Author: Morgan Matson Series: Standalone Genre: Young Adult Release Date: 2018 Book Length: 432 pages Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers Review: 4.5/5
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.
I love my family and everything, but I’m just saying that if the Grant’s wanted to adopt me into theirs, I wouldn’t say no. The family dynamics in this was incredible, and I liked how that is what the main plot centered around. Despite how dysfunctional they could be at times, it actually made them more lovable. Charlie’s relationship with each of her siblings was so different but all were really believable; I enjoyed getting to know each and every one of them.
This book was not just a book—as many other reviewers have said, it reads like a movie. If you can’t tell by the cover or title, the book is about a wedding. Many things go wrong leading up to, during, and after the wedding and at a point it did get to be extremely far fetched that that many things went wrong for one event. Regardless of how annoying it was that literally nothing was going right, I still thought it was a really fun read.
I also want to mention something I haven’t seen in any other review. There was a love subplot in this wherein the main character had a major crush on one of her older brother’s friends. I thought the way that was handled was extremely relatable (possible spoiler ahead). The reason being that the guy was honestly kind of an asshole, but Charlie had fabricated a version of him in her head that she wanted to believe was true, and it blinded her to the fact that he was never as seriously into her as she was into him. Pretty sure like 99% of girls (and guys) can relate to something like that. For her to realize on her own that he never deceived her, but that she just chose to ignore the parts of him she didn’t want to see was huge and I don’t think there’s enough representation of that, something sooooo real to people, in books. I’m really happy she became self-aware of what she was doing because she deserved so much better than that guy anyways.
I went into this thinking that it was going to be cute and light—something cheesy that the romantic hidden deep inside my heart would love. It was all of those things, but it was also so much more. There are a few life lessons in here that I didn’t anticipate but that I needed to hear at the moment—a lot of which had to do with change. Sometimes change can be scary and it’s really easy to shut yourself off from it because that’s just the more convenient thing to do. Charlie was dealing with a lot of changes in the book, and it was kind of nice to see a bit of myself in her and relate to someone in that way.
Anyways, I told myself when I started this that I wasn’t going to write a long review, but obviously that went out the window because this book surprised me and I couldn’t control the urge to get my thoughts out. I guess I can’t really blame Morgan Matson for not knowing when to stop adding so many details in her writing because I am the exact same way; it’s no wonder she is my favourite YA author. I already can’t wait for her next book release.