Save the Date by Morgan Matson
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.
Do you ever do that thing where you watch a video of someone discussing an author or see a blog post about a book and then suddenly see it everywhere? Except, that the author or book has been out forever and you spend a weird amount of time trying to figure out if you just somehow missed the trend or if it is just a sudden burst of hype? That’s how I felt about Morgan Matson. I’ve watched so many BookTube hauls recently which included Save the Date and I was a bit taken aback to realize this author has published several books whose names I recognize and I never put two and two together.
Anyhow, this sounded like a super-cute and sweet read. I’ll be honest, I went through a period recently when a lot of stressful things were going on in my life and I felt like I didn’t have a good outlet for dealing with them. Even though there were friends around ready to help and talk and aid me in letting off steam, I didn’t feel like being around people. I was constantly anxious and restless. Reading this book helped quite a lot, because for long periods of pages, I just kinda floated away in the story and lost myself for a while. So yeah, this is probably quite a biased review because of that.
First up, I loved the little comic strips at the start of sections. I didn’t get it at first, but after a bit of reading it made a lot of sense and it was a sweet and quirky little addition that added a lot to the book. Some brownie points were awarded for that. I also found it very interesting comparing the family in the comic strip sections to the actual novel I was reading, but hey that would be spoilers and we don’t want those.
Character-wise, I loved the whole Grant family. They leapt off the page, and they seemed like genuine people with actual flaws, and it just made reading Save the Date that much better. Part of the reason I kept reading was to see what all the drama with Mike was about, but another is that I liked seeing them all interact with each other. It was almost like reading a [smaller] version of Cheaper by the Dozen. Lots of things were going on, and there was a whole lot of chaos, but in a way it also managed to be really sweet because all the characters were realistic. Charlie might have actually been my favourite. I loved her sweetness and her determination, and her admittedly rose-tinted view of the world. She also managed to sound and act like a teenager, which is something some YA authors somehow fail to capture. One thing that did annoy me a bit, but was obviously a key point in the story [no spoiler] is how chilled she could be about things, even really huge decisions. I know this is my own personality clouding my judgement a bit, but there were a few moments when I wanted to reach into the book, grab Charlie by the shoulders and shake them yelling: STOP BEING SO CALM ABOUT BIG DEAL THINGS.
If we’re being honest, the plot was a little bit predictable and tropey. If there was a bingo card kind of thing for everything that could go wrong with a wedding, this book had a full house. Obviously, part of the appeal is that it is so goddamn hilarious when things go a bit chaotic, but I could still guess what was going to happen next. Not that that is so much of a bad thing. I did laugh a whole lot at Save the Date, particularly whenever the dog got involved, but yeah. If you’re looking for a light summer read that’s all about hilarious mishaps and family cuteness, Save the Date definitely makes it onto the recommendation list.
Overall, I’m giving Save the Date 7.5/10 stars. It was pretty predictable, and the plot didn’t really go anywhere completely original [it reminded me of both Cheaper by the Dozen and Father of the Bride] but it was a fun book to read and I loved the Grant family so so much.
Has anyone else read this book or plans to? What did y’all think of it? I love reading your thoughts and opinions on the novels I review so feel free to leave a comment in the comment section and I’ll get back to you ❤