Save the Date

Save the Date

by Morgan Matson

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Overview

“The cinema-worthy rom-com of your summer reading dreams.” —Bustle
“A sparkling summer story ideal for teens who are on that bittersweet cusp of change.” —Booklist
“[A] romantic comedy of errors.” —Publishers Weekly

Father of the Bride meets Sixteen Candles in the latest novel from New York Times bestselling author 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781481404594
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 70,613
File size: 7 MB
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Morgan Matson is a New York Times bestselling author. She received her MFA in writing for children from the New School and was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start author for her first book, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, which was also recognized as an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults. Her second book, Second Chance Summer, won the California State Book Award. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit her at MorganMatson.com.

Read an Excerpt

Save the Date


  • THE DAY BEFORE MY SISTER’S wedding, I woke up with a start, like an alarm had just gone off. I looked around my room, heart hammering, trying to figure out what had woken me. I was still half in the dream I’d just had—Jesse Foster was there, my brother Danny, and there was something about Schoolhouse Rock!, that old cartoon my sister had shown me when I was in elementary school . . .

    But the harder I tried to hold on to it, the faster the dream seemed to slip away, and I shrugged and lay back down in bed, yawning and pulling my covers over my shoulders, closing my eyes and halfway to falling asleep again before I realized that an alarm was going off.

    There was a persistent beeping coming from downstairs, and it sounded like the alarm that monitored the front and kitchen doors of the house, the one we only ever turned on when we were going on vacation and sometimes not even then. It was loud up on the third floor, so I had a feeling it was probably deafening down on the first.

    I reached for my glasses from my bedside table and then stretched over to get my phone from the floor, where I’d plugged it in to charge last night. I pulled up my group texts, all of which were for different combinations of my family members. There was even one that had all of us and my brother Mike, though I could see that hadn’t been used in a year and a half now. I pulled up the one I’d been using the last few days, which was all the people that were currently in the house—my mom, dad, my sister, Linnie, and her fiancé, Rodney.

    Me

    Why is there an alarm going off?

    I waited a moment, then got a series of responses, one right after the other.

    Mom

    There’s something wrong with the panel, we think—should be off in a minute.

    Dad

    Why did you text? Why not come down and investigate? What if there had been a burglar?

    Linnie

    IS there a burglar?

    Dad

    No

    Dad

    But there COULD have been

    Dad

    And if the house were being ransacked, I’m not sure the best course of action would be to text about it.

    Rodney

    Morning, Charlie!

    I was about to text back when the alarm stopped suddenly, and my room seemed extra quiet now.

    Mom

    It’s off.

    Me

    I hear. I mean, I don’t hear.

    Mom

    Coming down? Your dad made coffee and Rodney’s picking up donuts

    Linnie

    Wait, Charlie why are you even still here? Did Stanwich High change their start time?

    Mom

    I called her out

    Me

    Mom called me out

    Linnie

    Why?

    Me

    So I can help with wedding stuff

    Linnie

    If that’s the case, why didn’t you get the donuts?

    Rodney

    I don’t mind!

    Me

    I’ll be right down.

    I dropped my phone onto my comforter and stretched my arms overhead as I did the time math. My sister was right—on a normal Friday, I would be between classes right now, heading to AP History, but not in any real hurry. Once our college acceptances had started to roll in, all the second-semester seniors—myself included—were a lot less concerned about getting to class on time.

    I’d given my mom the hard sell last night, telling her that I could be useful, helping with any last-minute things that might crop up before the rehearsal dinner tonight and assuring her that I didn’t have anything big going on at school today. This wasn’t entirely true—I was the editor of the student newspaper, the Pilgrim, and we had our weekly editorial meeting this afternoon. We were also supposed to discuss the final issue of the year. But I knew that my news editor, Ali Rosen, could handle things for me. Normally, I never would have missed a staff meeting—but all my siblings were going to be here this afternoon, and I didn’t want to waste time that I could be spending with them arguing with Zach Ellison about how long his movie reviews were.

    I pushed myself off the bed and made it quickly, smoothing back the covers and fluffing up the pillows, then looked around my room, trying to see if it would be considered neat enough in case relatives or bridesmaids wandered by later.

    We’d moved to this house before I was born, so though my two oldest siblings could remember living somewhere else (or so they claimed), this house, for me, had always been home, and this had always been my room. It was the smallest of the bedrooms up on the third floor, where all four of the kids’ rooms were. It was probably just what happens when you’re the youngest, but I’d never minded. There was a slope to the ceiling that perfectly formed a nook for my bed, and it wasn’t drafty like Danny and J.J.’s room always was. And best of all, my room was connected to Linnie’s room via a long shared closet, which had been perfect both for stealing my sister’s clothes and for hanging out with her, the two of us getting ready at the same time or sitting on the floor of the closet, our legs stretched out, talking and laughing, the clothes hanging above us.

    Figuring that my room was probably as clean as it was going to be, I headed over to my dresser, bent slightly to see myself in the mirror, and ran a brush though my hair. Like all my siblings, I was tall—five nine, with long light-brown hair and a slightly crooked nose due to a trampoline mishap when I was six. I also had hazel eyes, the only one of my siblings to have them—like for the last kid, the genetic lottery had been split down the middle. I tugged the brush through the ends, wincing—my hair had reached the length where it would get tangled in a second. But I’d also gotten used to having it long, and even as I knew I should cut it, I also knew I probably wouldn’t.

    I pulled a sweatshirt on over my pajamas and was halfway to the door when I heard my phone buzz, the sound muffled. I looked around and, after a moment, realized that I’d accidentally made the bed over it. I retrieved it from under the covers and smiled when I saw it was my favorite brother calling.

    “Hi, Danny.” I pulled the phone away for just a second to check the time. “It’s early out there.”

    “Well,” he said, a laugh somewhere in his voice, “some of us have to fly all the way from California.”

    “You could have come in last night.” This was what I’d been pressing for for the last few months, since having just a weekend with my siblings didn’t seem like nearly enough. I’d been trying to get everyone to come on Tuesday or Wednesday, so that we’d get some Grant time before relatives and guests descended. But only Linnie and Rodney had come home early—both Danny and J.J. had to work and could only take Friday off.

    “Not this again.” I could hear a smile somewhere in my brother’s voice.

    “Wait,” I said, my eyes going wide. “Why aren’t you on the plane?”

    “I’m calling you from the plane,” he said, and I could suddenly picture him, on the tarmac in San Francisco, kicked back in his first-class seat, a cup of to-go coffee by his side. “You’re allowed to make calls from planes, you know. We haven’t taken off yet and I wanted to check in. How’s it all going?”

    “Great,” I said immediately. “It’s been awesome to have Linnie and Rodney here again.”

    “I mean is everything going okay with the wedding? No last-minute disasters?”

    “It’s all good. Clementine’s taking care of everything.”

    “Glad I’m getting my money’s worth.”

    “You should be sure to mention that in your speech.”

    Danny laughed. “Maybe I just will.”

    Clementine Lucas was Linnie and Rodney’s wedding coordinator—Danny had offered to pay for a planner for them, calling it his engagement present, when they’d moved up the wedding date. They had gotten engaged two years ago but seemed in no real hurry to set a date or plan their wedding, and we’d had a running joke that they’d get married sometime in the next decade. The only thing they knew was that they wanted to get married at our house—it had been Linnie’s dream since she was little.

    Since Rodney was in his third year of law school and studying for the bar and Linnie was finishing up her master’s in historic preservation, this spring was probably not the best time for them to be attending a wedding, much less planning their own. But when my parents told us they were putting the house up for sale, things on the wedding front suddenly went into hyperdrive.

    I looked over at the stack of cardboard boxes that I’d pushed up against my closet door, like that might make me forget about why they were there in the first place. I was supposed to begin the process of cleaning out my room, because our house had been bought by Lily and Greg Pearson, who would be moving in, along with their three extremely loud kids, as soon as the escrow process was complete. I had secretly hoped there would be no buyers, that our house would languish on the market for months, but when it sold, and fast, I wasn’t surprised. After all, who doesn’t want a house that had been featured in one of America’s most beloved comic strips?

    So, in the midst of all this, Clementine had been incredibly helpful—Danny had found her through Pland, a start-up his venture capital firm had invested in. It had contacts with wedding planners all over the country, and matched couples with the best ones. And apparently, aside from a serious disagreement about the napkin colors, everything with Clementine had gone great.

    “Well, I can’t wait to see it all myself this afternoon.”

    “You’re still getting in at two?”

    “That’s the plan.” Danny cleared his throat. “And I’ll have a surprise when I see you.”

    I grinned; I had a feeling I knew what this was. “Is it a Double-Double?”

    Danny sighed. “I never should have taken you to In-N-Out when you came to visit.”

    “So that’s a no?”

    “That’s a ‘hamburgers shouldn’t go for six hours without being refrigerated.’?” There was a small pause, and he added, “You could have access to In-N-Out constantly if you moved out here next year.”

    I smiled and glanced, automatically, at the stack in the corner of my desk—the bright, shiny folders that were my college acceptances. I’d applied to eight schools and gotten into three—Northwestern, outside Chicago; College of the West, in a small town in Los Angeles; and Stanwich, the local university in town where my dad taught. I’d decided last week to go to Stanwich, and had told Danny my decision even before I’d told my parents. He’d been trying to talk me into joining him on the West Coast ever since. “Well, I really think all major life decisions should be based on fast food chains, so . . .”

    “I knew you’d come around.” I could hear, in the background, an announcement about buckling seat belts and making sure all overhead bins were secure. “I should go. See you soon, Chuck,” he said, using the nickname for me that only he was allowed to use.

    “Wait,” I said, realizing he’d never told me what his surprise was. “Danny—” But he’d disconnected the call. I left my phone on the dresser and walked over to my desk, set aside the orange College of the West folder, and picked up the bright purple one from Northwestern.

    I’d gotten into Medill, Northwestern’s journalism school, which was the whole reason I’d applied there in the first place. My guidance counselor hadn’t believed me, thinking that I wanted to be at the same school where Mike was, not understanding that this was actually a bug, not a feature. I flipped through the brochure from Medill that had been sent to me, looking at the glossy pictures of students in the newsroom, the possible internships with major media companies, the journalism study-abroad program. . . . Before I got too far, I closed the folder and picked up the Stanwich College one, running my fingers over the lamp that was part of the school’s crest.

    Northwestern had stopped appealing to me right around the time my parents told me they were selling the house. The idea of going away had sounded a lot better when I had a house to come home to. Suddenly, the thought of losing both my house and my town was too much, and I’d started to think more and more about Stanwich. I’d practically grown up on the campus, and I loved it—the tree-lined quad, the stained-glass windows in some of the classrooms, the truly epic frozen-yogurt topping bar. And it just began to seem like the best choice—I’d get to start something new while still holding on to the familiar. And it was a great school, and I knew it was going to be really, really great.

    I hadn’t officially accepted or told the other schools I wasn’t coming, but I’d made my decision, and even though my parents had seemed a little surprised by my choice, I knew they were just getting used to it—and that they’d be happy when my first tuition bill came due and I got the discount for being the child of a professor.

    And as soon as the wedding craziness was over, I’d figure out what the next steps were—telling Northwestern and College of the West that they hadn’t made the cut, finding out about Stanwich deposits and paperwork. But I didn’t want to think about any of that—not this weekend. After all, right now my sister and future brother-in-law—and possibly donuts—were downstairs waiting for me.

    I was halfway to the door when my phone rang again, and I picked it up immediately, hoping it was Danny calling back—only to see the contact picture of my best friend, Siobhan Ann Hogan-Russo.

    “Hey, Shove-on,” I said, picking up, turning my phone onto speaker. This was the way Siobhan told people how to pronounce her name, which was most people who weren’t expecting a name with a silent b in it.

    “Oh,” she said, sounding surprised. “I didn’t think you’d pick up. Why aren’t you in history?”

    “I got my mom to call me out. I’m taking the day off so I can help with wedding stuff.”

    “I thought all of that was taken care of by Tangerine.”

    I shook my head, even though I knew she couldn’t see me. “You know her name is Clementine. You just have a weird prejudice against her.”

    “You know my policy,” Siobhan said. “Never trust anyone named after a fruit.” I sighed; I’d heard this more times than I’d wanted to, and could practically feel Siobhan teeing up her punch line. “After all . . . they might be rotten.”

    “I know you think that’s funny,” I said, and sure enough, on the other end, I could hear Siobhan laughing. “But it’s really not.”

    “My dad thought it was funny.”

    “Which one?”

    “Ted. Steve is still trying to get us into some alumni dinner thing tonight.”

    Siobhan had been, with her dads, up at the University of Michigan since Wednesday. It was where she was going next year—unlike me, she’d never had any question about where she’d go. Both her fathers had gone there and had met years later at an alumni networking event. In the Hogan-Russo household, there was a prominently displayed picture of newborn Siobhan in a Michigan onesie, posed with a mini maize-and-blue football. Apparently, there had been a serious discussion about naming her Siobhan Ann Arbor Hogan-Russo to help her chances of getting in. But fortunately, she hadn’t needed it—she’d found out back in December that she’d been accepted early decision.

    “How’s the campus?”

    “It’s amazing.” There was a happy sigh in Siobhan’s voice. “Wait,” she said, sounding suddenly sharper, like she was coming out of her Michigan happiness daze. “Why are you skipping today? Don’t you have your editorial meeting?”

    “Yeah,” I said, “but it’s fine. Ali can handle things.” There was silence on the other end, and I added quickly, “She wants to be editor in chief next year anyway, so she should get used to running these.” Siobhan still wasn’t saying anything, but I could picture her expression all too well—arms folded, one eyebrow raised. “I swear it’s fine.”

    “You’re doing the thing you always do.”

    “No I’m not. What thing?”

    “The thing where your siblings come to town and you forget all about everything else.”

    I took a breath to deny this, but then decided not to—it was a fight Siobhan and I had had many times over the years, and she usually won it because, frankly, she wasn’t wrong. “This is different. Linnie’s getting married.”

    “She is?” Siobhan said, her voice sounding overly shocked. “But why didn’t you mention something about it?”

    “Sio.”

    “Oh no, wait—you did. Like every three minutes.”

    “It’s going to be amazing,” I said with certainty, feeling myself smile. “Linnie’s dress is so beautiful, and I’ve seen the pictures from her hair and makeup tests—she’s going to look gorgeous. You’ll see.” Siobhan was coming to the wedding—she’d known Linnie her whole life, after all. She was flying back from Michigan tomorrow morning, with more than enough time to get ready before the ceremony.

    “Is everyone there?” she asked. “The whole circus in town?”

    “Not quite. Linnie and Rodney came in Wednesday night. Danny gets in this afternoon, and J.J. . . .” I stopped and took a breath. “And we’re all going to be together.” As I said it, it was like I started to feel warmed up from the inside, like I’d just taken a long drink of hot chocolate.

    “Not exactly.”

    I blinked at the phone. “What do you mean?”

    “Mike,” Siobhan said simply. “Mike’s not going to be there.”

    “Who wants him here?” I muttered.

    “Well—Linnie did, right?” Siobhan asked, and I crossed over to my desk again and started straightening the piles of papers, mostly just to have something to do with my hands. “Didn’t she invite him?”

    “Of course,” I said quickly, ready to talk about something else. “But he’s not coming, and it’s better this way.”

    “Okay,” Siobhan said, and even through the phone, I could tell that this was her letting the subject go, even though she still disagreed with me. “Now.” There was a getting-down-to-business tone in Siobhan’s voice, the same as she’d had when we were five and trying to decide who got to be Belle when we were playing Beauty and the Beast and who was going to be stuck being the teapot. “What are you wearing on GMA?”

    I winced. Good Morning America was going to be coming to our house in two days to interview all of us, because my mom’s comic strip—Grant Central Station—was, after twenty-five years, coming to an end. And despite the fact that this was rapidly approaching, I hadn’t yet gotten as far as deciding what I would be wearing.

    Grant Central Station depicted the lives of the five kids, two parents, and a dog that made up the Grant family—the fictional version, since those of us who lived in the real world were also the Grant family. It was syndicated in newspapers across the country and around the world. It was about a large family dealing with everyday things—work and crushes and bad teachers and siblings’ fights. As the years had gone on, it had transitioned away from broad gags and more cartoonish illustrations and had slowly gotten more serious. The humor had become more poignant, and my mother would sometimes trace one story line for weeks. And unlike most strips, in which characters lived in a kind of stasis—Garfield perpetually hating Mondays and loving lasagna; Charlie Brown forever missing the football; Jason, Paige, and Peter Fox stuck in fifth, ninth, and eleventh grade, respectively—Grant Central Station followed real time. My siblings and I each had a strip equivalent that was a version of us, and for the last twenty-five years, the strip had charted the progress of the fictional family, moving in step with us in the real world.

    The fact that it was ending had come with an onslaught of requests for publicity—my mom had been doing phone and e-mail interviews for weeks, and taking the train into New York for photo shoots and taped interviews—but it seemed the really big ones were happening closest to when the strip was actually ending, probably so she could give her take on how she was feeling, now that the moment had arrived. There had been comic retrospectives in newspapers around the country, and the Pearce, our local museum, was doing a whole show on her artwork. We were squeezing in an appearance tonight at the opening, before we’d all rush to the rehearsal dinner.

    But the biggest of all these promotional appearances was Good Morning America on Sunday morning, a live interview with all of us that they were calling “The Family Behind Grant Central Station.”

    When Linnie and Rodney had decided on their wedding date, my mother had set the strip’s end date for the same weekend, so we’d all be together. And apparently, GMA had gotten a lot more interested in doing the piece on us when they’d found out we would all be available. Linnie and Rodney weren’t thrilled about this, and J.J. had commented that if we were expected to appear on national TV the day after a wedding, they might want to change the name of the segment to “Grant Central Hangover.” But I was just happy we’d all be together, that when this thing that had defined all our lives came to an end, we’d see it through as a group.

    “Um,” I said to Siobhan now, stalling for time. “Clothes?”

    “Charlie.” The disapproval in my best friend’s voice was palpable. “Jackson Goodman is coming to your house on Sunday.”

    “I’m aware of this.”

    “Jackson Goodman. And you don’t know what you’re wearing?” Siobhan’s voice rose sharply at the end of this. She and her dads watched Good Morning America together every morning until she had to leave for school, and Jackson Goodman—the laid-back anchor with the wide grin—was by far her favorite. When she’d found out that he was going to be at our house, she’d pretty much lost her mind, then promptly invited herself over for the taping.

    “You can help me pick an outfit, how about that?”

    “Deal. And you’ll introduce me to Jackson, right?”

    “Sure,” I said, even though I had no idea how things were going to run on Sunday.

    I could hear muffled voices on Siobhan’s end. “I should probably go. This accepted students thing is starting soon.”

    “Have fun. Hail to the victorious.”

    “Hail to the victors,” Siobhan corrected, sounding scandalized. “Have I taught you nothing?”

    “Clearly not. Um, go Wolverine.”

    “Wolverines,” Siobhan said, her voice rising. “It’s not like Hugh Jackman is our mascot.”

    “See, but if he was, maybe I would have applied.”

    “Steve and Ted are still mad you didn’t, you know.”

    “Just tell them to be glad I didn’t apply to Ohio State.”

    I heard the sharp intake of breath that followed whenever I mentioned Michigan’s rival school, which I found ways to bring up as often as possible. “I’m going to pretend you didn’t say that.”

    “That’s probably wise.”

    “I gotta go. Tell Linnie congrats for me?”

    “Of course. See you tomorrow.” I hung up, then after a moment opened my photos and started looking through them. I scrolled past my photos, stopping at the ones with my siblings, trying to find one of us all together.

    There I was with Linnie and Rodney last night, picking up pies at Captain Pizza. And then me and Danny and J.J. in front of the Christmas tree, both Danny and me giving J.J. bunny ears—Linnie and Rodney had spent the holiday with Rodney’s parents in Hawaii. And then me and J.J. and Linnie at Thanksgiving—Danny had had to work, jetting last-minute to Shanghai, trying to save a deal that had started falling apart. There I was with Danny in September, sitting outside at a Coffee Bean—he’d sent me a surprise “Come and visit me for the weekend!” plane ticket, and I’d flown out to California and back again in less than forty-eight hours. And then there was one from last summer, me and J.J. trying—and failing—to play Cards Against Humanity with only two people.

    But there were none of all of us together, and looking at the pictures was evidence that we hadn’t all been together in a while. But at long last, this weekend, we would be. For three days, my siblings were going to be home and it was going to be us again—playing games and standing around the kitchen laughing and making bagel runs and just being together.

    I’d spent so much time thinking about it, and now it was so close. I was so near to the way it felt when we were all together, like finally things had been put right again. Not to mention that this weekend was the last time that we’d all be together in this house, so it was going to be perfect. It had to be perfect. I would make sure of it.

    I headed for the door and was halfway down the stairs to the kitchen when the alarm went off again.

  • Customer Reviews

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    Save the Date (B&N Exclusive Edition) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
    Bridgett Deem Nelson 9 months ago
    Save the Date made me laugh out loud, tear up, and everything in between. I truly adored this story. Couldn't put it down. Is it a little far-fetched? Of course. If that many things went wrong at my wedding, I'd seriously be questioning my choice of groom. Nevertheless, I could absolutely see it being made into a very funny film. The family dynamics and the multiple personalities truly make this story. I found every single family member funny in their own, unique way. My one gripe, and the reason I didn't give this book 5 stars...at times, the Grant family gave off a very privileged, noninclusive type of vibe. Almost like the movie, The Family Stone. I genuinely felt sorry for poor Brooke. Since we're on the topic, I wasn't exactly thrilled with Waffles' treatment either. Regardless, this is a quick, super fun read. I even enjoyed the Grant Central Station comics throughout. I actually just looked at Morgan Matson's library, and realized I've rated all her books either 4 or 5 stars. Clearly, she's one of my must-read authors. 4 well deserved stars!
    EllenRozek More than 1 year ago
    Although SAVE THE DATE is dressed up as a wacky wedding tale, it's really a story about family and family bonds. Seventeen-year-old Charlie is the youngest of five, the only one of the Grant siblings still living at home, and the one most committed to maintaining the family traditions and ensuring that they make the most out of her sister's wedding weekend. Her resolve is tested by a series of minor disasters and major life changes, and the hijinks that ensue are hilarious and ridiculous by turns. I love stories about big, messy families and the often complicated relationships that the family members have with each other, and Morgan Matson absolutely knocks those tropes out of the park with this novel. I loved the in jokes and banter, the embarrassing stories and ridiculous traditions, and I loved how clearly important they all were to Charlie. (Because teenager protagonists who are super invested in their families never get old for me either.) I thought it was enormously clever of the author to tell this story of upheaval and leaving the past in the past against the backdrop of a wedding, and I appreciated that none of the romantic subplots were given as much page time or as much weight as Charlie's changing relationships with her siblings. I blew through this book in a matter of days, and I've already re-read certain scenes more than once (like the great almost sign robbery, for example). It was heartwarming and sweet and surprisingly insightful. Quite possibly my new favorite of Morgan Matson's books, too. :)
    Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
    So far, everyone that I've seen that has read and reviewed this has said the same thing: this is their favorite Morgan Matson book. And I have to say, it's definitely my favorite now too. I've said for a long time, Matson is the Queen of Realistic Fiction, but this one by far shows it. Her attention to detail and her imagination just completes the picture for me. Charlie's older sister is getting married and all her siblings have come into town to watch the event. Or disaster, based on everything that's going wrong. Like the nosey neighbor, the terrible sound the alarm is making, and so much more. Just when she thought everything good, several other things changed. Over the weekend, Charlie learns a little more about the family she thought she knew all about. And again after reading this, I still say Morgan Matson is the Queen of Realistic Fiction. Her attention to detail makes her stories for me. They always feel more like movies than books. She makes it extremely easy to see the story play out in my head. As a reader that's what normally happens when I read books, but for the most part, the background is never in full detail like it is when I read a Matson book. That's the best way I can describe it. Matson always creates an entire world for her readers. And in a world of things going wrong with the wedding, the humor in this one MAKES the story. It wasn't something that we should be laughing at (since those things were important details about the wedding) but laughing was inevitable. I also loved the characters. I mean who wouldn't love them?! To make it even better, I fell for both sets of the Grants. It was so fun to get to know both sets of the family along with Charlie, because everything she thought she knew about them, well she didn't know everything. It was a really fun way to get to know all of them. I also wanted to talk about the plot. I've never read anything about a family with a mom who had this profession. To me that shows a lot of her imagination; to go where no one else's mind has been before. I can't wait to read more by her. "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." pg. 169 Last but not least, I really loved the "visits" from the characters in her other books. I always love the Easter eggs of author's previous books, and there is an egg from most of them. Makes me want to go back and re-read all her books again. I love being able to see what they're up to now! The humor, the romance, the family ties, all of it makes this story my favorite. I'm almost positive that I'll say that the next Morgan Matson book is my favorite as well, but at least for now I can say that this one really is my favorite for now.
    18876111 More than 1 year ago
    This book was pure entertainment and I just absolutely loved it. I felt like what I was reading was a reality show, but it was done extremely well. I loved almost all the characters. I didn't like Don, and I feel like his character was supposed to be unlikeable, and I didn't really like Jesse all that much either, he's kind of a jerk. I loved the dramatics of this book too. This was such a fun, summer read.
    thereadingchick More than 1 year ago
    Taking place over one weekend, Save the Date explores the relationships of the Grant family as seen through the eyes of the youngest daughter, Charlie. As one of five children, Charlie has really looked forward to her oldest sister Linnea’s wedding at their family home this weekend. It will be the first time her whole family has been together in the last year and a half and she misses them horribly. Of course, nothing goes as planned and Charlie’s envisioned family reunion does not go as planned. Charlie’s mother is being honored for the retirement of the comic strip she has created and written through Charlie’s entire life. The antics of the kids in the comic strip mirrored the antics of her own children. This weekend wedding opens up Charlie’s eyes to the fact that some of her own memories are actually memories of things that happened in the comic strip and not exactly as it happened in real life. This awareness of what actually had been changes Charlie’s visions of what her future could be helping her make some decisions that she had been postponing. I found this novel so refreshing because it was about a whole family. There was such a huge cast of characters to keep track of, but in the center of it all was Charlie, who seemed to be the one that grounded everyone. I don’t mean to give her more importance than her older siblings, but they all had flaws and Charlie’s only flaw seemed to be that she had glorified their family but in my own experience I think seeing everyone for who they are is actually a part of growing up. Even though this novel took place over a weekend, Charlie grew up a lot. I enjoyed this novel a lot. It was an easy read with a lot of humor. This families antics actually reminded me a bit of my own family and I wonder if everyone who reads it won’t see a bit of themselves in one of these characters. There are a lot to choose from, after all!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Not my favorite . I really had to push to get through this one. 8 found the main character rather annoying ...
    StellaH More than 1 year ago
    After reading Save the Date by Morgan Matson, I felt like I had just run a marathon, but in the best way possible. It was exhausting and entertaining, and I couldn’t put it down until I knew how everything worked out. Taking place mainly over one weekend, I was unsure how the events could fill up over 400 pages. How much could really happen in three days that would keep me invested for that long? The answer was pleasantly surprising as I followed Charlie while she navigated the nonstop challenges with her family, her romantic interests, her friends, and everything else that goes awry during the weekend. This book is a comedy of errors where everything that could go wrong during Charlie’s older sister’s wedding does. With seven people in her immediate family and everyone else attending and working the wedding squeezing into one house, there are bound to be issues, but each had its place and was handled accordingly. I was thrown into Charlie’s stresses, but also felt her confidence that she could fix it, even if it was not how she planned. If everything worked out exactly as it should, the story would have seemed too neatly tied up; instead, there was mistake after mistake, while Charlie took on great pressure in order to make sure this weekend, which she had been so patiently waiting for, went smoothly. In the beginning it seemed as though Charlie’s narrative was going to be dictated by her feelings for her brother’s best friend, and that she would do whatever it took to get his attention, but with all of the twists and turns, Charlie eventually takes her life into her own hands. She realizes that the people around her are just that, people, not perfect beings who can do no wrong. She goes through an internal transformation, maintaining her unconditional love for her family, but also learning to appreciate her own power to decide and succeed on her own. I don’t want to give away too much of the ending, but it was not disappointing, even with one major twist I was not at all expecting. You’ll have to read to find out!
    KriisGaia More than 1 year ago
    Family events are pretty mad at the best of times, but put two together and what a weekend! That’s what you get in Save The Date. Focused on Charlie, the youngest of a large family, you see the weekend from her perspective. It is not only her sisters’ wedding, but the one that marks the end of her mothers celebrated career as a cartoonist. The family is an interesting one. It is a very close and loving family, with the exception of one estrangement. Early on you get the impression that there are undercurrents between the parents as well, undercurrents of which the kids may not be aware. The wedding itself is a bit of mayhem. The wedding consultant turned out to be either incompetent or embezzling and is missing in action. Half of what she did do has to be undone by the new wedding consultant. And he has a nice nephew too. The neighbors are joyous, constantly complaining about the noise, which is, of course, uncontrollable given the nature of the weekend. Everything that can go wrong seems to go wrong. Grant Central Station has been a favorite with comic readers for many years. Chronicling a barely fictionalized version of the family, it is the cause of the original estrangement with one of the children. When she mentions in the strip an embarrassing but funny episode in her sons’ life, even after his express request that she not, it sparks a two-year feud between them. Everything All At Once Now that the mothers’ cartoon career is coming to an end, of course, there must be much pomp and circumstance surrounding it. The papers are all wanting an interview as are the national TV shows and it just seems like a really bad idea to schedule it all on the same weekend as the wedding. Add into the mix Charlie’s personal life, school life transition into college, and it makes for a rather chaotic but thoroughly enjoyable novel. Reviewed for LnkToMi iRead in response to a complimentary copy of the book provided by the publisher in hopes of an honest review.
    BookPrincessReviews More than 1 year ago
    3.5 crowns This book...was a bit of a messy experience for me? Which I mean, fits so well, since the Grants were a little messy and poor Linnie's wedding weekend was a total mess (however, in the best rom com kind of way). This book had me teetering between Full On Annoyance and OMG This Is Great. But I seriously couldn't stop reading it either way???? I think one of my biggest issues with the characters. I had a lot of beef with Charlie for about 5/8 of the book? Like, she was so selfish and focused on just here. Yes, there is a big change around and some redemption arcs, but it took a while to get there. She was the girl that I needed to root for, but I honestly just wanted things to go wrong in the book because that was the entertaining part. I couldn't deal with a lot of her stuff - especially with how she treated Brooke. I get this wasn't part of the program and she wanted to hang with your brother, but it wasn't any excuse to treat poor Brooke (who legit was my favorite character of the novel so I don't know how to deal with this). Lol, but legit Brooke and Waffles were my favorite characters which is sad since Waffles is a dog and Brooke was the poor girlfriend of one of the brothers that got left behind. Also Bill. I liked Bill. And maybe even Will! OH, Rodney and his parents was cool beans, too. I also wasn't the biggest fan of the Grant family. Like, I thought they had some interesting dynamics, but I didn't really see quite the draw? Yes, it's totally a messy and realistic family, but I never really connected with the family unit. It felt like they were a clique that I wasn't a part of and didn't understand. I thought they were better at the end - the GMA interview really redeemed a lot for me - but I had some issues with them as a whole. This was probably the biggest issue that I had with the book. I felt like the characters just made me really annoyed and I had to set down the book a few times to decompress from them. However, there were a lot of good points as well. I really liked the comedy aspects of the book. I think it made me laugh out loud twice? Which is BIG for a book since I never laugh out loud for anything. And there were some witty twists and turns (some I predicted, some I did not), and I thought that it honestly was like a fantastic romantic comedy that I was watching play out. I did really enjoy a lot of the hijinks and I think the middle third of the book was all I needed from this book to make me feeling good. The end did leave me with a pleasant contemporary afterglow. Also, I think the pacing was really good. It did seem to go on a little long, but I think overall it was pretty well done. I liked how everything came together, and dramatic moments happened when they needed to be. Matson is definitely a talented contemporary writer. Overall, this wasn't quite the summer contemporary adorable cheesy goodness that I was looking for, but it still had some good moments. I think the latter part of the book really brought it up for me since I had a lot of issues in the front half of the book. There were some good characters, but a lot of the main ones rubbed me the wrong way. It might be nice for a light read, but there could be some annoyance involved...unless it was exceedingly high expectations again. If so, OOPS. 3.5 crowns and a Jasmine rating!
    book_junkee More than 1 year ago
    2.5 stars? I had only heard gushing reviews of how great this book was, so I was pretty excited for it when I finally got around to it. Sadly, I was bored. I guess Charlie was an okay MC. The family was huge and because there were so many people to keep track of, no one felt fleshed out. And I legit couldn’t keep track of the brothers. Plot wise it was bland. I mean, there are so many things happening that it was a bit too convoluted. Several of the plot lines seemed unnecessary and there for no purpose other than to fill a page. Overall, it was a cute idea and there was a lot of potential, but the family dynamic just didn’t click. **Huge thanks to Simon & Schuster for providing a finished copy free of charge**
    TheThoughtSpot More than 1 year ago
    Realistic fiction filled with the strength of family! Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read and review Save the Date by Morgan Matson! Reminiscent of Cheaper By The Dozen and Sixteen Candles since chaos seems to surround the Grant family and a family member is getting married during this story. The mother created a comic strip depicting the lives and happenings of the family members and it’s now coming to an end. Charlie, the main character, has a crush on her older brother’s best friend, Jesse and he knows it. Everything that can go wrong with the wedding seems to happen and the Grant family is past their elbows in stress. Their family is literally falling apart and breaking up while they are featured on tv as being the perfect family. The story comes around in a complete circle with the family members airing their grievances and struggling to work them out. Consequences seem to bring everything into the open in this realistic fiction drama filled with chaos and contention and also the strength of family, 4 stars! * I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I absolutely loved this book! It was an amazing read and high recommend it. I loved the bonus content and the playlist at the end, I think that was a super cute idea. It was more about family with a sprinkle of boys in the mix and I loved it. I wanted to be apart of the Grant Family in real life, the book throws you into one chaotic scene after another never knowing what else may happen. It was extremely well written. I recommend it.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I absolutely LOVED this book. I loved reading the progress that the book made. Being a teenager, I would suggest this book to anyone of my friends. It was amazing. I have read it twice already, will reread it in the future, that is how much I loved this book.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    It's been a long time since I actually found myself laughing out loud at a book, but Save the Date had me doing just that every few pages! Matson's latest novel follows the Grant family during the weekend of their oldest daughter, Linnie's wedding. Our main character, Charlie Grant, is thrilled to have her older siblings home for the event and is determined to make everything perfect; until the wedding planner quits, and chaos ensues. Overall, I enjoyed Save the Date. The focus of this book was definitely on the dynamics of the Grant family, and they were so much fun to read about! The Grant's are dysfunctional and wild, but their flaws only made them that much more realistic. The siblings dynamics were wonderfully portrayed, and served for many hysterical moments. Each of the Grant siblings were lovable, but I found "DJJJ" to be a stand-out character. Fans of Matson's The Unexpected Everything can also look forward to cameos from a few certain characters ;) My biggest complaint about this book is the pacing. Having the book set over the course of one weekend really kept this from being a 5-star read for me, because I kept wanting MORE from certain relationships, but there wasn't enough time to see them develop. I especially think this hindered the romantic plot, since there was more pining than actual romance; in fact, the romance at times felt more like an obligation than a supplement to the storyline. Save the Date comes up short to some of Matson's other works, but is still a very funny, light-hearted read I would recommend for this summer!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Well, this book is as cozy as they come! Imagine the lives of a family who’s mother essentially writes “Family Circus”. “Grant Central Station” has been going for as long as Charlie can remember. It’s the reflection of her family life… The way she THINKS her family is. But, do her siblings feel the same way? Is their family life really the solid, shining beacon she always thinks it is? I loved that the romance story was almost a secondary part of the novel. The family dynamic, the fact that their house is being sold, their mother’s comic strip is coming to an end, and estranged family members coming together for Linnie and Rodney’s wedding were the main focus and I LOVED THAT! It was a refreshing story and the family was my favourite part of the book! This was one of those books in which the main protagonist was actually my least favourite character! Charlie could be annoying with her idealistic view of her life and family. I liked her family being around to pull her out of the clouds and make her realize that it’s not all about her. Now on to some of my favourite characters! With some quotes to get you interested!! Siobhan (Charlie’s best friend) “I got my mom to call me out. I’m taking the day off so I can help with wedding stuff.” “I thought all of that was being taken care of my Tangerine.” I shook my head, even though I knew she couldn’t see me. “You know her name is Clementine. You just have a weird prejudice against her.” “You know my policy,” Siobhan said. “never trust anyone named after a fruit.” I sighed; I’d heard this more times than I’d wanted to, and could practically feel Siobhan teeing up her punch line. “After all… They might be rotten.” J.J. (Charlie’s brother) “Hey, man!” Rodney said, smiling at J.J. “Welcome home. Want a donut?” “Ummm… Sure?” J.J. scoffed. But just as he’d done ever since he’d read this phrase when he was twelve, he said the word “scoff” instead of just making the sound, and none of us had been able to convince him this actually wasn’t correct.” And the rest! “J. J. shook his head. “Your job sounds exhausting, young Billiam.” “It’s okay,” Bill said with another smile. “And, uh, it’s really not Billiam. Just Bill is good. Bill Barnes.” “That’s a good name,” J. J. said, pointing at Bill. “That’s a superhero name.” Rodney raised an eyebrow. “How is it a superhero name?” “The double letter thing.” “Alliteration,” I supplied. “Danny smiled at me. “Charlie knows what’s what.” Then he turned to J. J. “I still don’t know how it’s a superhero name.” “They all have them,” J. J. said, gesturing expansively. “I’ll wait to hear the specifics.” “It’s true,” Rodney agreed. “you can’t make a claim without evidence.” “Rodney’s a lawyer,” J. J. explained to Bill. “Not yet,” Rodney said, shaking his head. “Not until I pass the bar.” “That’s a TOTAL lawyerly qualification to make,” J. J. sighed. “Still waiting to hear those examples,” Danny said as he took a sip from his near empty glass. “Fine!” J. J. said, slapping his hand down on the bar. “Okay. How about…?” He paused for a moment, furrow ing his brow. “Peter Parker? Or Sue Storm? Or Bruce Banner?” “Woah,” Bill said, his eyebrows going up. “I guess I never realized that before. There are two Superheroes named Bruce?” “Who else?” I asked. “Bruce Wayne,” Danny, J. J., Bill and Rodney said at the same time. “Oh, right, him.” “Bruce Wayne is the exception,” J. J. said, shaking his head. “All the rest of them have the double letters.” “Alli
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book is great
    Some_Reading_Required More than 1 year ago
    When I came across Save the Date on Goodreads, I immediately knew I wanted to read it, because it gave me major Sixteen Candles (one of my favorite teen movies) vibes. And guess what, my suspicion was correct. Like Sixteen Candles, there were a lot of hilariously disastrous events that took place before, during, and after Charlie’s sister’s wedding. Charlie is going through an emotionally tough time because she doesn’t like change, and a lot of changes are quickly approaching her. She has big decisions she needs to make, but keeps putting them off. I didn’t like Charlie for most of the book, because she was often immature, selfish, and sometimes, inconsiderate. She kept envisioning this perfect weekend with her “perfect” family, and when things started getting in the way of her plans, she angrily lashed out at her family and best friend. I felt a lot more compassionate towards Charlie once she started to reflect on some decisions she’s made in the past, ones that she realizes could have, and should have, been better. On another note: I also really loved following her around as she frequently, and frantically, tried to stop her older sister’s wedding from completely falling apart. Charlie’s mom is a famous author/artist of Grant Central Station, a widely known, and beloved comic strip that is based on her big, wacky family. Throughout Save the Date, we’re treated to actual Grant Central Station comic strips. I loved each and every one! There were so many things to love about Save the Date, the awesome 80s movie and music references, the hilarious wedding snafus, and especially, the entire Grant family, and their interactions with one another. No Grant faded into the background, because they all had their own memorable personalities and moments. Save the Date is a charming and fun contemporary that made me smile and laugh-out-loud a lot. I know I’ll reread it sometime down the road.
    WyHalo More than 1 year ago
    I liked this book a lot! The author's name didn't ring a bell, but looking through my Goodreads I realized I had read one of her earlier books and enjoyed it. This is YA but can easily be enjoyed by older readers, and sort of fits into the chicklit category. I liked the story of Charlie, a high school senior and the youngest of five siblings who's the last one living at home when everybody comes together for her sister's wedding. I tend to like stories of families with lots of kids because that's totally foreign to me and sounds both like a giant pain and a lot of fun at times. I don't want to give too much away, but the family is in upheaval because the parents are selling the house and the mom, a famous cartoonist, is ending her long-running syndicated comic strip that was based on the real family. Wedding prep is total chaos, and not everybody is getting along. Charlie is the peacemaker who loves being in her giant family and wants them all to get along and for the wedding to go well, but at the same time is having a secret romance with her older brother's best friend and trying to decide which college she'll attend in the fall. The family dynamics rang true to life and even though the book is kind of long, it was a fast-paced, easy read. I think it would make a really entertaining movie, actually. Note: I received a free ebook ARC from Simon & Schuster via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.