Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

See the cover for Sarah Dessen's latest novel, 'Saint Anything'

Posted on

Saint Anything

Sarah Dessen is synonymous with contemporary YA fiction. Similarly, Dessen’s book covers have a distinct look indicating you’ve got a Sarah Dessen novel in front of you. Her 12th novel, Saint Anything, hits shelves in May, and EW has an exclusive first look at the cover (above).

This is not a drill, folks. Those dark covers are on a Sarah Dessen novel, making it a pretty big departure from her previous works. Here, the author answers a few questions about her latest novel.

EW: What do you think of the cover? It’s certainly a departure from your other books.

SARAH DESSEN: I’m so in love with this cover. Saint Anything is definitely different from my previous novels. It’s got a love story, but there’s also a family, friendship, and the intricate balance of emotions between siblings. Really, it’s a wider canvas, with more moving pieces, and I think the cover reflects that. I can’t wait for people to read it.

Why did you decide to write something a little different?

After The Moon and More, I’d actually started another book, but I was really struggling with it. The voice just wasn’t there. Everything felt forced and hard. Writing is never easy, but this was different. Eventually, I decided to set the book aside, which was really scary because I had no idea when, or if, another idea would come. I just had to have faith. So I waited. I read a lot and took walks and tried to breathe. And then, finally, I had a flash of a girl in a courtroom, and a brother who was both revered and reviled. The rest just followed from there. Thank goodness!

Tell readers a little about Saint Anything.

It’s a book about family, as I said, and the ways that siblings can both inspire and overshadow us. There’s a love story that is one of my favorites I’ve ever written, as well as a friendship with a girl named Layla who I wish had been my BFF in high school. Also a band that was my favorite since Truth Squad—which is really saying something—and lots of pizza, lollipops, and French fries. A bit of everything!

Where did you come up with the idea for Saint Anything?

When this story first came, it was all about family. My narrator, Sydney, has a brother who has always been dynamic and bigger than life. When he has a fall from grace—a big one—it shatters everyone who is left behind. I knew I’d add in a love story, and I wanted to cover the power of friendship as well. But the relationship between Sydney and her brother Peyton was something new, and I loved diving into it.

Anything else you want to add?

I feel like this book is the beginning of a new phase for me. It’s been almost 20 years since I published my first novel, and I’ve been through a lot of changes both with my writing and life in general. I’ve grown up, and I think my voice as a writer has too. I’m hopeful this book can show everyone the direction I want to head toward for the next 20 years. Fingers crossed.

Comments