cover image Saint Anything

Saint Anything

Sarah Dessen, read by Taylor Meskimen. Listening Library, unabridged, 10 CDs, 12.5 hrs., $60 ISBN 978-1-101-91542-4

In Dessen’s novel, the teenage Sydney comes to terms with the incarceration of her golden-boy brother Peyton while navigating a new high school and the vicissitudes of first love. Reader Meskimen’s excellent performance is centered on the unassuming, quiet tones of the main character, but she also offers other voices, including a delightfully whimsical narration for Sydney’s new best friend Layla and a tight intonation for Sydney’s controlling mother. Other characters include Ames, a creepy hanger-on whose constant presence as a substitute family member during Peyton’s absence is a source of much of the novel’s tension; Meskimen captures his outward charm as well as the more sinister subtext. In all, this is a very satisfying audio performance by a young narrator worth following. Ages 12–up. A Viking hardcover. (May)