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Save the Date


Save the Date

After months and months of waiting, the weekend Charlie Grant anticipated has finally come: her sister’s wedding. For the first time in what seems like years, all of her siblings are back under one roof. In Charlie’s eyes, this is their one last perfect weekend before they sell the childhood home for good, she goes to college and everything changes. Except as soon as the weekend starts, things go wrong.

First it’s a terrible wedding planner, next it’s an alarm that won’t stop going off and as one thing goes wrong after another, the weekend shapes into a total disaster with Charlie at the center trying to fix it all. Told in one weekend, SAVE THE DATE follows Charlie as she learns more about the people she thought she knew and about the problems of idealizing the past when there’s a whole future ahead.

"Reading [SAVE THE DATE] felt like getting adopted into a new family for three days, one that I was sad to see go once I reached the final pages....full of sweetness, funny hijinks and lovable characters..."

A highlight of every Morgan Matson book for me is always the characters. She never fails to make likable characters and create funny interactions between them. So of course, going into SAVE THE DATE, I was excited to see the family interactions that occurred. I absolutely loved how family-oriented the book was, something refreshing to see from not only Morgan Matson, but young adult books in general. Each member of the Grant family was well developed and I felt as though I knew them, like they were my next door neighbors rather than fictional characters. While I was sad some of the usual romance aspects Morgan Matson books usually have become more of a sub-plot in SAVE THE DATE, I enjoyed family being prioritized. The chaos of a big family is something I have never experienced in my own life and I always enjoy seeing the dynamic, whether it is books, movies or television shows.

Speaking of movies, the entire book almost seemed cinematic to me. Reading it and watching one thing go wrong after another, I felt like I was in a wedding movie, something that came straight from the 80s and full of John Hughes goodness. I went to a book signing of Morgan’s on her tour for the book and she said there were plenty of Easter eggs towards movies and television shows and I want to reread the book just to find more of them.

I also enjoyed the character arc that the main character, Charlie, goes through. As someone who just graduated high school and went through the similar stresses of picking colleges, I could see a bit of myself in her. Often I just wanted to reflect on the past experiences of high school rather than looking forward to what was in the future and even though Charlie’s struggle with that is a bit more extreme, I enjoyed reading about a character who went through a similar experience. While Charlie isn’t my favorite protagonist ever, that aspect of her character made the book more enjoyable. 

Overall, I recommend SAVE THE DATE to anyone who loves a wedding story or enjoys watching John Hughes movies like Sixteen Candles. Reading it felt like getting adopted into a new family for three days, one that I was sad to see go once I reached the final pages. SAVE THE DATE was full of sweetness, funny hijinks and lovable characters, making me already anticipate whatever Morgan Matson writes next.

Reviewed by Brynn S., Teen Board Member on August 8, 2018

Save the Date
by Morgan Matson