Looking for cute dogs named after food items, ghosts in the ceiling, or awesome family dynamics? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Morgan Matson’s Save the Date! Matson’s a pretty well known author, but if you think you’ve seen all there is to see from her, then you haven’t seen anything yet!
Save the Date is her latest novel which revolves around Charlie Grant, whose older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home and her entire, very large, family will be at home all together for the first time in years.
Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend before the house is sold and everything changes, but the weekend is turning out to be an absolute disaster. Howling dogs, broken alarm systems, and paper girls with grudges are just the tip of the iceberg.
But over this weekend, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll learn that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.
Wow, I really enjoyed reading this one!
I’ve read one of Matson’s other works–The Unexpected Everything–but I did find it to be a bit long and dragging.
Thankfully, the issues that The Unexpected Everything had were completely patched up in Save the Date but kept the parts that make all of Matson’s books really enjoyable, which made this book so much more great.
I mean, first of all, the book has that Matson-eque chaos. It takes place over only a couple of days, and there’s a bunch of chaos over wedding stuff and family problems and cartoon issues and Good Morning America (say what?!).
There’s so many things going on, but Matson manages and balances it all very well. I think by book 5, Matson has really gotten the hang of tying a contemporary together by the end. I felt like we got an adequate amount of closure from this book, and this is something that contemporaries usually lack.
I do think that it kept a pretty good pace and didn’t drag as much as The Unexpected Everything, but it was still a little long. For something that takes place over only a couple of days, over four hundred pages was longer than I think was needed, but it’s forgivable to me.
This was honestly the only real downside I found to this book, and if you’re familiar with Matson’s work, you know that her writing, as long as it may be, can feel like it speeds by in a snap.
I ended up binging this whole book in one morning, from breakfast to before I started lunch, and have absolutely no regrets. The family relationships within this book were all so precious, and I really love how hashed out they were. I think the best thing Matson did in this book was create these family relationships and hurdles that Charlie had to work through in only one weekend, and I feel like she really managed to learn a lot about herself in this time period.
There’s also a lot of good friendship themes, though it felt like family still took up the forefront. And guess what? The romance is sooo tiny. Here’s what I think a break-up of this book’s themes would be:
Family (45%) + Charlie’s Personal Growth (44%) + Friendship (10%) + Romance (1%) = Save the Date
It was really awesome to see Matson step back from the more romantic side of things, although the romance was definitely teasing enough to make you want something to happen.
I definitely was in love with Charlie’s whole family, and the way Matson tied in the comic that Charlie’s mom writes–Grant Central Station–was really nice in highlighting the family dynamics as well as contributing to the chaos.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this one and I think Matson did a fantastic job with this! It was very satisfying to read, and a really great summer sort of read. If you like fun, semi-chaotic contemporaries feat. weddings and all sorts of things going wrong, I totally recommend you check out Save the Date!
Thank you so much to Simon Teen and the FFBC for sending me an early hard copy in exchange for an honest review!
More About the Book
Save the Date by Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Genre: 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.
More 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.
Want to try your luck at winning a copy of Save the Date for yourself? (Although, it might not be feasible with the chaos around the book ;)) Check out the giveaway in the Rafflecopter button below where three lucky winners will receive a copy of Save the Date! (US only). Or, you can stay safe and buy your own copy through one of the buy links in the “More About this Book” section!
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops on the tour below!