Published: March 1, 2011Someone please tell me why I waited so long to read Sean Griswold's Head. This book was fantastic. Completely blindsided me. From now on, I'm seriously going to listen to every recommendation given to me by trusted blogger friends. Looking at you, Tara.
Bloomsbury USA, hardcover, 288 pages
GoodReads Summary: 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.
So Peyton first won my heart when she expressed her love for buying a new planner. GUYS, I hug my planners, too. There really is no better feeling than mapping out your life on a calendar. Second, she makes so many lists. I found myself nodding and mouthing "hell yes" when she said "I can't use my new highlighting system on a computer screen. And there's something about crossing off a task with a nice ballpoint, you know?" THIS IS SO ME. Guys, I did this with a TBR book I had once. I had a highlighting system. Peyton has her quirks, yes, and she is frustrating at times throughout this book. But she's a girl after my own heart.
I was pleasantly surprised by the characterization in this book. It's so refreshing to read about characters with such depth that you think, "hey, these are my people." The family dynamic amongst the Gritases tugged at my heart. Peyton's dad's declining health. Peyton's overt avoidance to cope with all things out of her control. The combined struggles of a family whose lives are forever changed. These are real life problems presented in a real life way. Lindsey Leavitt, I adore you.
And Sean Griswold. What a character. This romance is adorable and realistic. Okay, perhaps the circumstances under which Sean and Peyton become a thing are a bit of a stretch, but everything else is so authentic that I don't care.
Needless to say, I've already finished Going Vintage--another Leavitt book--because I needed more lists and quirkiness in my reading schedule. (Guess what? They're all there. SUCCESS.) Lindsey Leavitt has rapidly become a new favorite author. Her writing style is like reading a note from your best friend who knows all your dirty secrets and shares banana & chocolate milkshakes with you at Steak & Shake. She's an auto-buy, forever and ever.