Save the Date | Review

Greetings readers!

I have been bitten by that summer bug. And it infected me with a mood. A contemporary mood. I have like twelve different YA fantasies on my side table that need immediate attention and yet I want the fluff. I need the fluff. The summer sun and all the warm fuzzzy feels.

A couple of weeks ago, a YA contemporary Queen was in town and what better way to start off my contemporary summer mood than with a wedding book! Morgan Matson’s new novel, Save the Date sounded like the perfect way to start my summer and after attending her event, I was so excited to get to it!

Save the Date  by Morgan Matson

Save the Date

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pub Date:  June 5th, 2018
Price: $23.99

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.


Chapters Indigo | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

Well, well. I had fun. Considering  it was my very first Matson book, I enjoyed it. Not exactly as much as I hoped to enjoy it, but it was a fun book overall.

What I Liked:

The Comic Strip. I thought it was such a cute touch. It really showcased the importance of the strip and it made it more than just a simple motif. Plus it added an extra amount of funny to the book.

I liked Charlie enough. She wasn’t my absolute favourite, but I did connect with her on some level. I totally related to her love of family. Her desire to have those together moments. Those times that are the memory makers. I often find myself searching for those moments with my own family and getting frustrated when we start to bicker or fight. Matson painted a real family. They were never perfect, but they had their moments of bliss and happiness.

Matson also approached the topic of change and how Charlie absolutely dreaded it. Especially as she was trying to figure out what she wanted for her future and how much she would have to let go in order to reach her goals. It was a very touching theme to the novel and I loved reading about Charlie’s journey to embracing change. It was not easy and she was quite stubborn, but I really connected to her struggle.

The book was also very humorous. The synopsis promises crazy and it delivered. Delivered to the point where I found it terribly ridiculous, but frankly I liked it. It was entertaining, the three days that this story spans is  filled with all sorts of trouble. It’s absolute chaos and I enjoyed it quite a lot.

Bill. He was cute and charming and I wanted more from him. He did however come off as very flat, I would have liked a little more development in that area.

Those Canadian references! *Patriotic Rendz freaks.*

The ending, although bittersweet was quite heartwarming. I liked it a lot. I thought this was going to be really fluffy until Matson hit us with the hard ball and it hurt!

What I Disliked:

Okay. Here it is. The hard cold truth.

Every character in this Grant family was an asshole.

Especially Danny. JJ not that much. (JJ was actually my favourite of them all)

Their behaviour was disgusting. The way that this family treated outsiders did not sit well with me. My mom would call them “maleducados” i.e. rude. They were rude rude rude. Like, I get that family comes first, but these people were awful. Danny actually disgusted me, I was so unimpressed that Charlie practically worshipped him.

There was another asshole in this book, that I won’t call out for spoilers…but I knew knew knew that he was not worth it.

The fact that I didn’t like this family’s behaviour really spoiled a lot of he book for me. I often found myself rolling my eyes and disagreeing with many of their actions. I literally wanted to smack them all outside the head.

This book was wordy. It was long and it took forever. Plus the font was tiny! Okay maybe that was a little too technical, but in all honesty this book was too too too wordy. Charlie does a lot of thinking, some of it I could have honestly lived without. I got bored sometimes because there would not be a lot of character interaction instead it would just be Charlie in her head thinking thinking thinking.

The friendship theme in this book was very minimal. I was expecting a lot more from that element of conflict. It was set up really well, but there was no thorough execution. It left me disappointed.

The romance wasn’t even enough for me. WHERE WAS MY SUPER DUPER FLUFF??? THE SWOONY MOMENTS. BECAUSE I LITERALLY GOT ZERO. (I’m not counting the first chapter for *reasons*)

Overall, the book was good. It was not perfect and as you could see I had my issues with it. It was funny, ridiculous and despite its length, I think some people will fly through it! Did it fulfill my contemporary mood? For the most part. It did its job, but I am still very much hoping to jump into another fluffier book soon!

Rating: 3 / 5 Stars

Recommend?: Yeah, I guess… It was fun,  and a perfect summer read! Just beware of the super obnoxious characters.

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Did you enjoy it? Who was your favourite character? What Morgan Matson book is your favourite?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz


Meeting Morgan Matson | Author Event Recap!

Greetings readers!

I feel like it has been forever since I wrote about an author event? Maybe it’s because I haven’t been to one in ages!! Well, I love author events. Even though I get a little nervous when I have to actually meet the actual authors!

Save the Date
via Goodreads

I decided to attend the Morgan Matson event in Toronto for three reasons.
1) My close friend has read one of Matson’s books before, so I decided to invite her so she could meet the author! (Plus she goes to events when I know the author, so it’s only fair!)
2) The event was for Save the Date, which I just started. It sounds fun, cute and fluffy and I am in a very contemporary mood!
3) Morgan Matson is such a big name! And despite having never read any of her books, I couldn’t pass up on this opportunity!

The Event & Discussion

The signing was held at Chapters Indigo at Yorkdale. The space is not huge, but my friend and I were able to find seats!!! There lots of people present, most of who had big stacks of books all by Morgan. As we sat and waited for the Morgan to show up, the Indigo employees played several rounds of trivia to win gift cards! Most of the questions revolved around Save the Date and since neither I nor my friend had read the book, we totally didn’t win anything! XD

Finally, Morgan arrived and everyone cheered quite loudly. She was interviewed by a Canadian blogger Tiff @ MostlyYALit! Tiff was a great interviewer and asked Morgan really wonderful questions about her books and her writing process!

With regards to her books, Morgan spoke a lot about the characters and how important it is to craft them. Save the Date has major themes revolving family and experiencing change. She also loves writing about realistic friendships and that they come with their own little flaws and perfections. In Save the Date, she reflects upon the friends vs family battle and the jealousy that is sparked between the two groups when they are not getting enough attention!

Although, I haven’t read any of her books yet, I am truly excited to see how she crafts these characters and relationships. Each book she writes is set in the same town, so for those Matsonverse fans out there, there are Easter eggs in every book that sort of connect them, which I find very cool!

With regards to her writing process, Matson talked about her satisfaction with standalones. She says that she loves a conclusive ending and that for her to write a series she would need to find the right story that was big enough to span more than one book! She went in-depth of how hard it was for her to write Save the Date. Most of her other books span a summer, a few months, but this book had only three days from beginning to end. She struggled with finding the right way to describe the time, but she is very thankful for her editors and writer friends that helped her through the process!

I take such crappy photos XD

Her least favourite part of the writing process would be the moments of the middle of the book where everyone is just standing around and she needs to make decisions for them. Matson said she is so indecisive about everything, so writing a book about it seemed like a good idea. Her favourite part of the process, is when things finally start working after a couple drafts and the story is finally something she can look forward to!

The best writing advice she has ever been given is to finish something. (Advice I definitely need to heed) She said that when you finish something you can finally say you have done this before and you can therefore do it again. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to make it to the end! The advice that she would give prospective writers is to read critically and write and rewrite. She said the best way to learn this craft is to study it, and understand what makes a story compelling and entertaining.

Final Fun Fact: Morgan let us know that the cover models on the Since You’ve Been Gone cover are actually wearing her own clothes and accessories!

Since You've Been Gone
via Goodreads

The Signing

In this moment, I’m giving my speech and Morgan’s signing my book!

This is the fun part, isn’t it. Well for me it’s the nerve-wracking part. Since I get quite anxious when I go to these events, I like to rehearse what I will say beforehand. Meanwhile, my friend kept asking me what she should say since she had never been to a signing before. I told her its best to talk about the book and soon enough we both had little speeches prepared when we got to her table.

When it was my turn up, I admitted that I haven’t read any of her books, but that I was excited for her new release as I have a wedding this coming summer! Morgan was so sweet and she hoped that I would enjoy the book and the wedding. My speech lasted a total of what 45 seconds and I ran out of stuff to say, so naturally I stood in an awkward silence. Thankfully, she’s a quick signer XD Then I got my picture taken with her and hopped off the little stand.

You’d think I would have made it through this signing without a fumble, right? Wrong.

As I turned to leave I felt like I was missing something, I had the book, but my left hand…it was empty, it had had something in it before.

Then I hear lots of people calling out my name, I turn and see the Indigo employee who snapped my picture holding out my phone and saying “Hun you forgot this! I don’t think you’d want to lose it.” I took it back in a flash and said my thanks, but I still turned very red since the employees, Morgan and some fans were all giggling and calling out my name.

Classic Rendz. Always has to look even just a little clumsy at a signing.

Overall, I really enjoyed the event! The discussion was great and I am honestly looking forward to going down a Matson spiral sometime soon. Plus, I have a new signed book to add to my collection! This one is actually double signed, since it is also a first signed edition!

I had lots of fun and Morgan Matson was so sweet and funny. I can’t wait to continue reading Save the Date and share my thoughts with you all!

Let me know what you think! Have you read books by Morgan Matson? Which one is your favourite? Have you had the chance to meet her? What author would you like to meet someday?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz


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