Save The Day by Morgan Matson (417 pages)
Overview: When your mother fictionalizes every aspect of your life, you always have to watch your back so that you don't end up in the newspaper pages, or, at least, that's how Mike feels, and he hasn't been home in over a year, so he doesn't really matter. Charlie loves her mom's strip, and she has no desire to speak to Mike. They'll all be forced to get along, though, because the family is coming home for Linnie's wedding. That's not the only thing that can go wrong at the wedding. Charlie spends the day leading up to it and the day of running around with the substitute wedding planner putting out fires. Maybe... just maybe, Linnie will get the chance to get married without everything falling apart. Overall: 4
Characters: 4 I loved the big family ensemble cast. Charlie offers a unique prospective as the youngest of five. Most of her siblings had moved out of the house before she was really old enough to know them, but she craves their attention when they all come back home. Charlie is a people pleaser and will do just about anything to make her family happy.
Jesse is the love interest that Charlie opens the book making out with. While he's barely a presence in the book, Matson uses Mike's best friend to examine Charlie's inability to see the world how it is from a different angle. Just like Charlie constructs the perfect family mixing the memories she wants and anecdotes from the comic strip, Jesse is figments of her childhood imagination mixing with this residual charm. Even though he's not the most well developed character, he creates an interesting parallel.
Plot: 4 You would think a book set over the course of three days would be fast paced, and, well, shorter. I honestly checked out this book from the library three times before I actually read it because it was so long. While the plot is action packed, maybe too much, at times, it's a slow read. Matson doesn't skip a single minute that unfolds in the seventy-two hours.
Writing: 4 While I like Matson's writing, I've struggled with her other books on the immense amount of detail provided. I've actually shied away from her books in the past because the length of the book is kind of indicative to that issue in most cases. While I love the family dynamic that was built, I think some of the scenes could have been given as overviews, and neither of the romances that were drawn out for Charlie were ever satisfyingly fulfilled, so they just felt unnecessary and like a missing end.
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