Monday, November 19, 2018

Save the Date - Morgan Matson

Title: Save the Date
Author: Morgan Matson
Format: E-Book
Rating: 1 Star (And that's just because I feel bad for the author.)

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, distractedly 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 don't even feel like there are enough words in the English language to adequately describe how much I hated every single second of this book.  Frankly, it's a miracle I even made it to the end.  

In this book, Charlie's older sister Linnie is getting married - and literally every single thing that could go wrong during the weekend of her wedding did. Every. Single. Thing.  Her brother Mike showed up even though he hadn't been home in 18 months.  Her brother Danny brought his girlfriend home even though Danny didn't RSVP for a plus 1.  Danny's girlfriend acted like a spoiled obnoxious brat the entire weekend.  Mike didn't even stay with his family - he stayed with his best friend Jesse (we'll get to that story in a second).  The family got a dog for the weekend (because they had a dog in the family comic strip and GMA is filming their family on Sunday), and the dog won't stop howling.  The alarm won't stop beeping all weekend long.  The wedding planner quit, the absentee wedding planner was charged with embezzlement, Charlie ruined the wedding cake, the groom got the wrong suit, the friend who was supposed to marry them couldn't because you can't be ordained online in Connecticut.  There was so much more - I mean at some point, you just want to keep reading to see how much more outrageous and ridiculous this could get.  There is NO WAY that all these things and more could possibly go wrong at one person's wedding - there just isn't.

It got to the point where I wanted to look at the author and every character and just scream out: 


Let's start with Charlie.  This child is just about as mature as I would expect from a fucking 5 year old.  I didn't believe that she was someone who was just finishing high school and about to go off to college in a few months.  For starters, it's May and she still hasn't notified the colleges she got accepted to where she wants to attend. She keeps saying she wants to go to Stanwich, but she keeps thinking about Northwestern - all the time.  So go to Northwestern!  (She keeps saying she won't because her parents are selling the house, and she doesn't want a new house, and a new city within just a couple months.)  Charlies is also so rude to Brooke, Danny's girlfriend.  Now, I can't stand Brooke, but she was a guest in the Grant's home and Charlie treated her like crap.

Charlie's siblings are about as mature as she is, which is just sad, because Linnie, the oldest, is 10 years older than Charlie!  They all act like the world revolves around them - and take very little consideration for people outside themselves and their little nuclear family.  J.J. spends the entire time bemoaning the fact that he claims he RSVP'd for 2, and doesn't have a date, and talks all weekend about how the new wedding planner is named Billiam - because that's obviously what Bill is short for, right?! BILLIAM!  I wanted to reach out and strangle him if he said Billiam one more time. 

Anyway, I'm ranting.  So let me be a bit more concise about this.

1. Is Charlie something else?  I just wonder, because at one point she makes a comment about how the puppy actually managed to walk and howl at the same time.  She's amazed that a dog can walk AND howl at the same time?! CAN YOU WALK AND TALK AT THE SAME TIME, CHARLIE?! 

2. Do you really expect me to believe that every single chapter is going to end with a huge, we need all hands on deck type disaster?!  Look, reader friends - I know there needs to be some tension and drama in books to help them move forward.  But this was just over the top.  Not only did each chapter end with disaster, there were mini problems on every single page.  First, the alarm keeps going off.  Then the crew from Good Morning America shows up Friday, with a dog, to get everything set for Sunday morning.  Then Charlie's uncle Stu shows up at the house wanting a place to stay because he's too cheap to pay for a hotel - AND he makes Charlie's dad pay for the cab.  Rodney's suit gets misplaced because the dry cleaner gave it to someone else, the power goes out the day of the wedding, they can't find a new wedding officiant - and when they do, he's wearing Rodney's suit.  They drop donuts on the floor, J.J. scoffs by saying the word scoff, and enters in Chapter 3 already pissed because he never told anyone to get him at the airport so nobody picked him up!  I just can't even with the drama. 

3. Why didn't Charlie even suspect that her parents might be getting a divorce?  She's the one who still lives at home. She even saw that once they sold the house, they stopped fighting!  Just stopped - that was the end of the fighting - and she never figured a damn thing out.  She just figured everything was peachy keen.  Now, I know teenagers are sort of hardwired to think about themselves a lot - but most teenagers aren't so selfish they couldn't stop to figure out about their parents marital problems.

4. The characters are all so one-dimensional.  They are not fleshed out or well-developed.  It got tiring reading after a while because they were all just stuck in their sameness and one-dimensional selves.

5. The story was about as well written as a name in a pair of underwear.  There were so many things in this story that were just unbelievable - I didn't for a second believe that everything that happened in this book could happen in 48 hours.

If you have a paper copy of this book, the only thing I could recommend is using it as toilet paper.  It's not worth the time.

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