Mega Giveaway + Review: Save the Date by Morgan Matson | Canadian Blog Tour

June 5, 2018 / 37 Comments / Blog Tour, Giveaway, Giveaways, Review

CDNBlogTour_SaveTheDate_bannerHi all, today is the release day for SAVE THE DATE by Morgan Matson! I’m so excited to be part of the Canadian blog tour for this wonderful book, which made me laugh, tear up, and feel all the feels.

As many of you know, I’m just a LITTLE of a Morgan Matson fan (see: entire feature week devoted to her work), so I’m delighted to say that Save the Date is another amazing – and hilarious read from one of my faves.

Read on for my review, and a huge Canadian giveaway

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Mega Giveaway + Review: Save the Date by Morgan Matson | Canadian Blog TourSave the Date

Goodreads
Author: Morgan Matson
Find the author: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr
Also by this author: The Unexpected Everything, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, Second Chance Summer
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication date: June 5, 2018
Source: ARC from Simon & Schuster Canada (thank you!)
My rating:
Buy It: Indigo.ca | Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | IndieBound | The Book Depository | iTunes | Google Books | B&N | Audible

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.

Review: Save the Date by Morgan Matson

A true family book, Save the Date is both Morgan Matson’s funniest book, and one of her most poignant works.

Guys, I laughed out loud at every other page – and in between, I felt all the feels of a girl who is losing her family home and just wants to have one last weekend with her awesome siblings.

Nostalgic before it even starts, Save the Date is the story of three epic days in the lives of the Grant family. Charlie, the protagonist, is the youngest of five siblings, and is in her senior year of high school, trying to decide where to go to college. Before she does, though, she is devastated to learn that her parents are selling their house.

Linnie, Charlie’s sister, has always dreamed of getting married at the Grant house, so they’ve moved the wedding date up to accommodate the move. Meanwhile, Charlie’s mom, Eleanor, is an acclaimed cartoonist and is ending her long-running comic strip, Grant Central Station, the same weekend as the wedding. Charlie’s hope? That her family coming together to their house one last time will mean reliving their best moments together before it all disappears.

The great thing about the timeline to Save the Date is that those three days show us, in minute detail, the Grant family and what they’re like in moments of greatness and crisis. I fell in love with each and every member of the family, from keep-it-all-together Charlie, to badass eldest brother Danny, to the fun-loving bride and groom Linnie and Rodney, to hilarious brother J.J. Even estranged brother Mike and his complex relationship with the rest of the family had moments of hilarity and honesty that made me care.

And that’s what Morgan is counting on – because diegetic to the story is the fact that America has also fallen in love with the Grants and their antics through Eleanor’s comic strip. As readers, we get the privilege of experiencing that love both through our own discovery of the characters, through the comic strip (which exists in segments in the book), and through the eyes of other non-Grant family members in the book. It’s a fascinating experience, because we get a window into who the Grants really are, who they’ve become because of the comic, and how they are different from their fictional counterparts. There’s a real sense of “if it wasn’t written into the comic, did it really happen to us?” here.

That’s a lot of metareality, but it really works here because so much of Save the Date is about reality versus the ideal. Save the Date is about what happens when everyone is looking for that perfect moment – whether in storytelling, or in creating a wedding day, or in having one last family weekend that will recapture the magic – and how much we might miss if we hold so tightly to that vision of things.

Charlie’s vision of her perfect weekend with her family leads her to act in ways that…aren’t exactly the most palatable at the beginning of the book. In fact, I could see how some readers would find her unlikeable. But it’s Charlie’s discovery of her own romanticization that makes this book a real journey. And as much as it’s probably pretty obvious to most readers what Charlie’s issues are, you can’t help but root for her a little as she tries to pull it together for the people she loves.

That said, the sad thing about the timeline of three days is that it doesn’t lend itself to new relationships – particularly romantic ones. While Save the Date contains some of Matson’s signature romance – and some really, really adorable moments – it’s really a book about Charlie. The romance here is very light – and it’s much more about Charlie than it is about the boys involved (but darn, they are cute!)

What Charlie discovers, though, is that even when her visions come crashing down, reality isn’t all bad. In fact, it’s pretty funny. And that means that this book is easily the most hilarious summer book I’ve read in a long time. From the random inclusion of a beagle (it’s a Morgan Matson book, there had to be a dog!), to the feuding family members who make EVERY wedding a hassle to J.J.’s hilarious snarkiness (he says the word “scoff” instead of actually scoffing), to the comedy of errors that is the wedding itself (there’s a wedding suit switcharoo. And a Journey tribute band. Enough said), this book is a true comedy of errors.

Like the rest of Morgan’s books, what really pulls Save the Date together is heart and character. Yes, this book is hella funny. But it’s also just the perfect blend of nostalgia, comfort, heartbreak, and pluckiness that makes it refreshing and just JOYOUS to read. Morgan really GETS her characters, and their actions always feel right for the character and fully realized.

If I have one quibble about this book, it’s a minor one: the comedy of errors hits its reality quotient at a certain point. There was a moment where I was really asking myself whether I could believe that ALL of these crazy things were falling apart at one wedding – and it was a moment that took me out of the narrative.

But ultimately, Save the Date is classic Morgan Matson. There’s a dog. Delicious food. A family that you can love and respect. Friendships that are real. Laughter. The prettiest romantic moments. And a heroine who is on the cusp of something new who – if she lets go and takes a chance – will learn and grow so much.

Bonuses:

vector_cameo_silhouettes_by_yulia7-d4h9iwfCameos: As many of you probably know, Morgan Matson’s characters and books all exist in the same world – all centered around the fictional town of Stanwich, Connecticut. Save the Date’s Grant family ends up meeting and mentioning quite a few characters from the past, and it’s such a delight to catch up with them, like a friendly wave from another lifetime. Also, if you’re a Taylor Swift fan (as Morgan is), you might notice a shout-out to her that made me laugh pretty hard.

Book Theme Song:

The Boy I’m Going To Marry by The Crystals

Today I met the boy I’m gonna marry
He’s all I wanted all my life and even more
He smiled at me and the music started playing
Here comes the bride when he walked through the door
Today I met the boy I’m gonna marry
The boy whose life and dream and love I wanna share
For on my hand a band of gold appeared before me
The band of gold I always dreamed I’d wear
When we kissed I felt a sweet sensation
This time it wasn’t just my imagination

I couldn’t resist choosing this song because it actually plays in the book, and it’s just the right amount of nostalgia for a weekend like this. 

The Final Word:

Save the Date was an incredibly refreshing, laugh-out-loud read that is great for the summer, but might also be great for anyone on the cusp of a big decision in their lives. To me, no one else in the YA world is writing family dramas like Save the Date, and if they are, none of them are achieving the perfect balance of nostalgia, warmth and authenticity that Morgan is. The Grant family is that family you totally want to be part of. And even if they aren’t perfect, it was such a pleasure getting to inhabit their world for a few days.

If you’re a fan of family comedies or sitcoms like Full House (or even Fuller House!), Parenthood, or the family moments in Becky Albertalli’s books, this is definitely one you should pick up. 

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SAVE THE DATE by Morgan Matson is out in bookstores today! Are you picking up a copy asap? Do you like books set at weddings? How about slice-of-life family stories? Have you read Morgan’s other books? Let me know in the comments! 

about-author-myal-banner

About Morgan Matson

morgan matson author photo

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. 

She currently lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Murphy.


Giveaway Mostly YA Lit banner

My wonderful friends at Simon & Schuster Canada are offering Canadian readers (or people with a Canadian mailing address) a huge giveaway. One lucky reader will get autographed copies of all of Morgan’s books, including Save the Date! Sign up below to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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37 responses to “Mega Giveaway + Review: Save the Date by Morgan Matson | Canadian Blog Tour

  1. Sarah Wheatley

    I have never read a Morgan Matson book, but this review makes me want to go find one immediately. It sounds really enjoyable.

    • Kat

      Oh my gosh I HIGHLY recommend any of her books!!! They’re all feel good, light summer reads that make it super enjoyable! I also recommend reading her book in the order they came out just because she likes to give us little easter eggs in stories (an old character may pop up in her newer novels.)

  2. I haven’t read any of Morgan Matson’s books but your review is making me wonder what have I been doing all this time? I love how you describe Save the Date as “the perfect blend of nostalgia, comfort, heartbreak, and pluckiness that makes it refreshing and just JOYOUS to read”. Sounds right up my alley!! My daughter recently made her way through every season of Full House and while I thought it was corny at first (okay I still think it’s corny), it really grew on me. If Save the Date is like it, I think my daughter and I would both enjoy it!

  3. Dedra

    I’ve never met a Morgan Matson book I didn’t love! They are refreshing, fun, and a great escape! Perfect summer reads.

  4. I’ve read most of her previous books and just love her writing! They’re always fun, thoughtful and so real. Cannot wait for more <3

  5. Katelyn

    I absolutely adore Morgan Matson’s work and I’m sure this one won’t disappoint! I loved reading your review and can’t wait to delve into this story myself!

  6. Maya

    I’m so glad I discovered a Canadian blogger who loves Morgan Matson as much as I do! And a Canadian giveaway? Now we’re talking about the stuff of dreams! Thank you Tiff and thank you Morgan! I can’t wait to read it and this review has me even more excited!

  7. Jenn

    I am a huge Morgan Matson fan!! I have read all of her books and absolutely loved them!! I am dying to read Save The Date!!

  8. I love this series so much and Save the Date was a blast. As a family girl myself, it was great to see a story centered on family.

  9. Nicole Jubleew

    I haven’t read any of her books yet. Save the Date sounds like a great book and I’m sure it will make we a fan!

  10. Zippy

    I didn’t expect to like Morgan Matson’s books and honestly just borrowed her books from the library for a light contemporary read. Little did I know that I would be falling in love with her characters, settings, and plots so much that I recommend them to everyone I come across. Matson’s books are full of humour, romance and just a touch of drama that makes them a perfect summer read, and I can’t help but compare her to a young adult version of Sophie Kinsella! I look forward to reading Save the Date though, and can’t wait to laugh out loud like you did haha. Thank you for the giveaway!!

  11. I’m so behind on my TBR right now but it definitely includes Save the Date! Weddings, summer, nostalgia, family drama, classic Morgan Matson storytelling — yes, yes, yes. It really does sound like a book with a lot of heart. My sister is also a huge fan of Morgan Matson too, so I’m sure when she takes a break from reading a romance book, she’ll be reading it soon as well. I loved reading your review, Tiff! 🙂

  12. I wasn’t familiar with this author prior to this summer, but I’ve heard a lot about this book. It seems like a fun summer read. There aren’t very many funny books on my TBR… maybe I should change that and add Save the Date.

  13. adriana palma

    ive heard of morgans books, and ive been curious and intereste din reading her books, recently i bought one of her books(cant remmeber the name rn lol) i still havent read it tho..

  14. I haven’t read any of Morgan Matson’s books but I should because I own The Unexpected Everything. Save the Date sounds like one of those really funny books where the main character needs everything to go perfect but everything just seems to go from bad to worse and then at the end everything works out fine and everyone has a laugh, including the reader. I’m super excited for Morgan’s Toronto event!

  15. Love, love, LOVED Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson and I absolutely fell in love with her style of writing since then! I’m super eager to read this book and find another story of hers to immerse myself in.

  16. Summer

    I love Morgan Matson’s books, the friendships are always a highlight for me, and I enjoy that they have that breezy contemporary feel to them, and yet they’re emotional, too, they really stay with you after you’ve read them.

  17. Vivian

    Haven’t read anything from Morgan but I’ve heard a lot of hype around Save the Date so it’s on my TBR! Also this giveaway is awesome thanks for the chance!

  18. I haven’t read any Morgan Matson books yet, but when I saw Save The Date and read what it was about, i knew this is where I needed to start my journey with her books. Pretty excited about this book. Thanks for the chance to win.

  19. I’m a BIG fan (and am soooo bummed I won’t be able to make it to the signing this week). I love that her books are funny and feature main characters who are relatable. My all time YA author is Sarah Dessen and Morgan’s books remind me a lot of Sarah’s. Especially with the same small town and cameo aspect. I can’t wait to read this one simply because Morgan wrote it!

  20. Jennifer

    I haven’t read any of Morgan Matson’s books but I think based on the reviews I might be a fan in waiting! (And there’s a dog)

  21. Jessica R

    Okay I had a feeling you were going to enjoy this one (because duh) but I’m so happy you did! Classic Morgan Matson is always going to be a winner, I think. And you’re interviewing her at Yorkdale??? Tiff! Have the most amazing time with that! <3

  22. Rendz

    I have never read a Morgan Matson book, but Save the Date sounds truly amazing! I cannot wait to pick it up and possibly meet her on Friday!

  23. I’ve read some of her previous books and just adored them. They’re almost always realistic, funny, relatable, and wondrous. I can’t wait to read her newest release.

  24. Tobi

    I love Morgan Matson books. Her stories are cute, funny, and full of heart. I also love that in one of her books (The Unexpected Everything, to be exact) she has a girl character named Toby. I occasionally got teased in school for my name being “masculine”, so seeing a girl character with it made me so happy. Can’t wait to read Save The Date!

  25. Kat

    Literally my favourite author of all time, Morgan Matson writes the BEST feel good summer reads ever! There is not 1 of her books that I have not laughed, cried and related to and honestly her books just keep getting better and better! Really recommend these books to anyone who’s looking for coming of age stories about friends, family, and love. Save the Date was so fun to read, everything about it was exactly how I wanted to play out.!

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