I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt
Also by this author: The Chapel Wars
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on 2011-03-01
Genres: Diseases, Illnesses & Injuries, Family, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, Parents, Social Issues, Young Adult
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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, when I first started reading Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt I was concerned that I would unconsciously associate Sean Griswold with Clark Griswold from the vacation movies. Luckily, I was pretty absorbed by Sean Griswold’s Head that I didn’t think about greased up sleds or squirrels or anything, just the book.
GUYS, Lindsey Leavitt has written an awesome contemporary YA book. It’s not Catcher In The Rye or Sarah Dessen, but I think it really holds it’s own. Payton, at 15, is a bit OCD, I mean she color-codes her notes and commitments and gets excited over a planner. However, not everything in her life is under her control. When she finds out her dad has MS, Payton sort of loses it. Not in a strap her to a gurney kind of way, more in a she stops talking to her parents whom she actually had a normal relationship kind of way. Her refusal to talk lands her in the guidance counselor’s office, where her counselor assigns Payton the task of keeping a focus journal. Payton decides, in a funny scene, to make Sean Griswold’s head her focus object. From there, well, you will just have to read Sean Griswold’s Head to find out.
Lindsey Leavitt’s writing has heart. It’s not some vapid drivel about a high school crush. There are scenes which made me tear up, there are scenes which made me laugh. The characters aren’t cardboard either. They have faults and strengths. And, okay, I had some first impressions about characters, mainly Grady (a vampire – figuratively, not literally) and Jac (Payton’s BFF) and I was definitely wrong about them. Mainly, because I found them both incredibly irritating, but sigh, the onions have layers thing.
Of course, the title character deserves his own paragraph. Sean Griswold has more depth than most objects of affection I read about. I mean, he has interests. He does homework. He goes biking. Besides having interests, he actually has a personality. I mean, he’s funny, easygoing and nice. YES. A NICE GUY. WHO IS INTERESTING.
Plus, okay main character Payton is fun to read about. She makes lists. And is the voice of reason. Plus she spends time doing things like homework and sports. She has a strong relationship with her family, which is not nearly as dysfunctional as the types of families I see in contemporary these days.
With engaging writing, wit, and lovable characters, I think Lindsey Leavitt has written a winner of a book.