Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sean Griswold's Head

Book:  Sean Griswold’s Head
Author:  Lindsey Leavitt
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Year:  2011
Reason I read it:  I needed to read another contemporary realistic.  I’ve read a lot of good reviews of this one, so I thought I’d give it a try.
My grade:  A+

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.

My Review

This book was sooooooo much more than what I thought it would be!  I mean, I had read the summary, but it was way deeper than that little blurb.  It was also totally and in all ways satisfying!

To begin with, the premise was so funny!  That is what attracted me to this book in the first place.  Poor Payton needs something to focus on so that she can deal with her father’s MS diagnosis.  So, she chooses to focus on the head of the boy who has been sitting in front of her since 3rd grade.  Yes, you guessed it, Sean Griswold.

Of course, the story is so much more in-depth than that.  It is so honest and heartfelt.  My heart ached for Payton, but it also ached for her family, her friend Jac and for Sean.  It even ached for Grady, the goth vampire boy!

The characters were amazing.  They felt 100 percent real!  I know that I teach some of those kids!  I also think the author was right on target with her storyline and how teens deal with some of the heavy duty stuff that comes their way.  I could totally see that story playing out.

I thought this was going to be a fun, light read.  It was fun, but it really delved deeply into some issues.  But it did so in a way that didn’t leave me bawling like I’d just finished a 24 hour marathon of “The Notebook”.  No, it left me feeling good about the story.  There wasn’t a perfect ending, but there was a hope-filled ending.  Because when people care about one another, they find a way to make the best of bad situations and keep on going.

My grade for this book is an A+.  It is an honest, amusing and touching story about a girl coming to terms with her feelings about her dad, her friend and the head that’s been in front of her for seven years! : )

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