick this up. Otherwise, go pick something else.

Final Rating: 


Emmy & Oliver

Author: Robin Benway

Publisher: HarperTeen on June 23, 2015
Page Number: 352
Genre: Contemporary
Synopsis from Goodreads:  

Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.

She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.

He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

Readers who love Sarah Dessen will tear through these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story

Goodreads | Book Depository
  My Review:
“Love isn’t something you say, it’s something you do.”
Although Emmy & Oliver was compared to Dessen’s books, I found it a whole lot more enjoyable. You’d think this was a romance, but no, it isn’t. It’s that book, with family relationships, friendships, romantic relationships, growing up, and everything, and I loved it so much. It was SO CUTE.

In the beginning, Emmy and her group of friends are in second grade. Emmy, Caro, Drew, and Oliver. Oliver, Caro, Drew, and Emmy. Their friendship is genuine, and you know that, because they’re still friends to this day. Oliver then gets kidnapped by his father, and their little group hasn’t been the same since.

Unlike Sydney from my review above, Emmy was RELATABLE. And sarcastic, and embarrassingly awkward, but what’s not to love? She sees the her best friend from 10 years ago, and he’s hotter than before, but she doesn’t blush and look away (I HATE THAT), she pokes her tongue out and crosses her eyes. THE GUTS. And the guts of her to go out and surf every night for what, five years?

The dialogue is smooth and something teens these days actually would say. I feel like Caro and Drew are my BFFs. Hell, I want them to be my BFFs.

The only problem I had were Emmy’s parents. They were overprotective, just like Sydney’s parents. It frustrated me. *frustration dance*

Final Rating: 



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