Monday, September 26, 2011

Review: Sean Griswold's Head

Sean Griswold's Head

Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Pages: 288
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Source: Library
Synopsis: According to her guidance counselor, fifteen-year-old Payton Gritas needs a focus object-an item to concentrate her emotions on. It's supposed to be something inanimate, but Payton decides to use the thing she stares at during class: Sean Griswold's head. They've been linked since third grade (Griswold-Gritas-it's an alphabetical order thing), but she's never really known him. 

The focus object is intended to help Payton deal with her father's newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis. And it's working. With the help of her boy-crazy best friend Jac, Payton starts stalking-er, focusing on-Sean Griswold . . . all of him! He's cute, he shares her Seinfeld obsession (nobody else gets it!) and he may have a secret or two of his own. 

In this sweet story of first love, Lindsey Leavitt seamlessly balances heartfelt family moments, spot-on sarcastic humor, and a budding young romance.

Buy the Book (The Book DepositoryAmazon)

I love Sean Griswold's Head. The book, I mean, though I'm sure his head is nice too.

I laughed so hard while reading this. Payton has a hilarious voice. She's a believable teenager with the slightly nerdy vocabulary, insecurities, blowing things out of proportion problems and doing stuff for the stupid reason that you're a teenager not an adult yet so you can excuse. I think we'd be BFFs if we met. We're around the same age too so I loved her view of high school. Her need for schedules was brilliant and the guidance counsellor meetings had me picturing my guidance counsellor whom I met for the first time on the last day of 9th grade. She was awesome (Payton, I mean. I don't know much about my guidance counselor yet.)

Not to say there weren't many scene-stealing moments. Jac is an impossible best friend who's amazing and sweet but also has her very annoying faults that besties have. Payton and Jac's friendship was a great part of the novel and I loved that Jac was a complicated, real person, not just the MC's best friend. Payton's bros did made me laugh a lot. Her mom made me think of my dad. Sean was sweet and awesome but in a real teenage boy way. Grady was cool. Every character had more to them and while there were a lot of laughs, there was an equal amount of Serious Stuff happening.

One of those serious things was MS. Like Payton at the beginning I heard about it but I never really knew what it was until I read Sean Griswold's Head. The fact that Payton's Dad has MS was shocking to her and I felt awful too. Her reaction wasn't mature but I also think it was real. When tragedy strikes, we're not all happy-go-lucky. We need time to deal and process and reading of Payton as she did that was important. It was done really well and I'm so glad I read this book.

This is the kind of book that reminds me why I love to read contemporary novels. It's real and funny but serious. It totally deserves 5 stars,


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