Review: Save The Date

Save the Date

 

If there is one thing I love about the contemporary genre – it is Morgan Matson books. This girl knows how to write! Just in time for the wedding season, her latest book is one you don’t want to miss.

Short recap: The Grant family is a force to be reckoned with and one that nearly everyone knows. The family has been immortalized in comic form as the mom chose to put her family’s antics into syndication and share with the world. The youngest Grant, Charlie, has a hard time letting go and moving on, however. She is the last sibling at home and loves her family time. With her big sister’s wedding just days away, Charlie is thrilled at the idea of the family being together one last time before her childhood house is sold. What could go wrong with everyone in town? Everything, apparently.

Not to sound too cliche but there wasn’t much about this story that I didn’t enjoy. It was a roller coaster of chaos and mishaps that on times felt like too much. There is no way everything within a wedding could go wrong the way it did in this story. Sure, it was probably for the sake of humor and/or moving the story along, but there was a point where it felt like a little too much. What did cause me to give the higher rating to the overall story (4.5 stars) was the fact that this story was presented in all of its wonder with little to no love story involved! How can that happen? It’s a Morgan Matson story! I know it may be hard to believe but it’s true! Sure, Charlie’s character does have a boy she is crushing on and he does have a presence (obviously) but that isn’t the focus of the story. Family and friends stay the focal point and I thought that was brilliant.

This was completely a character driven story and it was done marvelously. Charlie was the youngest and last Grant to leave the family nest. She was having a hard time at the thought of another family living in her home but she doesn’t have a voice in the matter. She will soon be leaving to go to college and move on with her life. It was kind of crappy the way her siblings always expected her to solve their problems. But on the opposite side of that coin, Charlie never did stand up to her siblings to tell them that they would have to take care of themselves at some point. It felt like Charlie over-extended herself and scarified herself to make everyone else happy. That doesn’t ever end well. She does grow and have a great character arc throughout the story so never fear.

Although this is a big book and a long audio, it does fly by quickly. Why? Because it never slows down! There is always, and I do mean always, something happening. Whether it was the house alarm always going off, the neighbor claiming that things were too noisy, the war with the snotty papergirl not delivering papers, or the Journey cover band, it was a non-stop adventure. I know that seems like the wrong way to describe this story but it sort of was. I was addicted and could not wait to see what crazy thing happened next.

Do I recommend this to people? ABSOLUTELY. I loved every minute. This author is an auto-buy for me and always will be. I have yet to read a book of hers that I did not enjoy. This story pulled at my heartstrings and made me say, “AWWWW!” several times. If you have not read this already, please add it to your TBR and read as soon as you can. This was worth the time.

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: Save The Date

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

 

Save The Date by Morgan Matson

Save the Date

 

 

From Goodreads:

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.

 

If there is one thing I love it is a Morgan Matson book. I cannot wait to read this one!

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ARC Review: The Unexpected Everything (ADORABLE!!)

The Unexpected Everything

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Publication Date: May 2016

 

Morgan Matson has done it again. If you are expecting a fantastic, heart warming, tender story that will hit you in the right feels, then you are in for a treat!

The Unexpected Everything is the story of Andie, the daughter of a congressman who has her life all planned out. She has been raised in front of the cameras, groomed from a very young age to know exactly what to say, how to act, and what to wear. She even has the perfect friends. Things could not be any more perfect for her until her father’s office is involved in a potential scandal and comes under investigation. While the investigation is going on, Andie’s father is actually spending his time at home, which is not so ideal for either. On screen, Andie and her father have the perfect relationship, but off camera, they are more like complete strangers. Andie had the perfect summer planned with the perfect internship, which would get her into the perfect college, and it all falls apart. Along the way, she meets Clark, the handsome, mysterious new boy that moved into town and has caused Andie to rethink her three-week max policy of dating. Will Andie be able to get her life back on track after everything she planned has fallen apart? Will she be able to deal with the unexpected things life has in store for her?

This may be a huge book but it is worth your time. It is a quick read and you will not realize you have nearly 500 pages in front of you. I did not like Andie’s character at first, I will be honest. She came across as a spoiled brat who got away with everything because her mom has passed away and her dad was always gone because he was in the public spotlight. Thankfully Matson did an amazing job of developing Andie throughout the story to grow and actually grow up. I liked seeing Andie struggle with trying to make sense of the her like being turned upside down because it made her more relatable.

Clark is the yummy, delicious boy that is actually a shy nerd and he is perfect. The way he challenged Andie and her friends was great. My heart did break for him as his story was told. You could really tell he was hurting and had some skeletons in his closet. I wanted to give him a hug and tell him everything would be okay.

I do feel there may be a few too many characters in the story. I know that sounds crazy but Andie has a huge group of friends that she relied heavily on and trying to keep their stories straight gave me a slight headache. There were times I struggled to remember who was who and what role they played in Andie’s life.

Overall, yes, I adored this story. Matson did a fantastic job of telling a story that reminds the reader that family and being true to yourself is still so very important. That even though you may think you have life figured out, you better be read for whatever curve balls are thrown your way.

 

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Review: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

 

As usual, I am late to the party. I had heard nothing but great things about this book but took my time getting to it. I need to learn that nearly everything written by Morgan Matson is going to be amazing so there is no reason to put off reading her work. I finished this book in ONE sitting so that should tell you about truly great this story is.

 

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is the story of two teenagers, obviously Amy and Roger, that set out to drive from California to Connecticut. Before they even really begin their trip, they decide to change plans and take a detour. This detour will help both teenagers discover who they are and help them realize that this is the trip of a lifetime. It is difficult to review every single place Amy & Roger stopped along their detour, but it makes me wish I could hop in the car and just drive. They hit some places across America that sound like a heck of an experience. I loved how these places actually exist and that Morgan Matson truly visited each place.

 

At first I did not like Amy as a MC. I felt she was selfish and childish. I can kind of understand her struggles but felt she was putting far too much pressure and guilt on herself. I did adore Roger from the start. He was outgoing and trying to make the best of the situation. I did enjoy how these two characters interacted and loved reading about their adventures. It was so much fun that I could not stop reading this book. The constant growth and self discovery was amazing to read. In the end, I ended up loving both characters.

 

I am sure that I don’t need to push this book into your TBR as I have no doubt you have already read it. Am I the last person to have read it? Probably. If that is the case, I’m okay with it because this was a great story that completely engulfed me and never let me go.

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Review: Since You’ve Been Gone

Since You've Been Gone

 

Since You’ve Been Gone is the first Morgan Matson book I read. I know that is hard to believe but it is true. I remember seeing so much excitement around this story that I knew I had to pick up a copy for myself. It was one of the best decisions I made. This was truly one of the best books I have read and cannot stop recommending it to everyone. It lived up to all of the expectations and hype.

Emily and Sloane had a very fast friendship and they both loved every minute of it. Emily’s life changed for the better after they became friends on that fateful summer day. Sloane was the carefree, fun loving girl who was always up for a thrill, and Emily was happy someone like Sloane would be friends with someone as quiet and shy as Emily. Everything changes when Emily awakes one day to find Sloane gone. Sloane left no note, no goodbye, nothing, or so Emily thought until she found a list, more of a to-do list actually. It was a list of thirteen things Emily was supposed to complete … but how? Apple picking at night? Kiss a stranger? Who does stuff like that? Would Sloane reveal herself when the list was complete? Sloane must have had her reasons for leaving this to-do list so Emily sets out to complete the thirteen tasks, and maybe in the process, find herself and so much more.

I was hooked on this story from the start. Emily and Sloane’s characters were amazing to read. They had the kind of friendship I always wished I had… even as an adult. Reading everything from Emily’s point of view was great. She was such a great character, starting out with such a shy and quiet personality, and then developing into someone that was sure of herself and what she wanted. Emily’s character is very easy to identify with; I believe that is why I connected with her so quickly. I enjoyed seeing her connect with new friends and moving out of her comfort zone.

The pace of this story was perfect. I found myself tearing through this book, as if I could not devour it fast enough. The big thing I really, really enjoyed was that there was no love triangle!! There was romance, and it was with an amazing boy – Frank. He was the most swoon worthy character and I am grateful to the author for creating him. He was so perfect for Emily that it made my heart swell. Their romance is just unbelievable and not rushed. I shipped on them hard.

 

This story will always be one of the best books I have ever read. Sure, this is the perfect summer read, but it is also perfect to read any time of year. It is a coming of age story that everyone should read, no matter his or her age.

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