Save the Date by Morgan Matson
on June 5, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.
The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.
There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.
There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.
Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.
Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.
When I came across Save the Date on Goodreads, I immediately knew I wanted to read it, because it gave me major Sixteen Candles (one of my favorite teen movies) vibes. And guess what, my suspicion was correct. Like Sixteen Candles, there were a lot of hilariously disastrous events that took place before, during, and after Charlie’s sister’s wedding.
Charlie is going through an emotionally tough time because she doesn’t like change, and a lot of changes are quickly approaching her. She has big decisions she needs to make, but keeps putting them off. I didn’t like Charlie for most of the book, because she was often immature, selfish, and sometimes, inconsiderate. She kept envisioning this perfect weekend with her “perfect” family, and when things started getting in the way of her plans, she angrily lashed out at her family and best friend. I felt a lot more compassionate towards Charlie once she started to reflect on some decisions she’s made in the past, ones that she realizes could have, and should have, been better. On another note: I also really loved following her around as she frequently, and frantically, tried to stop her older sister’s wedding from completely falling apart.
Charlie’s mom is a famous author/artist of Grant Central Station, a widely known, and beloved comic strip that is based on her big, wacky family. Throughout Save the Date, we’re treated to actual Grant Central Station comic strips. I loved each and every one!
There were so many things to love about Save the Date, the awesome 80s movie and music references, the hilarious wedding snafus, and especially, the entire Grant family, and their interactions with one another. No Grant faded into the background, because they all had their own memorable personalities and moments.
Save the Date is a charming and fun contemporary that made me smile and laugh-out-loud a lot. I know I’ll reread it sometime down the road.
A few of my favorite quotes
I took a breath, then lay down, staring straight up at the ceiling, trying not to think about how close our heads suddenly were. I found myself aware of every movement he was making and how loud my breathing suddenly was. Why had I never thought about how intimate it was, just sleeping in the same room as someone?
But if I didn’t move from this spot – the same place I’d been sitting before the world had ended – maybe this would turn out to be just a very realistic dream, one I could still wake up from.
It felt as though we more like equals now and, in a weird way, getting to know each other for the first time.
About the author
Morgan Matson was born in New York City and grew up there and in Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, but halfway through a theater degree, she started working in the children’s department of Vroman’s Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature.
Following college graduation (and the proud bearer of an incredibly useful theater/English degree) she received her M.F.A. in Writing for Children from The New school and worked as an editor for YA novels. She received a second M.F.A. (for reasons that made sense at the time) in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California.Her novels have been translated into dozens of languages, and published all over the world.
Morgan’s first novel, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, was inspired by her love of road trips, snacks, and the quest for the perfect playlist. It was named an ALA Top Ten Best Book, a Publisher’s Weekly Flying Start book, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Book Prize.
Her second novel, Second Chance Summer, was inspired by her experiences spending summers in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. It was the winner of the California Book Award (YA category) and was named to the ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults List, selected for the Oklahoma Sequoya List, and selected as a School Library Journal Best Book.
Her third novel, Since You’ve Been Gone, was published in 2014, and was a Publisher’s Weekly and international bestseller. It was named to the YALSA Teens Top Ten list, and the Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award List.
Morgan’s fourth novel, The Unexpected Everything, was published May 3rd, 2016.
She currently lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Murphy.
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