There are no spoilers in this review.
Morgan Matson has been for years now, one of the authors I automatically recommend when someone needs and / or wants to read YA contemporaries. In the genre (and not just there), she is certainly one of my favorite authors, so I was eagerly waiting to read her latest release, Save The Date and… as always, it did not disappoint.
A BEAUTIFUL, FAMILY-FOCUSED STORY
“It was that feeling like when the lights come up after a movie—how it takes a minute to let go of the world you’d been immersed in.”
Save The Date takes place in the span of three days, as Charlie prepares for her older sister’s wedding in the family house. Obviously, nothing will turn out as planned and, when you think it can’t get any messier, it can.
Unlike Morgan Matson’s previous YA contemporary, The Unexpected Everything, that focused a little more on romance, Save The Date really is family focused. Honestly, it feels like a breath of fresh air when family is so often disregarded, to see it so predominant and loving here. Family is what makes the world go round for Charlie and we can feel how important these links are to her in the story, which is something I loved and could easily relate to, as well, even if I don’t have a big family like that, at all.
Being so family-focused, Save The Date still manages to have a place for a slow-growing romance. The romance is not predominant at all and we barely get to see it, but the glimpses and promises of a future romance to develop after the book ends made me, well, giddy, because they were adorable.
THREE-DIMENSIONAL, REALISTIC CHARACTERS
“So maybe I wasn’t just the youngest, the one who didn’t get told things. I was also the one who came to help, who tried to make things work, who they called when they were in trouble.”
One of Morgan Matson’s strongest suits definitely lies in her characters. She always manages to create amazing, three-dimensional characters that feel realistic and almost friendly, just like if you know them in real life, too. I really enjoyed Charlie’s voice, her stubbornness, her confusion about what to do next, her drive to make things right and to keep her family and the wedding together as all hell broke loose in the story.
Each member of the family and side-character were equally interesting and a lot of fun, each with their own personalities and little quirks. I have to admit that I had a bit of a hard time keeping track of them at first, though.
ABOUT GROWING UP AND MOVING ON
“Because, it would have been cheating, in a way. You don’t get to freeze the picture when you want it. It would have been living in the past and eventually, you just start doing the same jokes over and over again.”
This book falls on the bigger side of contemporaries, with over 400 pages, yet there wasn’t a moment where it felt long, or when I was bored. With all the drama happening, I was entertained from page one and couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.
More than a fun book, Save The Date also tackles interesting topics and makes us think about change, moving on, but also as seeing people for who they really are, and not that made-up fantasy you had of them when you were little. It’s about growing up overall and I found out that there was such an interesting development through the story, even if some issues were resolved a bit too quickly.
If you’re looking for a fun, family-focused contemporary I would definitely recommend that one. With great characters and great character development as well, this should be on your summer TBR, or on any TBR if you’re a contemporary fan!
I buddy-read this book with the lovely Kat @ Life & Other Disasters, check out her review right here!
Final rating: 4,5 drops!
Morgan Matson, Save The Date, Published by Simon & Schuster Books for young readers, June, 5th 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.
Did you read Save The Date? Do you want to?
Are you a fan of Morgan Matson’s books, or did you ever read them? Who’s your favorite YA contemporary writer? Let me know in comments!
Totally unrelated to this review, but: as I mentioned in my monthly wrap-up, I am going on holidays and therefore taking a blogging break. I’m leaving on Sunday and will make myself take a little break from blogging while I explore Scotland and everything else. You can find me over on twitter and instagram where I will share my adventures and pictures! See you in a week! Have a wonderful week everyone!! xxx