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.
This review is also available on The Nerd Daily. Absolutely loved this book and I can’t wait to read more from Morgan Matson in the future!
Review Time. Let’s go!
“Welcome to the family behind ‘Grant Central Station’”
Meet the Grants.
A big family made up of the parents, Jeffrey and Eleanor with the latter being the author and artist behind a popular comic strip based on their lives including that of their many children (in descending order): Danny, Linnie, JJ, Mike and lastly Charlie. The youngest, brightest and protagonist in this novel is Charlie who is constantly helping her parents and siblings in any way. In this story, she’s trying to keep Linnie’s wedding to Rodney from falling apart as constant disasters await them.
Being the youngest, Charlie has watched her own siblings grow up and move out of home and desperately wants to make this weekend the best since this is the first time in years that everyone will be under the same roof, including her favourite brother Danny. However, at each and every turn there seems to be a disaster in the way of her plan. Meanwhile, she’s also trying to manage romantically reuniting with her longtime high school crush Jesse and deciding on what college to attend in the next few months.
This novel is the first of many books to read by Morgan Matson because I’ve found this book exceptional. The story, the characters, the action, and how they are both described and created makes you figuratively fall in love with this family. As an only child, reading the experience of having a huge family right out of the Cheaper by the Dozen movie is almost surreal and appealing.
Unexpected guests, animals, frequent unwanted alarms, and gigantic mix-ups make this weekend jam-packed with everything, and it created a fast-paced, energetic story that will have you flying through this book. Not to mention that this book is ridiculously funny and bound to have you laughing within the first hundred pages. Each disaster is either outrageous and stressful or the best kind of comic relief, a balance that Matson has definitely as the crowned queen of summer contemporary reads.
“I stared at the beagle, who was sitting in the centre of the front hall, staring steadily back at me…. “This isn’t good.””
What also made this book so enjoyable to read was that unlike most contemporaries, while this novel dabbles into it, romance is certainly not at the forefront. The personal struggles Charlie was facing at watching her family together for what seems like one last time when they’ve been and are continually geographically growing apart further as each member lives their own lives, will make you realise that we must adapt to change and move on from what we’re comfortable with sometimes. Family and coping with change are some of the beautiful themes that are so important throughout this novel and something inherently difficult to deal with for anyone including young adults who experience change at a faster speed. Finishing middle school, high school, graduating and starting to live apart from your regular family is scary and foreboding for many of us, so reading about this topic was very enlightening, refreshing and proves the impact a light-hearted contemporary can make on any reader.
Overall, Save the Date has officially been anointed to the favourites section and it definitely solidifies Matson’s reputation and popularity, which is bound to help create even more hype for her next novel. This book had me laughing, crying and slightly stressed from all the obstacles but it was incredibly enjoyable. As a highly recommended read, the Nerd Daily team and I hope you also enjoy the adventures and misadventures of the family behind Grant Central Station.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for providing me with an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.