Title: Save the Date
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
Release Date: June 14th 2018
From the author of Since You’ve Been Gone and The Unexpected Everything comes a dreamy story of summer romance and finding yourself, perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen
Charlie Grant tries to keep her life as normal as possible. Hanging out with her best friend, pining for Jesse Foster – who she’s loved since she was twelve – and generally flying under the radar as much as she can.
But sometimes normal is just another word for stuck, and this weekend that’s all going to change. Not only will everyone be back home for her sister’s wedding, but she’s also juggling:
– a rented dog that just won’t stop howling
– an unexpectedly hot wedding-coordinator’s nephew
– her favourite brother bringing home his HORRIBLE new girlfriend
– fear that her parents’ marriage is falling apart
– and the return to town of the boy she’s loved practically all her life…
Over the course of four days Charlie will learn there’s so much more to each member of her family than she imagined, even herself, and that maybe letting go of the things she’s been holding on tightest to can help her find what really keeps them together.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
My Thoughts On…
The weekend of her sisters’ wedding has arrived, and for Charlie this means one weekend where all her siblings are together under one roof for the first time in ages. Very quickly though things start going wrong; the original wedding coordinator has fled after being accused of embezzling and she’s left behind so many problems which Charlie finds herself trying to fix. As well as making sure Linnie’s wedding goes off without a hitch Charlie has to deal with her crush and her estranged brother returning home as well.
Save the Date is a cute YA contemporary read which focuses on family, which makes it one of the best kinds of YA contemporary books I’ve read. Over the course of one weekend Charlie realises the perfect four days she’d hoped for with her siblings isn’t going to be what she envisioned it being. What Save the Date seems to focus on is Charlie’s growth and character development as she deals with all the issues the wedding throws up and learns more about her ‘perfect’ family.
It’s not just the return of Mike which throws Charlie’s plans out the window. Her mother’s popular comic strip is coming to an end after twenty-five years, bringing its own brand of chaos to their home, and her favourite brother has brought his new girlfriend home, a girlfriend none of the family knew anything about. It seems like the closer the wedding gets more things seem to fall apart, but at least Charlie has the new wedding coordinators nephew to help her out.
Reading all the problems Charlie had to try and fix, the issues which no one could have predicted, never failed to make me smile, but it was the dynamic between Charlie and her siblings I loved the most. Save the Date is definitely one of Morgan Matson lighter books, but alongside the humour there’s a great underlying message of change and family, and how the people we love aren’t perfect.
Charlie loves her family, and clearly has an incredibly close relationship with her parents and her siblings. However she has a tendency to become too wrapped up in them, and it leads to her forgetting other things and people who are just as important. Charlie isn’t a naïve character, she just doesn’t seem anything wrong with being close to her siblings even when it means she forgets to find cover for her editors meeting, or call back her best friend who’s going through issues of her own.
When it comes to her life Charlie sees things through rose tinted glasses. Growing up with her mother’s popular Grant Central Station comic taking inspiration from their lives has led to Charlie seeing the people close to her, her past and her life now as more idealic than it actually is. It’s only with her family all together again that Charlie starts seeing the cracks real life brings to every family and every life.
Charlie’s family was the highlight of this book. There’s a lot of them all crammed into one house for the wedding but I loved seeing them all interact with one another through Charlie’s eyes, especially as she grows as a character and realises they aren’t perfect the way she’s always seen them. One of the best things about this book was that there wasn’t a massive focus on the romantic relationship. Charlie has had a crush on Jesse since she was a child and last Christmas something finally happened between them, it was everything Charlie wanted it to be but he’s part of her life she’s seen through rose tinted glasses.
There’s also her interactions with Bill, the new wedding coordinators nephew. There’s the potential for something between them, which we see as they run all over town trying to put out the fires the previous wedding coordinator started. However while both these relationships were well written they were never the spotlight of this story, the spotlight was always on Charlie’s development and her relationship with her family.
When it comes to YA contemporary authors Morgan Matson is one of the best, and Save the Date is probably my second favourite of her releases. This book had me laughing out loud as I read about everything that went wrong in the run up to Linnie’s wedding and the banter between Charlie and her siblings.
What did you think of Save the Date? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.