Save the Date

Save the Date


Title: Save the Date

Author: Morgan Matson

Series: N/A

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK

Release Date: June 14th 2018

Rating:

Five Stars

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 Plot

“When I’d pictured this weekend – all of us together, everything going perfectly – it had not allowed for things like an embezzling wedding planner disappearing on us.”

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.

“I think we have a problem.”
“That’s okay,” Bill said, giving him an I’ve-got-this smile. “That’s my job. I can fix any wedding-related problem as long as it doesn’t have to do with the weather, I have no control over the weather.”
“Can you make me a clergyman with a regular practise and a congregation?”
Bill paled. “Um. Maybe not.”

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.

…The Characters

“You’re doing the thing you always do.”
“No I’m not. What thing?”
“The thing where your siblings come to town and you forget all about everything else.”

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.

“Guys, should we have a General Grant Meeting at some point this weekend?”
“I thought all five of us had to be here for a GGM,” Danny said, taking another drink of his soda.
“The wedding planner quit?” Brooke asked, but J.J. was already talking over her.
“All five of us are here,” he said. “Mike’s back. He came for the wedding.”

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.

“You’re wrong,” I said to Bill.
“I don’t think I am.”
“It shouldn’t go there.”
“Says who?”
“Says me. That’s absolutely the wrong place for a koala.”

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.

12 thoughts on “Save the Date

  1. Really like the sound of the characterisation and particularly the sibling relationship makes me excited to pick this up! Love that the focus was on family as well. This sounds like a really good Matson book 🙂 I definitely think she’s a great YA contemporary writer!
    Awesome review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love all of her books as well! She’s one of my favorite authors. I think Save the Date is lower on my list, solely because it doesn’t touch Since You’ve Been Gone, Amy & Roger, or Second Chance Summer in my eyes. But I loved the craziness of it, and maybe if I re-read it I’ll think differently. I gave it 4/5 stars though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same here, anything Morgan Matson releases is going to be high on my TBR list. See I enjoyed Save the Date more than Since You’ve Been Gone but I agree it can’t touch Amy and Roger or Second Chance Summer. The craziness was my favourite part, sometimes you need a light hearted and crazy read right? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a wonderful review, Beth! ❤ I also loved Save The Date and all of the focus on family so, so much as well. I agree that it is probably one of Matson's lighter books, but I adore it so much, it made me smile and laugh and warmed my heart 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I listened to this on audio and i think i would have been better off actually reading it. There was just so much going on, haha 😀 What a disaster!
    The characters were great, and it was a funny story. I didn’t like how the siblings treated the brother’s girlfriend, but apart from that it was great!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve never tried an audiobook before but yeah I guess there are some books it’s better to read than listen to and I imagine this would be one of them. 🙂
      Oh I get what you mean, there was some positive development at the end between Charlie and her brothers girlfriend but it came a little too late I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely review, Beth! I think you described Charlie perfectly. This book was a joy to read, especially because of the humor and the family dynamics. I love how the romance was dialed back so that the focus remained on Charlie’s individual character growth and how her perceptions of her family gradually changed with each new revelation. I’m not sure this is my favorite Matson book, but I think it might be my third, the first being Amy & Roger and the second, Second Chance Summer! So happy you loved this one 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Azia. 🙂 Yes I love books with incredible family dynamics and this was a great read, honestly there were so many times when the adventures Charlie and her siblings got into had me laughing out loud. Plus the development throughout was incredible.
      That’ pretty much the same order of my favourite Morgan Matson books; Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is obviously my first choice but this was a great read too.
      Thanks Azia. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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