Review: Save the Date by Morgan Matson


Title: Save the Date
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Hardcover, 432 Pages
Published June 2018


Summary: 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.

I've been a huge Morgan Matson fan for the longest time, so when I found out that this book was going to be a thing, I was super excited and added it to my TBR immediately. I was supposed to buy a copy at BookCon and meet Morgan and get it signed, but we ended up being so exhausted from BookExpo that we took a day off from BookCon, and that happened to be the day where she was signing. I was super bummed, but then I ordered the book on the Barnes & Noble website because I still wanted to read it -- and it ended up working out, because I got it cheaper, with free shipping, it was signed, AND it had four bonus chapters as part of a B&N exclusive! 

Okay, okay. Time to get into the review!

As the summary explains, it's the day before Charlie Grant's sister is getting married, and everything has descended into chaos. Charlie is the youngest of five children, and the only one who still lives at home, and she's looking forward to spending the day before the wedding catching up with all of them and spending their time together since they don't really get to do that anymore. The only problem? Their wedding planner turned out to be a total scammer, so everything is falling apart, there are family feuds and broken alarms and unexpected family members and pretty much everything that can go wrong is going wrong. So Charlie is caught trying to spend their last day as a complete family making everything perfect while also wanting to spend time with her siblings, and it's a lot. But it's also really hilarious and really sweet, too! 

I really, really loved this book. It kept me smiling from ear to ear and I read it so quickly because I couldn't put it down -- I wanted to keep up with the hijinks of the Grant family and see how all of the wedding craziness panned out. This book definitely had a level of controlled chaos to it that only someone like Morgan Matson could master -- while it was clear that tons of wild things were happening at once, I wasn't ever confused about it, because it was all explained so well and the reader was led through the story with such ease. So I really appreciated that!

It was both frustrating and hilarious to see all of the chaos that ensued as the wedding got closer and closer, and even as it was still going on! I knew that every time Charlie thought they were in the clear, things weren't going to stay in the clear. Things kept popping up that made me cringe and close my eyes and hope that everything would work out, and it was awesome to see how creative and quick Charlie and Bill, the wedding planner, were when things started to fall apart.

It was also really cool that this entire book took place over 24 hours -- because a lot went on, it sometimes didn't feel that way, but it was great to see how Morgan Matson was able to pack so much drama and hilarity into such a short timeframe.

(Also, I have a beagle named Lola, so the appearance of Waffles the beagle was so adorable and my poor dog had to listen to me narrate some of the Waffles scenes to her as if she had any idea what was going on, LOL.)

Something else I really enjoyed about this book is that it's set in the same world as The Unexpected Everything. There were several scenes that involved Andie Walker and her dad (and Clark!), and I found myself swooning and laughing and smiling the same way I did back when I read that book all those summers ago, because I loved it so much. It was a bunch of little references that wouldn't hinder your understanding of Save the Date if you haven't read The Unexpected Everything before, but they were still cute little references that diligent readers could pick up on and appreciate if they wanted to.

The family dynamic was also something that I really loved about this book, as well as the comic strip story line! They had such a big family that was always so connected and hilarious, and it felt like each family member had their own distinct personality. And the fact that Charlie's mom used this chaos in a comic strip that became a national phenomenon was so sweet and funny -- and the fact that there were little inserts with actual Grant Central Station comics was a fun little addition to read!

There's really nothing I disliked about this book, because it was so wonderful -- but I maybe would've enjoyed a little more development on the Bill/Charlie front. This book felt like less of a romance and more of sweet, family-oritented book -- and there's nothing wrong with that, because I totally loved it! But I feel like the Bill storyline was teased a bit and then got lost in the fray of everything else going on, so I kind of wish we had a little more of that.

Overall, I absolutely loved Save the Date -- this is my third 5-star read in a row, which isn't super common for me, but I'm absolutely loving it. This book is almost 450 pages but I tore through it and couldn't put it down in just a few days because the chaos drew me in and I just kept wanting to see what would happen next. If this book isn't on your TBR yet, it absolutely should be, because you're missing out!





3 comments

  1. I so want to read this one! I think it just looks fun. Just what I need sometimes! Thanks for your review!

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  2. This book has caught my interest since the day I heard it was coming out. I loved Amy & Roger's Epic Detour and really want to get to this one. Thanks for sharing your review.

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  3. YESSS. This novel was an absolute delight. Morgan Matson is a QUEEN when it comes to characterization. I'm obsessed with the entire Grant family (especially Waffles) and the comic strip thing is such a fascinating, unique aspect.

    I agree that I would have liked to see more Bill & Charlie, but at the same time I'm kinda glad there wasn't a bunch of it? I personally really like a lot of romance but I don't think it would have fit in the book. I dunno.

    Either way, lovely review!
    - Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover

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