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Literature / Saint Anything

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Saint Anything is a 2015 young adult novel by Sarah Dessen.

Peyton Stanford was the glue that held his family together— until a drunk-driving accident seriously injures a teenage boy and lands Peyton in prison. Sydney, Peyton's younger sister, is left adrift, angry that her parents continue to see Peyton as a victim and don't seem to care about the boy he hit. When she transfers schools, hoping for a change, she meets the close-knit and slightly eccentric Chatham family. As the Chathams accept her into their lives, she begins to gain new insight into her own family and herself.


This novel contains examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: Sydney's parents are unaware of how uncomfortable Ames makes Sydney feel, even allowing him to stay at the house alone with her and eventually let him move in with them. Near the end they finally start to pick up on it and kick him out but it's not until they catch him trying to force himself on Sydney that they really figure it out.
    • Averted with Mrs. Chatham, who gives Sydney advice at several points.
  • Always Someone Better: Sydney initially felt this way about her brother Peyton but once he starts acting out this opinion lessens.
  • Attempted Rape: Ames tries to force himself on Sydney when he catches her sneaking out; it's luckily interrupted by Sydney's father.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Saint Anything hints that Sydney will visit Peyton in prison or talk to David Ibarra. At the end she merely has plans to visit Peyton and although she does go to see David, we don't see the conversation.
  • Bastard Boyfriend: Spence.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet:
  • Continuity Nod: Rogerson of Dreamland is mentioned. He is apparently incarcerated in the same prison as Peyton.
    • Mac is wearing a Truth Squad t-shirt when Layla first meets him.
    • Dave from What Happened to Goodbye takes Sydney's orders at Frazier Bakery, and Deb is still the Jackson High student ambassador.
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  • Faux Affably Evil: Ames has been the Stanford parents' rock ever since Peyton went to prison, especially sympathetic and supportive towards Julie. Sydney, however, sees through him and is repulsed. And then he catches her trying to sneak out...
  • Formerly Fat: Mac.
  • Loony Friends Improve Your Personality: Sydney's new friends, especially the Chatham family. However, Sydney does go out of her way to maintain her friendships with her older friends from Perkins Day.
  • Never My Fault: Sydney feels that her family believes that nothing is ever her brother Peyton's fault. Over the course of the story she learns that this isn't really the case, and Peyton in particular feels a lot of guilt.
  • Papa Wolf: Whatever Sydney's dad does to Ames after catching him assaulting Sydney, it's enough that Ames could have pressed charges; he only backs off when Sydney agrees not to press charges on Ames.
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  • Properly Paranoid: Sydney consistently feels uncomfortable around Ames, despite her family's strong friendship with him. He tries to force himself on her near the end of the novel.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Peyton and Sydney.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Fries for Layla.
    • Layla also loves lollipops, specifically pink flavors like cotton Candy and bubblegum. Sydney's favorite flavor is root beer.


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