From time to time, a guest will post their views to give you different perspectives on books. Especially when they are from genres that are not in my wheelhouse. Today's guest post is from Cindy Heidelberger Larson, my wife, for the newest book, Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen.
Everyone wants to feel like they fit in, like they belong. For young Sydney, whether she belonged was always a question that hung in the balance, especially where her brother, Peyton, was concerned. Known in all the circles that matter as the "golden boy", his decisions cause a snowballing plummet downward, costing him his reputation and his freedom. Sydney is left to navigate her feelings toward her brother, the accident that left another youth completely altered, and her parents scrambling to pick up the pieces of their fractured family. Caught in the mayhem, Sydney seeks and finds solace in the most unexpected of pizza parlors and encounters a definition of family that breaks all the definitions she's constructed over the years. Meeting the Chatham's, Sydney discovers the sweet taste of unconditional acceptance, and the example of a family working together that she's been searching for her entire life. With them she experiences parts of herself that she did not know existed, including the strength to stand up for herself and the chance for necessary confrontations to come to light. She learns that she is not alone, and that when she allows it to happen, the innocent and strong first love gives way to fulfilling more of her dreams than she ever hoped possible. Sydney's story, expertly wound, gives us each the chance to believe that dreams can and really do come true.
-- Cindy Heidelberger Larson