Save the Date by Morgan Matson (Book Review)

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children Books
Page Count
: 417

I can’t believe this is the first book review this month, but at least it is a good one! I read Save the Date as part of a buddy read with Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books. We always have a great time reading books together and it was no different time time around. Keep an eye out for a review on her blog as well!

There is something about Morgan Matson books that just always works for me. She somehow manages to give her books a similar, summery vibe with adorable and relatable characters, while also giving each story its own spin and different focus. This time she added little comic strips between the main parts of the book and they didn’t just add a really fun element, but also are way more crucial to the plot than you might think. Despite the setting of a wedding, I was very happy to see that Save the Date was barely about romance but far more about family. I will never get tired of reading about messy sibling-dynamics, inside jokes and complicated family relationships. Add a dog to that (and Morgan Matson did) and you’ve captured my heart as a reader.

Charlie is the youngest of the bunch and I feel it shows in some of her reactions, while she was simultaneously mature and great at helping out whenever things went south during the wedding. I am not sure I would have stayed as cool as her or found a solution as quickly. Hands down, that family would have been screwed without her and Bill intervening at every bad turn. While I didn’t always agree with her behaviour, I could relate to her a lot. She adores her family and thinks that they have something special, which I think is great. Nobody is perfect and maybe she had a bit of a hard time seeing that when it came to her family, but she still loves them and cherishes their bond. I know that families can be complicated and tricky, but I really loved reading about a family that makes it work despite the struggles.

The only reason I am not giving this a full 5 stars is that I felt like a couple conflicts were resolved too easily. The fighting parties made good points, at least some of them, and it was barely addressed afterwards. I know that sibling fights can be blown out of proportion when they happen and then everyone just acts like nothing happened afterwards, but this was something that had gone on for longer and I felt like it deserved more time.

Overall Save the Date was a really fun read! It never had a dull moment, even if I could predict a lot of the developments. I liked this family and wouldn’t mind hearing more about them in future books, just like there were a couple references to The Unexpected Everything here. There are few things I love more than seemingly unconnected books being connected.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Morgan Matson just proved once more that she doesn’t disappoint.

What did you think of my review? Have you read the book? Do you want to? Also, I haven’t read much this month, but I did read a couple comics, how would you feel about a mini-review post for them? Any interest in that?

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson (Book Review)

TUE

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Page Count
: 518

I read The Unexpected Everything together with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much. Although it turned out that it wouldn’t be our favourite Matson book, we still had tons of fun reading it.

This is really the perfect summer read. I get that it’s not actually summer everywhere on the planet at the same time, but still, it does fit the summer time perfectly. I thought that it featured really original and unique characters, even if the plot itself was sort of predictable. Yet it covers so many different topics in a super entertaining way, that one can overlook the flaws easily. It’s not happy all the time, but it’s all about friendship, family, first love and dog walking. (You have to love those dogs!) It’s about how people change and how they sometimes need to find their way outside of their comfort zone.

It was one of the first times where I could not relate to the main character, Andie in this case, the most – at least concering Matson’s books. I got her control freak ways and fear of not getting where she is supposed to go in the future, but that was about it. I much more adored and related to Clark and immediately crowned him as one of my new favourite book boyfriends (yes, there are several!). He is geeky, awkward and adorable. His job is definitely goals (although I don’t want to spoil you) and he’s just downright a good guy.

I am not sure how I feel about the length of the whole thing. Only twenty chapters in over 500 pages is not very much … somehow I prefer shorter chapters as they increase the pace of the whole story for me. There were tons of lovely and really “normal” moments, that just showed the relationships beautifully and I don’t regret having those moments, but I am just saying … maybe a tad long. However, I loved that Matson pulled a bit of a Rainbow Rowell and added snippets of a Fantasy novel inbetween. Now, if only she would agree to make that a full story!

Fazit: 4/5 stars! A great, engaging summer read!

4stars

Did you read TUE? What’s your opinion of it?

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson (Book Review)

scsscs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Page Count:
 480

I read this book (sort of) together with Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books. Our schedules didn’t work in our favour all that much this time, but we at least read it in the same week – yay to us! It’s always a blast to read with her and it’s even greater to have her to discuss ideas and theories about the book with. Make sure to check out her review in the near future!

I am a declared Morgan Matson fan, so before the new release of her latest book (The Unexpected Everything) I just HAD TO read Second Chance Summer and I do not regret that choice. The premise is fairly straight-forward, so I had a rain-cloud hanging over my head ever since page one. This is a book that had me in a sobbing mess by the end, but I am getting ahead of myself.

The book is, as the title suggests, about second chances, but in more than one way since it’s actually “split” into two stories. On the one hand, you have the family plot, with Taylor having that last summer to spend with her father yet also growing closer with the rest of her family. It was my absolute favourite part of the book! It is so very rare in YA fiction that parents or siblings play such an important role, that you get to know them just as much as you would the MC’s best friend or love interest in any other story. So, I am glad Matson made this about a topic that doesn’t get addressed much, even if it was completely heartbreaking. Up until the end I was hoping for some kind of miracle solution … just thinking about it gets me all upset again.

Then there is the other storyline, revolving around Taylor not wanting to come back to their summer house, because she had a fall out with her best friend and boyfriend there five years ago (when she was only twelve). As you can maybe already tell by my tone, I was not entirely convinced by that story. There is some animosity and in the beginning the suspense is incredible – you just need to know what happened! Yet when we finally found out, I thought that it was rather silly to have such a big fight over something like this, especially since they were still so young. I definitely wouldn’t have held the grudge for years like some people here did.

In the end, the friendship and love-parts were a good balance in terms of making the story lighter. I don’t think I could have bared all those glum feelings all the time. It was such a heartfelt story with great lessons of facing your fears and making the best of the time you get with the people you love – and of course about second chances!

Fazit: 4/5 stars! An emotional read to get you ready for summer!

4stars

Have you read Second Chance Summer? Did you enjoy it as much as me?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Would Be On My Syllabus If I Taught Buddy Stories 101

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the BookishThis week’s topic is Top Ten books you would put on your syllabus if you thought a literature class and I chose the friendship theme, so thanks for enrolling to Buddy Stories 101. Class is about to start!

(Whenever I do these lists, I am never sure if the ranking is actually from 1 to 10 or just numbered to give an overview. I have a hard time picking favourites, so see it as more of way to count rather than rate. The books I picked all have great friendships and some of them even evolve or are sprinkled with a bit of romance. I tried to avoid the romantic parts mostly, but then I thought that being best friends with your partner is pretty amazing, so who cares?)

1. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)NOTHING and I mean absolutely NOTHING is more powerful than a parabatai bond. It’s so much more than just friendship, it is even more than family or romantic love. It’s everything really. While I did enjoy Alec’s and Jace’s bond from TMI, I was even more fascinated with Will and Jem. Bring Tessa Gray into the mix and you’ve got ultimate friendship goals for me! So, the Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare it is!

2. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Since You've Been Gone

This is one of my favourite books portraying female friendship. Emily and Sloane are just complete opposites of each other and that makes them work so well together. I’m so happy this book wasn’t just about romance! Also, it wasn’t just a fun read, but really funny as well!

3. How to Be Bad by Lockhart, Myracle & Mlynowski

23629114Three girls on a road trip? There is no way it’s not going to be great. They all have their own problems, but they can only get through it with each other. Sometimes they may explode and fight, but in the end, they are happy to have each other and I am happy to have read about their friendship.

4. Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

23230I’ve talked about Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List a lot and while I do find the characters a bit annoying sometimes, they also have something special with each other. Their friendship changes a lot over the course of the book and is quite different in the end to what it was when you started reading. When one person develops romantic feelings, I think it is necessary to address this and deal with it instead of throwing the friendship away altogether.

5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

893136This is a sad book. There is no way around that, but it’s a book that’s really dear to my heart. Liesel and Rudi already have a really special relationship, but I am even more a fan of Liesel and Max. Some wanted them to end up together, but that’s not the point at all. Their bond over books is amazing and I am so glad that they had each other.

6. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

12700353Greg can call Earl his co-worker a gazillion more times, but it doesn’t change the fact that they are best friends and awesome together. ‘Nough said!

7. Love, Rosie/Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern

20706297Over how many years does this book span? A lifetime pretty much and while Rosie’s and Alex’ relationship certainly has it’s ups and downs their friendship survived somehow. This may be more on the romantic side than I’d like to admit, but they were friends first and that ever since they were really little. It has to count for something!

8. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

23153016Bianca has her best friends Casey and Jessica and they are a good group of friends, but not the one I want to focus on. Only with Wesley Bianca can be herself and they have a sort of friends with benefits thing going on, even though Bianca would probably never admit to being friends with Wes. Still, I think they never were as open and trusting with anyone than they were with each other. Being able to be yourself, that’s what I think is important in a friendship.

9. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

18741152I like all the friendships in this book (and the sequels as well). Anna and Etienne are great, Etienne and Josh, the whole gang pretty much is just amazeballs. I would have loved to go to school with this group!!!

10. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

2836Jess and Leslie are pretty much inseparable. They create their own fantasy world and really just have the best of times. But I think that Jess’ friendship with Leslie opened his world to so much more than just that. This book is really tragic in so many ways, but I don’t think Jess ever regretted befriending Leslie.

 

 

I hope you’ve learned something and take away some good stories from this class 😉 As always, click on the covers if you want to know more about the books! What are some of you favourite literary friendships?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Auto-buy Authors

Last week I started to do Top Ten Tuesday, which is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the BookishThis week’s topic is Top Ten Auto-Buy Authors, which means authors where I don’t even need to know what their book is about, I’ll buy it either way. So, here we go again!

So, last time I mentioned that I have a 3-strike-rule when it comes to authors. After liking a book, I give them 2 more books to prove to me that they are not just a one-hit-wonder. I usually exclude series, but sometimes I make exceptions. After that I just buy every book that I see (granted I have money). FYI: The following authors are only numbered so that you can see that they are 10, not to show any sort of ranking to be honest.

1. John Green

I don’t own all his books, but I definitely want to. (Only missing Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Let It Snow) I have yet to come  across a book by him that I did not enjoy.

2. Tahereh Mafi

I’ve “only” read her Shatter Me series but I fell in love with her style of writing. It has something poetic and unusual – absolutely an auto-buy!

3. Stephanie Perkins

If she continues to write books like the one from the Anna and the French Kiss series, there is no way I am not buying them!

4. Nicholas Sparks

This one is a bit tricky. I am not actively seeking out Sparks books, but I do enjoy them. Mostly I end up buying them when one of them is being adapted for a movie and I want to read it before the release.

5. Cassandra Clare

I am utterly and completely immersed in the Shadowhunter world. I will read anything she publishes and am happy that she continues to tell stories from this universe.

6. E. Lockhart

I’ve read three stand-alones by her and was not disappointed. We Were Liars is still my favourite, but I could easily imagine reading more from her.

7. Rainbow Rowell

What is there to say? I like her books and I’m going to read more of them.

8. David Levithan

I like both, the books he writes alone as well as his collaborations. If you are especially interested in LGBT-themed books, he’s your man!

9. Ernest Cline

He’s published 2 books, I’ve read both and enjoyed them a lot. I want more!

10. Morgan Matson

Her books are just the perfect books for the summer time! I still haven’t read everything she’s published but I can absolutely recommend Since You’ve Been Gone and Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour! They are brilliant!

So, that’s all for today! What are your thoughts? Did some of my authors make it on your list as well? Who are some of the people you can’t resist buying books from?