ARC Review: Save the Date by Morgan Matson | A new favorite from an old favorite author

Posted May 28, 2018 by Madalyn || 10 Comments

ARC Review: Save the Date by Morgan Matson | A new favorite from an old favorite authorSave the Date by Morgan Matson
Published by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers on June 5, 2018
Pages: 432
Format: e-ARC
Source: Netgalley

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 received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Words cannot adequately convey how much I LOVED this book. I consider Morgan Matson one of my favorite authors, so of course I was excited for a new release from her. However, when I first read the premise, I definitely felt underwhelmed. I WAS WRONG. Save the Date was such an unexpected delight.

We follow our main character Charlie over the weekend of her older sister, Linnie’s, wedding. Charlie comes from a big family (she has four siblings who greatly range in age, and is gaining a brother-in-law, too), and it’s a rare occasion when all of them are in the same place at the same time. The family dynamics were hands-down my favorite part of this book. Though I don’t come from as big a family as Charlie’s, I have two older (step, but I don’t think of them that way) brothers who are 15 and 17 years older than me. Charlie’s relationship with her older brothers reminded me SO much of my relationship with mine. Charlie’s experience with being the youngest by a significant margin, with all the benefits and the frustrations of that role, also was so relatable. The overall vibe when the whole Grant family was together, with all the different personalities and the years of inside jokes, was so familiar and so fun to read. Each of the Grant siblings is so different, but I ADORE them all. Seriously.

Of course, we have the wedding plot playing out over all the relationship dynamics. This book totally read like a romantic comedy film, complete with disasters and moments of comic relief and no shortage of hijinks. The wedding plot is overdone in media, but I still think Save the Date put a fun spin on it. Now that my friends are starting to get married and I’m attending and being part of more weddings, I loved reading this story even more. It’s ridiculous and over-the-top, but it’s one of those disasters you can’t take your eyes off. It was really fun to watch this story unfold.

As far as romance… this book really has very little of it. The main focus is definitely family, and romance played a very minor role in the story. It actually concludes with a bit of an open ending, which I loved. I always love the romances in Morgan Matson’s books (speaking of, we get a cameo of Andi and Clark from The Unexpected Everything, which was adorable!), but Save the Date proves that her stories stand alone without huge romance plots, too.

I’m not doing a great job of articulating my thoughts, but Save the Date is one of the best contemporaries I’ve read in quite a while. It’s full of heart, humor, and honesty. This is a must-read for anyone who’s close with their family! Fans of Morgan Matson and people who are new to her writing alike will enjoy this gem of a book.

Have you read Save the Date? If so, did you love it as much as I did? If not, is it on your TBR? What are your favorite books that involve weddings?

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10 responses to “ARC Review: Save the Date by Morgan Matson | A new favorite from an old favorite author

  1. I started this one the other day, but I wasn’t in the mood for it. I’ll give it another try this summer. I have to say I’m a little bummed that there’s not much of a romance here. You know how much of a romance-addict I am. Still, I’m looking forward to reading this one.
    Lovely review!

    • Yeah, that is completely fair about the romance. I will say it took me a couple chapters to get into the story, but once I did I was hooked! I hope you enjoy this one when you end up picking it back up, Nick!

  2. I just started reading my ARC copy of this yesterday! Like you, Morgan Matson is one of my favorite YA authors, so I’m hoping that this will be another favorite. I wasn’t too keen on the plot, but it’s Matson, so I’m sure I’m going to love it as much as you do. 🙂 Glad to see this didn’t disappoint!

  3. I’m so excited for this one! I recently read and really enjoyed The Unexpected Everything so I’m excited for the Andi/Clark cameo, and I am LIVING for good wedding stories since I am in the midst of planning my own (but you’re right, the wedding trope is super over done and often not executed well

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