Save The Date – Morgan Matson – Simon Schuster – Published 5 June 2018
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.
Save The Date is a hilarious novel about family, growing up, and learning to accept change. In the midst of a wedding where everything that could go wrong does, the characters of Save The Date will warm your heart and make you smile.
Charlie Grant loves her big, loud, crazy family. So Charlie can’t wait for this weekend, her sister’s wedding and a chance for all her siblings to return home, for them to be a united family unit again. But when the wedding planner bails, Charlie’s absentee brother actually turns up, and Good Morning America plans to do a home interview upon the conclusion of her mother’s famous cartoon, Charlie knows that she will have to fight to ensure everything is perfect.
Save The Date is a multilayered story. I was a little confused at first. There are so many plot threats, so many interwoven stories and backstories that it took a few chapters to get my head around Charlie’s family, the family dynamics, how the comic strip fit in, what on earth was happening with Jesse and that prologue, and what had happened between Mike and the rest of the Grant family for him to be such an outsider in a tight-knit family. But all these wonderful elements slowly come together, the pieces falling into place and working together to form a delightful story.
Family is truly the feature of this story. Charlie idolises her family, and the wedding is a chance for them all to be together again. Yet everything is far from perfect. From the loaner dog, to missing suits, fighting relatives and feuding neighbours, there are plenty of laughable moments of chaos. The camaraderie between the Grant siblings is also jovial, yet not without a few tense moments and ultimate heart-to-hearts that reveals the strength of their relationships.
Despite this book being set around a wedding and Charlie having two possible love interests (but no, I wouldn’t call it a love triangle) romance doesn’t play too much of a role in the plot. There’s plenty of kissing and always the possibility of romance, but instead the focus is more on friendship and relationships, as well as how Charlie views people – family, friends and love-interests alike.
Save The Date is perfect for readers who enjoy light-hearted YA contemporary fiction. Another excellent offering from Morgan Matson.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Family, Weddings, Wedding planning, Cartoons, Relationships, Humour, Siblings, Friendship, Coming of age.
Reading age guide: Ages 13 and up.
Advisory: Sexual references, references to virginity, nudity and vaguely implied sexual relationships. Occasional coarse language, f*** (2), sh** (2), as***** (1), pi**(1). Other words used to replace inferred coarse language, eg. duck. Drug and alcohol use and references.
Published: 5 June 2018 by Simon Schuster.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 432 pages.