Welcome! My name is Taylor, and I like books. A lot. In this bi-weekly column I’m going to be reviewing the books I read so you can decide if you want to read them too. Some books may be old, some may be new, some may have been sitting on my bookshelf for months, collecting dust as I think “Crap, I really should have read that by now.”
You can add me on Goodreads to find out what I’m reading all year long. Now, on to the review!
If you’re looking for a great summer novel to enjoy after months of exhausting academic procrastination (I mean, “hard work”), look no further than Morgan Matson’s latest novel, Save the Date. Save the Date is such an enjoyable read. Like a lot of YA romances, this one is easy to get into and difficult to put down. But I want to be careful not to dismiss this as just a romantic beach-read because it really is a lot more than that.
The majority of Save the Date takes place over just three days, and those three days are filled with chaos, drama, and excitement due to the wedding of Charlie Grant’s older sister. Charlie wants everything to be perfect. She wants her sister to be happy, she wants to enjoy the short amount of time she has with her entire family back home, and she really wants to reunite with her childhood crush, Jesse. Each day brings a new goal the Grants must accomplish, specifically the rehearsal dinner, the wedding itself, and the family’s interview with Good Morning America. Despite Charlie’s desires and her best intentions, almost nothing that happens during these three does really go her way.
Have you ever had an impossibly horrible day when you just can’t get anything right and you stop and think: What else could go wrong? Well, imagine that day is the day your sister gets married and that essentially everything else that could go wrong really does go wrong. That’s Save the Date.
Oh, and you’re probably wondering, why Good Morning America? Well, the answer is the most unique and one of the most enjoyable aspects of the novel. For decades Charlie’s mom has written a comic strip not-so-loosely based on the Grant family titled Grant Central Station. The comic strip has made the family a household name (while also causing some rifts in the title family’s real-life household). Upon the ending of the comic strip, the family will appear on Good Morning America to discuss the strip and its impact. Is the interview a success? … Read the book, and then you can be the judge of that. I will say the Grant Central Station comic strips that appear before some of the chapters are really great and help to immerse you even more into Charlie’s world.
Save the Date is a bit longer than your average YA book, but that’s nothing new if you’ve ever read any Morgan Matson. I mean, this book is long, but it’s not slow. So, I think the length is absolutely worth it. Also, there are a lot of characters in this book. I’m always a little skeptical when there are so many different people to keep track of, but I think Save the Date handles all these characters well. All the characters in Charlie’s family are especially unique, and they seem like a realistic family.
I really recommend Save the Date. Folks, this book has everything: family drama, first loves, college decisions, dreamy boys, ill-intentioned neighbors, loveable dogs, and disaster upon disaster upon disaster. It’s basically like a coming-of-age YA rom-com that also manages to tackle a numerous amount of issues surprisingly well. And, it’s another great example of how YA as a genre can be so influential for young people. I have a feeling a lot of young people, especially young girls, are going to read this book and really identify with Charlie and her struggles. And that is what makes this one so much more than just a perfect beach read.
Disclaimer: An ARC of this novel was sent to the reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect the review in any way.