“It seemed like the second you tried to tell someone why you loved someone else, it took the luster off it, like pinning a butterfly down in a case—it never quite captured it.” ― Morgan Matson,
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.
There are so many things to say about Morgan Matson’s Save the Date, and honestly, I don’t know if they’re going to be good.
Overall I gave Save the Date a 3/5 stars. It wasn’t my favorite Matson book (actually I can genuinely say it’s my absolute least favorite from her), but it did have aspects that I enjoyed.
Plot: The plot to Save the Date is simple enough. Our main character, Charlie is helping her sister prepare for her wedding the weekend of the wedding. Like any typical story about a wedding, everything that can go wrong does, which is actually my first gripe with the novel.
The whole premise of Save the Date is that it’s this big picture-esque family that’s finally getting back together for a weekend. For some reason though, Charlie seems to be the only person that realizes that a wedding is happening. Her father is freaking out the entire time about his garden (not his older daughter getting married) and Charlie’s mother is MIA about 70 percent of the book, which leaves Charlie, the 18-year-old high school senior, to essentially plan an entire wedding in the span of about 24 hours.
At first I thought I was being nit-picky, but by the end of the book I felt myself just getting tired. It was disaster after disaster and each disaster had a new, crafty way to be fixed. It just became incredibly predictable.
Characters: Now, this is always a bright spot for Matson. She has always made me care about her characters and manages to incorporate fully developed casts into her novels.
Save the Date is no different in this aspect. While I think Charlie is a bit naive, I think her character is endearing with her want to constantly see the beauty and purpose in everything that she says or does. Her siblings were constantly keeping interactions interesting and even the arguments and discussions felt real for siblings.
What I think was most interesting though is that on of the “antagonists” in Save the Date is someone that I often felt myself siding with. Look guys, Mike has a lot of valid points. He’s just being realistic.
Ultimately, JJ was my favorite character as I thought he was so wonderfully weird and eccentric.
Overall, I feel like this is a solid contemporary read. I’d had really high hopes for it considering how much I love Morgan Matson’s books, but it just wasn’t my favorite.