[Book Thoughts] Save The Date by Morgan Matson

Book Details:

Format: eARC & Hardback
Source: Publisher & Bought
Read: July 2018

Synopsis:

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.

My Thoughts

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for an e-copy of this book for review!

Oh, Morgan Matson. My first introduction to the books of Morgan Matson was reading Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour back in 2012, then moving on to Second Chance Summer – both books I absolutely LOVED. I feel like since then I’ve been trying to get the same feelings I had reading those first books – especially SCS – but nothing has come close. The last two books have been just okay for me and I really think that it’s time for me to stop reading books by Matson.

Of course, that’s not to say her writing is terrible – really, I think Morgan Matson would write great screenplays – but I just don’t think her books are working for me anymore. Save The Date sounded like it would be a lot of fun, but I felt like it lacked emotion and those really in-depth family conversations and struggles that I was looking for. I loved the storyline of Mark and his mother and wanted more of that in this book, but I got a LOT of silliness instead, something that would’ve translated better on the screen than in a book. The story was definitely cute to begin with, but it just started to get predictable as everything that could go wrong, goes wrong, and eventually it felt too unrealistic and even though it’s a work of fiction, I would like to have something that still feels real.

There’s also Charlie, the main character, who I really, really disliked. She was stubborn and selfish and just plain mean. There’s a great character in the story, Brooke, and Charlie is horrible to her. I also felt like her worries about school were completely overshadowed by the so-called “romance” in the story – I didn’t get the obsession with Jesse in the beginning and there is a majorly forced romantic relationship as the story goes on, with a character who gets barely any screentime. There’s pretty much no chemistry at all and I knew the story would go downhill after we barely see Charlie’s love interest and then her sister tells Charlie that she thinks that the guy likes her – like, HOW did she come to that conclusion when we barely see this character to begin with?

I also had a hard time with Charlie’s mother, who writes a very popular comic strip about their family, The Grant Family. She seemed completely delusional about the separation between work and family, not caring who she would hurt in the storylines she created in her comics. As a mother, this completely horrified me! As for the rest of the characters, we barely get to know anyone. For a book that’s over 400 pages, I’d like to end with actually knowing someone in the story, but everyone is pretty forgettable because we just don’t go very deep into anyone.

Anyway, this story was just not for me and I think it’s time that I stop saving the date for Matson and try other authors. This story was way too long (I pretty much started skimming and felt like I wasn’t missing anything at all) and the characters way too forgettable. I’m kind of mad that I bought a copy of this book, thinking I’d love it, since it’s now going into my donate pile.

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My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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