Title: Save the Date
Author: Morgan Matson
Series: It’s a standalone
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
My Stars: 3/5
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. (Synopsis from Goodreads)
I’ve read ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ by Morgan Matson and even though I liked it, it didn’t really make a fan of her. I’ll gravitate more towards Kasie West than Morgan Matson. With this I mean that Morgan Matson is known to leave her endings open and her stories are more serious in a way where Kasie West’s are cute beyond measure. I am someone who likes definite spelled out endings more than open ones (which is probably also why I read more fantasy since they often have more spelled out endings).
Don’t get me wrong though, Morgan Matson’s books are great with portraying characters that are finding themselves or improving from things that are holding them back, fear of change or not living up to their potential because they’re hiding behind their friends. Matson is really good at portraying scenarios like this that you can relate to.
That being said, I liked Save the Date. Charlie, as the youngest in the family has always looked up to her siblings and considering that their lives also play out in a comic strip created by their mother from even before she was born she, along with the rest of the country, views her family as the “perfect family.” She encounters some problems and situation on the weekend of her sister’s wedding that open her eyes and show her that what she believes might not be real.
I found that I could relate to Charlie. At first I thought she was childish and naive to cling to the idea of her family staying the same even when the outside world changes but after a few more chapters and especially towards the end I could see that our mindsets were the similar at times. From the very first chapters it was already clear that her fear reflected in her attitude towards people (cue Brooke). I’m definitely not as bad as Charlie but I could see myself in certain situations.
Morgan Matson’s books are written in a way where you discover the character’s places for development in chapter one and you can, and mostly likely will, critisize them but only in later chapters you find that you can relate, giving you the oppertunity to grow with the characters.
I did see character development but only towards the end. It irritated me a bit that it was so late in the book and I wanted it to be earlier. She needed a seriously obvious wake up sign for her to open her eyes and see that she was living in a fantasy, or better said; the strip.
Sometimes I was so perplexed with her reasoning or behaviour that I needed a moment before I could continue reading. With all that being said, I didn’t really love Charlie as a character (even though she grew on me a bit) and I think a lot of people will find her a hit or a miss.
The story itself felt a bit rushed. It was because everything something was resolved another thing popped up like a Jack in a box. It was probably intentional to reflect on how Charlie was feeling as well as to show how she tries to hard to have her family satisfied, even as her own expense, but at one point it was just too much for me and I had to put the book down for a few days. Everything started being so chaotic tha I forgot about certain characters and just couldn’t keep up anymore. Something needed to lighten up the mood which J.J. did for me.
J.J. is Charlie’s second older brother and he is adorable. He kept making jokes or just comments that were idiotic and made you laugh. From the moment he was introduced I knew he would be my favorite character in the book and I wasn’t wrong. He kept me laughing through out the book and his scoffing is one of my favorite things ever.
I gave Save the Date 3.75 stars because even though I had some probems with the fast pacing and main characters, Save the Date was a good and enjoyable story. I recommend it to you if you’re looking for a book that you can pass the time with or make you laugh.