Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers | Pages: 432
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
I received a digital copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for participating in the Fantastic Flying Book Club blog tour.
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.
For anyone who is a fan of Morgan Matson, this is a totally different style of book then her previous novels. And I for one, was a huge fan of the change of pace, dialogue and direction of this book.
In this book, we follow the main character Charlie over the course of a ‘long’ weekend. It largely focuses on the upcoming wedding of her sister and the crazy antics that come along with it. Throughout the weekend, everything seems to be going wrong and Charlie tries to find numerous ways to fix things. It deals with family drama, the trouble with growing up and changes.
One of the main differences with this book is the fact that it all takes place over the course of a weekend. In Matson’s other books, she tends to write over longer periods of time, such as a summer. When I first heard that this book would focus on a more condensed time period, I was a bit skeptical. But to be completely honest, she did an incredible job! I could feel the suspense and anticipation that these characters had with everything going wrong for such an important day. And while Matson packed in A LOT of stuff throughout a three day weekend, it never felt forced or unrealistic.
I loved the Charlie and her family. I’ve said before that I am definitely a character driven person when it comes to books. If I don’t like the main character, it is often difficult for me to enjoy the overall book. I absolutely loved the relationship that Charlie had with her family. Their quick witty banter was impressive and something that I loved reading. I really loved her brother JJ and I think that he and Charlie had a super great relationship. I also enjoyed the fact that Matson highlights family drama in this novel. It’s nice to envision the perfect family, but in reality things are not always perfect.
One of the other aspects of this book that was refreshing was that romance was not the main focus of this book. While Matson is a wonderful writer of young adult romance novels, it was really interesting to see her focus on something a bit different than what she normally writes about. The elements of romance and the butterflies you get from Matson’s writing are certainly there, but she chooses to focus more on the love in a family – and I found that to be really enjoyable.
I loved the dog, Waffles. And I found it hilarious about the alarm – when you read it, you’ll get it (even more of a reason for you to pick it up)!
Overall, this was a fantastic read and a solid five stars from me. It was charming, uplifting, filled with crazy antics, and overall cheesy moments. It is definitely one that I recommend to fans of young adult contemporary novels. Those who are fans of Morgan Matson will not be disappointed! It’s also the perfect summer read!
Favourite Quote: “I didn’t just get here.” (Which happens to also be one of the author’s favourite quotes as well!)
About the Author:
Morgan Matson was born in New York City and grew up there and in Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, but halfway through a theater degree, she started working in the children’s department of Vroman’s Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature.
Following college graduation (and the proud bearer of an incredibly useful theater/English degree) she received her M.F.A. in Writing for Children from The New school and worked as an editor for YA novels. She received a second M.F.A. (for reasons that made sense at the time) in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California.
Her novels have been translated into dozens of languages, and published all over the world.
Morgan’s first novel, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, was inspired by her love of road trips, snacks, and the quest for the perfect playlist. It was named an ALA Top Ten Best Book, a Publisher’s Weekly Flying Start book, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Book Prize.
Her second novel, Second Chance Summer, was inspired by her experiences spending summers in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. It was the winner of the California Book Award (YA category) and was named to the ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults List, selected for the Oklahoma Sequoya List, and selected as a School Library Journal Best Book.
Her third novel, Since You’ve Been Gone, was published in 2014, and was a Publisher’s Weekly and international bestseller. It was named to the YALSA Teens Top Ten list, and the Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award List.
Morgan’s fourth novel, The Unexpected Everything, was published May 3rd, 2016.
She currently lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Murphy.
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