Book Review: Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt + Giveaway

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.

Book Review: Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt + GiveawaySean 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
Pages: 276
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

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.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. This one sounds SO CUTE! I can’t wait to read it, and I’m glad you think the characters have depth and enjoyed the book. Thanks for offering the giveaway!

  2. Have been hearing great things about this book, and your review really makes me want to read it.
    Love that the book has depth and heart with interesting characters. It sounds like it is a funny, yet touching story.

    Thanks for sharing your review & giveaway!

  3. Sounds like a great read! I look forward to reading it soon! I like your review and how you write…seems very honest. It sounds like the book really grabbed you and wasn’t very ‘typical’…I enjoy books like that!

    Thanks for the great review and for hosting the giveaway!


  4. Vidisha Singh says

    This sound like a great read!!

  5. Glad you enjoyed this one! It sounds really cute, and I can’t wait to read about a nice guy.

  6. Great review! I can’t wait to read this book!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. Gotta love a girl who color codes things 😛 And nice guys who are actually interesting…Sean Griswold’s Head sounds like a nice addition to the contemporary genre.

  8. Erika D. says

    So, I don’t live in the US, so this doesn’t count as an entry.

    I just had to say…I really want to read this book!!! I love how you kept thinking about Clark Griswold from the vacation movies. That made me smile 😀

  9. I’ve been hearing many good things about this book lately! I’m glad you liked it too! And I guy to swoon over that has a personality…YES! Great review!

  10. This book sounds adorable and I’ve heard only positive things. I can’t wait to read it. Great review!

  11. I agree! I loved this book. It was wonderfully done.

    (I also agree that I thought “Griswold family vacation!” and still laugh on occasion)

  12. Hooray for nice guys! I’ve been tiring of brooding bad-boys.
    I’m so glad that Sean Griswold’s Head is as awesome as it sounds! 😀

  13. I really loved this book! I agree with everything you said, the characters (especially Sean!) were fantastic! Awesome review!

  14. This book sounds so good & I loved your review! Also I couldn’t remember if I entered, so if I did it twice, sorry.

  15. I loved your review of this book. Honestly I had heard the name before and immediately thought it wasn’t a book for me without even bothering to check out a description. After reading your review, Sean Griswold’s Head is going straight to my TBR list. That’s what I get for judging a book by its title! Fantastic review 🙂