Review: Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Rating: 5 stars
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: young adult contemporary
Format/Source: DRC, Edelweiss
Status: standalone

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.

Save the Date is precious and adorable and lovely and real, and it's absolutely my favorite Morgan Matson novel now. My friend Lindsay read it one day and said, "Marg [that's me, and no, you can't call me that], this family reminds me of yours." I knew I had to read it immediately so that was all I did the next day. Even though there are only four kids in my family and my mom is definitely not a famous comic artist, the Grants really did remind me of my family. But feeling really personally connected to Charlie and her family, I also think this is just a really good, strongly written book with great characters and great development throughout in addition to a a hijink-laden plot.

I absolutely can relate to Charlie. Like Charlie, I'm the youngest, and as such, I had to sit and watch all my siblings grow up and leave me behind as they went off on their grand adultish adventures until it was just me and my parents in our big, empty house that echoed with the ghosts of good times past. Last year, my family went on a cruise together, and I couldn't wait to FINALLY have everyone together again (plus some in-laws and kids). I really understand why Charlie placed so much significance on everyone being together and finally having some time to hang out and do all the old things. Charlie is also hesitant to step out and make some really big decisions about her own upcoming adultish adventures, and I feel like a lot of high school seniors will be able to relate to the extremely tough decision of choosing where to attend college.

Look. For anyone who is not a youngest child, you really might not know: the youngest gets shoehorned into that youngest child role forever, and it can be really, really hard to convince your family to take you seriously. So I get why Charlie was afraid to take charge of her own life. It can be way easier to live in the background (particularly for a big event like your sister's wedding!) than to step forward and truly become the star of your own life. What I love about Charlie is that she's kind of the glue for her family, and she encourages them all to not take their special dynamic for granted, but she also learns and grows. Not only does she make some big personal decisions about her life, she also discovers that she's viewed her family through rose-colored lenses, that it's okay to let that perfection go and let everyone just... be themselves.

There's no way I can talk about the rest of the characters because there are, in fact, so many that Morgan included AN ACTUAL LIST at the beginning of the book of all the Grants (with their ages), their soon-to-be-in-laws, and the wedding party. But please understand how much I DO love this completely ridiculous family and their unique and special bonds to one another.

All of the wedding misadventures were a blast to read about. I laughed constantly from one disaster to the next, and it was so much fun to text Lindsay all of my theories and predictions about who caused what, what crisis would come next (I was full-body cringing any time Linnie's dress was mentioned), and how each mishap would be solved. Having helped behind the scenes for all three of my siblings' weddings, I can laugh about all the spilled cake and mistaken head counts. These shenanigans were really fun to me, but be warned, I have heard that others are experiencing a lot of anxiety about it so if reading about characters being stressed out stresses you out, take caution.

This is a classic Morgan Matson novel so in addition to the heavy focus on family, OF COURSE there's a sprinkling of friendship and romance in it! But do keep in mind: THE GRANTS ARE THE FOCUS. They are the act under the big top in this wedding weekend circus!

I absolutely loved this book, it's one of my favorites of 2018 so far (even 6+ months after I read it), and I think you should read it too!

Purchase Links:

About the Author:
Morgan Matson is a New York Times bestselling author. She received her MFA in writing for children from the New School and was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start author for her first book, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, which was also recognized as an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults. Her second book, Second Chance Summer, won the California State Book Award. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit her at

Author Links:


  1. I've been wanting to read this book since I first found out about it. From your review, it sounds fun with great characters to love. I enjoy family stories too, so this book is a must read for me.

    1. It's one of my favorites of 2018, and I think it's Morgan's best book yet!

  2. I've got this on my shelf at home to read with a few other Matsons. A lot of people speak so highly of her romcom type novels. ☺ This sounds great!

    Btw, I'm here from your Lady's Guide giveaway. My Instagram handle is @hermitlibrarian.

    1. As far as rom coms go, Morgan is definitely one of the best!

  3. This one’s definitely on my TBR. I love reading about family and siblings! Lovely review :)

    1. Thanks, Eileen! :) If you love fictional families, you should definitely love this one.

  4. I just read Since You've Been Gone a few days ago and I absolutely loved it. Now I really want to read this one!

    1. You should! You might see some familiar faces, especially if you read some of Morgan's other books. She always has a few easter eggs.

    2. Really? I love when books have easter eggs. Even when they're small parts, I still totally fangirl when I see a familiar face.