Save the Date by Morgan Matson – 12 Days of Blogmas

This is another book that I read on holiday and is, therefore, another very overdue review! But nevertheless, I can still remember what happened and my enjoyment and love for this storyline and all its characters. I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again but Morgan Matson is the queen of YA contemporary as all of her books are lovely and easy reads that you can pick up at any time and get lost in. But what I love most about this book was that it wasn’t solely about romance, for once romance took the back seat. Instead, this book focused on family and the different dynamics and relationships within them, something that I could easily relate to myself.

Unlike Charlie I don’t have thousands of siblings, however, when it comes to cousins I have enough to form our own football team! So a big family has been something I’ve grown up with and I can totally relate to Charlie and the excitement she gets from having all of her family back together and under one roof! One of my cousins is even getting married next year so fingers crossed nothing goes wrong for us like it did for the Grants. Just seeing how this family functions in their own unique way was mesmerizing and just watching everyone have their own inside jokes, nicknames, insults, and games was so heartwarming and even nostalgic. Like most families, this one wasn’t perfect and they had their own share of family drama as well as a couple of ups and downs, but that’s what made these characters so realistic for me.

Charlie is basically me. She wants everything to be perfect and has these unrealistic visions of how things are going to pan out, but this little bit of chaos shows her that its okay not to be perfect. To me she was real and I loved the relationship and banter she had with different members of the family, all of which will certainly put a smile on your face. The budding romance she had with Bill was also a nice little touch, but one that didn’t dominate the book.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy read that will warm your little heart and have you occasionally smiling and laughing then this is the perfect book for you.

 

Amy and Rodgers Epic Detour – Morgan Matson

I know, I know another Morgan Matson book but she is seriously one of my favourite contemporary authors and in the summer I love to read as much contemporary as I possibly can! Being a Morgan Matson book, I knew it was going to be cute and heartbreaking and that is exactly what I got! I have to admit I got very excited to learn that the protagonists name is Amy and I instantly fell in love with her, I’m still waiting for my Rodger to whisk me away on a road trip!

This book follows the story of Amy, who has to drive her mothers car across country after her mother decided to move but the only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn’t ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip – and has plenty of baggage of his own.

Matson was able to create not only an intricate plot, but she also made you want to read more. I couldn’t but this book down! Not only is the storyline beautiful and heartfelt but so is the book itself with pictures and tickets which helps make it look more like a scrapbook which I loved and plus I’m always a sucker for Matson playlists as well!

Matson’s characters are always something I look forward to reading about as they are all so easy to fall in love with especially Amy and Roger who were such likeable characters; you just can’t help rooting for them. I seriously need more of them. Their character development was another aspect I enjoyed as both Amy and Roger came such a long way in overcoming their fears, grief and other obstacles. She goes in deep within their back story and helps us understand them better. Even though the book is written from Amy’s perspective, we still end up knowing and understanding Roger.

My only issue with this book is the fact that you don’t find out what happens after the road trip, it just ended and I need more! But the ending was just perfect and it just shows how far Amy came while on the road trip. It’s clear that I loved this book and it’s easy to award it 5/5 and recommend to anyone looking for a cute and easy read! 

The Unexpected Everything – Morgan Matson

This has to be one of my all time favourite contemporary reads as it was just so darn cute and I wouldn’t expect anything less from Morgan Matson! Every aspect of this book was wonderful from it’s loveable characters to romantic storyline which I instantly fell in love with. This book made me laugh and cry and it made my heart flutter with just how cute it was! It was addictive. Plus I forgot to mention there are puppies too!

Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks). But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

I think the characters have to be my favourite aspect of this book and I’m not surprised as it is so easy to fall in love with all of Morgan Matson’s characters. Andie, was a brilliant protagonist and I loved seeing her develop and open herself to new possibilities and people. Can I have someone like Clark in my life, please? He is literally the perfect boyfriend and as soon as we found out he was an author I freaked out and fell even more in love with him. The idea of him being an author I thought was really unique and I also enjoyed watching everyone fall in love with his work and fangirling about it as well especially Andie’s Dad and Tom. Matson also really knows how to develop her romances because just them holding hands for the first time left my heart beating too damn fast and I felt like their relationship was more realistic and not insta-love especially after the first date disaster.

I appreciated the fact that this story wasn’t just about romance but instead it was also about friendship, family and personal development and I thought that was really unique and different. The ending as well was just so cute and again I liked that everything didn’t end in a happily ever after as just shows how people can change and the struggles of friendship. Also also, a ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ reference showed up as well as many others from her other books which just made me freak out even more and made my heart lighter and my cheeks hurt from smiling too much.

Finally, the message of this book to live life in the moment really inspired me and I hope in the future I can be more spontaneous and live in the moment too. If you haven’t guessed by now, I am easily going to give this book 5/5 stars as it is one of the best books I’ve read this year and I will definitely be recommending it to all my friends and followers!

My Top 5 Favourite Authors

I thought I’d do something different from our usual book reviews and share with our follows my favourite authors and hopefully encourage some of you to pick up some of their books! Please feel free to share your favourite authors in the comments as we are always on the hunt for new authors and books!

  1. Sarah J Maas – The Queen of fantasy and the author of my favourite fantasy series ‘Throne of Glass’. All her books are action packed and will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole novel. Not forgetting her incredible and badass characters who I look forward to reading more about in ‘Empire of Storms’. I have also been lucky enough to meet her and she is one of the loveliest people ever!
  2. Leigh Bardugo – She was one of my favourites when I read the ‘Shadow and Bone’ series but after reading ‘Six of Crows’ she is now one of my all time favourites who I adore! Again her world building and characters are so unique and loveable and I am counting down the days until ‘Crooked Kingdom’ is released.
  3. Wilbur Smith – He’s probably an author that many of you havent heard of, nevertheless I think he is one of the greatest authors as his writing is so captivating and beautiful that it is hard to put one of his books down. He also wrote my all time favourite books ‘Eagle in the Sky’ and I can’t stress enough that everyone needs to read this book as not only is it incredible but truly heartbreaking.
  4. J.K.Rowling – Of course J.K.Rowling had to make an appearance on my list of favourite authors because her writing and storytelling is just so magical and without her we wouldn’t have such a brilliant and iconic book and movie series!
  5. Morgan Matson – She is one of my all time favourite contemporary authors as her books and characters are always so cute and are hard not to love. I recently read ‘The Unexpected Everything’ and I have to admit that it is one of my favourite books of this year and it certainly in my top 5 all time favourite contemporary novels. If you’re looking for a really lovely contemporary that will just warm your heart and make you feel all the feels and emotions then definitely pick up one of her novels!

Amy

Second Chance Summer – Morgan Matson

This book made me feel so many emotions from laughter to sadness. I cried so much at this book that I had to stop reading it at points because I was crying so much. Morgan Matson has always been one of my favourite contemporary authors and I look forward to reading more her books especially ‘Amy and Rodgers Epic Detour’ which has been sitting on my self for ages!!

One of the things I loved about this that it was still a romantic contemporary with heartbreak and love but at the same time it also emphasised the importance of family and friendship. The bond Taylor has with her father is beautiful and their cute little breakfast meetings, truly made me think about me and my family and how in the blink of an eye it can all be taken away from you. Like I said, friendship also plays a huge role in the book and it showed that your friends are so important and they are always their to help. The balance between relationships was perfectly done and it was nice to see that romance wasn’t the main priority.

Taylor’s character development is another one of the reasons I loved this book. Seeing her mature and grow up and realise what she did was wrong, and how she came to truly understand what “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times” truly means was something I really enjoyed. I think we experience that sensation in life more often than we think and it’s important to understand how a lot of things in life can be bittersweet. It’s okay to experience so much sadness and so much happiness at the same time and maybe it’s the balance of the two that keeps us going.

Henry. His relationship with Taylor did so many things to my heart, i think it nearly exploded! It’s full of complications and history but I really liked that because it showed that they had to work for something and put all of those memories and mistakes behind them. And I love that we were reminded of something important about relationships – that choosing to take a chance on one is always going to be a risk, even when you think you know the other person well. It also helps that I practically swooned over all their moments together, since a lot of things that Henry said and did were so, so lovely.

I also loved Taylor’s family. They were so genuine and we saw them all come together and support each other in the difficult times they had which links back to me saying how much I loved Matson’s stress on the importance of family. I also loved her siblings different personalities from Warren being fact mad and always sharing new information to little Gelsey who was just so cute!

Matson takes you on an emotional ride right from the beginning of the book till the very last chapter. She brings us to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. We experience all the heartbreak, all the romance, all the friendship and all the. The depth to her characters really makes us connect more to them making their story all so much meaningful and powerful. We begin to care about what happens to them as well as beginning to feel some of their emotions. I will never forget the final few chapters of this book – heartbreakingly beautiful and, hands down, one of the best endings ever.

Overall, it is easy to award this book 5/5 stars and I really do recommend that you read it but do be prepared to cry a lot! It is a beautiful story complete with equally beautiful characters who you begin to love and connect with. I also recommend you check out more of Morgan Matson’s books as they are funny, cute and just fab!

Since You’ve Been Gone – Morgan Matson

I have heard many good things about Morgan Matson and finally picked up one of her books; I wasn’t disappointed!! Since You’ve Been Gone is a classic girly contemporary which leaves you in a good feeling after reading it – it’s just so cute!!

Sloane and Emily are best friends. Sloane is very outgoing and a social queen while Emily is more of a wallflower. This summer they plan to do everything together but when Sloane mysteriously disappears, leaving only a list of tasks to complete over the summer. Emily must try and complete them all as well as trying to find her best friend.

The lovely thing about this book that it isn’t all about romance but it’s mostly about friendship! Don’t get me wrong, I love reading about a good romance, but I think friendships are so important and I love reading about the bonds between best friends.

The storyline is perfect and I quickly connected to Emily and I would totally freak out if someone gave me a list and disappeared!! I felt like I was right there with her, feeling everything she was – when she first discovered Sloane had gone when she went to the party in The Orchard alone when she got to know Frank and realized her feelings might be a little more than just friendship. She just seemed so real, so normal, and I think I would genuinely be friends with her. Since You’ve Been Gone was an amazing read, one that I’m sure I will revisit in the future. Complete with playlists throughout the novel (which you should make and listen to while reading because it just makes it that little bit better!) this book is perfect! I can’t wait to read more of Morgan’s books!!

So to finish off, I’m going to give you a list to complete over the next year and hope that it inspires you to either make your own list for a friend (but don’t disappear) or read the book!! So here it is…

1. Break something
2. Learn at least one new thing each day
3. Dance until dawn
4. Give unwanted toys to a Children’s Hospital
5. Conquer a fear
6. Meet someone new!
7. Write and keep a journal!
8. Take time off and drive across the country
9. Laugh for five minutes every day
10. Sleep under the stars!

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and an even better New Year!