Sarah Dessen’s Saint Anything first came out May 5, 2015 (Happy Birthday, Bean!) and I have loved it ever since. Actually, to be fair, I loved it since before May fifth. Since the day Sarah Dessen announced the book’s release on Twitter. Then again when I read the description. And again when the first few chapters were released on NetGalley.
I love Sarah Dessen. She’s my all-time favorite author, and she and her fellow YA writer friends are true #squadgoals. I re-read one Sarah Dessen book at least once a month. Her writing cures all. Reading slumps. Writing slumps. Life slumps. You name it. She’s like the penicillin of writers.
I once read a one-star GoodRead’s review that described Sarah Dessen’s writing as “formulaic.” (I was obvi only reading to prove that old Chinese adage “read the one-star reviews when you want to remember that some people have really dumb opinions on really great pieces of art” true.) Here is my response to that review: You know what else is formulaic? The pythagorean theorem. YOU DON’T. MESS. WITH. WHAT. WORKS. (I also secretly feel this way about Pitbull songs.)
Which brings me back to Saint Anything. If Sarah Dessen is formulaic, then this is her formula at its best. This is a book I passed on to my best friend, my sister, my mom, and now, the Internet. Wow, some days it’s truly too easy to be a good person.
I loved everything about this book. Sydney was kind, sympathetic, and real. And Mac was, well, perfect? As close to perfect as you can get before people start telling you how perfection isn’t real?
“You only really fall apart in front of the people you know can piece you back together.” – Sarah Dessen
But the absolute best part of the book? THE FOOD. Seriously, you cannot read this book without craving French fries, lollipops, and pizza.
So, my weekend recommendation? Read (or re-read) Saint Anything, and then whip up some homemade pizza in honor of the Chathams.
When I’m making pizza, I love to make a homemade crust. I guess it just, like, feels healthy if I actually have to open a bottle of yeast and wait for the dough to rise? (Flawed logic? Perhaps.) Betty Crocker’s pizza crust recipe is my personal favorite, but sometimes I do get lazy and make pizza on store-bought naan bread, which is equally delish.
When it comes to sauce, I am not at all picky. Though homemade may taste better, I’m usually too lazy to actually open a can of crushed tomatoes. Typically I opt for a bottle of Classico’s Florentine spinach and cheese spaghetti sauce (or I steal some of my mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce when I’m home to visit).
My favorite part about making pizza is you can totally clear out all the veggies in your crisper without actually having to consume any salad. Fried mushrooms, peppers, and onions make delicious pizza toppings, but if I’m out of one or all, I opt instead for a plain pineapple and cheese pizza. If I’m feeling really adventurous (aka I’m feeding a bunch of carnivores but don’t feel like revoking my PETA membership), I’ll add some Vyes Veggie Ground Round on top.
Here is my secret to making restaurant-worthy pizza: fresh mozzarella and basil leaves. Seriously. You will feel like a culinary goddess as you grate the soft mozzarella and the air around you will smell like Italy as you break up basil leaves. Not only does this make your pizza look like it belongs on a magazine cover, it will taste like it belongs…well, like it belongs in your mouth.
This is the easiest recipe for a movie marathon with friends, an at-home date night, or…let’s be real, as the perfect accompaniment for a re-read of Saint Anything.
Wishing you all a deliciously cheesy pizza night!