THIS BOOK! Morgan Matson’s writing is just getting better and better. Her newest novel, Save the Date, takes place over a weekend in April, centering around a boisterous and semi-famous family.
Here is the Goodreads 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 am a huge fan of Morgan Matson’s work, especially 2016’s The Unexpected Everything. While I did like the plot better in that book, Matson’s writing has only become stronger. Despite clocking in at 432 pages, Save the Date flew by. The pacing and the dialogue worked hand-in-hand—both sharp and quick. It was action packed; you never knew what crazy disaster would pop up next.
Matson painted such a rich and vivid picture when telling this family story. Throughout the entire book, I felt I was in the house, standing in the center of the kitchen with the rest of this family. You can totally see where Matson’s M.F.A. in Screenwriting comes into play. With the visuals so clear and concise, I could totally picture this as a movie. It has all the components that makes a good, family dramedy. Reviews compare it to the Father of the Bride meets Sixteen Candles. I would go one step further and say there were a lot of comparisons to the TV show Parenthood, as well as the Jason Bateman movie This Is Where I leave You, based off the novel of the same name.
Matson does an incredible job in the way she handles her characters, and an even better job with her relationships. Whereas The Unexpected Everything really showcased her skill in friendships, this book had some of the best familial relationships I’ve ever read. Each character was well defined, no one getting lost in the hustle and bustle of such a strong plot driven book.
This isn’t just a regular, run-of-the-mill YA contemporary. There is so much humor, heart, and absolute chaos. Go buy this book!