Thursday, May 26, 2011

SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD by Lindsey Leavitt

Dude, another contemporary novel! I don't know who I've become. A maniac! A maniac on the floor...

Anyway, today I'm gushing about SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD by Lindsey Leavitt. I really liked this book, hardcore.

But first...

About the book: 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.

Okay, this book has several plusses.

1. Seinfeld. Need I say more? I loved this little detail that I could relate to. And they both like Seinfeld! Win/win.

2. The romance. It happened slowly, naturally, and very very real-ly. It wasn't love at first sight. And Sean wasn't this drop-dead gorgeous guy. He's cute, don't get me wrong, but it's more than that. It's the type of romance that actually happens in real life.

3. The angst of Payton is authentic. It wasn't too shallow or unrelatable. It wasn't forced. The character and the way she feels about her dad's disease was built brick by brick, layer by layer, and it was strong.

4. The voice. Lindsey did a great job with Payton. There's some funny moments, some romantic moments, some high adventure moments, some depressing moments, some angsty moments, and it's all done with great storytelling and fabulous voice.

I'm not sure how many contemporary novels I'm up to now. I know, I know. I said I was going to keep track. I will. As soon as I find my head. Ha!

But definitely add SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD to your list. You won't be sorry!
What have you read recently that you loved?


Check out what the other Bookanistas are up to this week at the Reading Room.

Or on their blogs:

29 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great review. I love books where the romance would really happen.

I don't read contemporary that much but I loved Anna and the French Kiss. And I just read Nightshade for the second time.

Theresa Milstein said...

I'll look up this book.

Contemporary books that I've read this year and loved:

Hoot (who doesn't love Beatrice?)
Anna and the French Kiss
The Healing Spell (really loved this one)
The Sky is Everywhere

khashway said...

This sounds great. I'm adding to my list. I just finished Hush Hush. As you can see I'm paying catch up on my TBR list. I loved the book though and now I'm reading Crescendo.

KatieO said...

This sounds good. My daughter just put SHUG by jenny han on the top of my TBR pile as a "must read now, mom" book so that's next for me.

Miriam Forster said...

I just finished FURY OF THE PHOENIX by Cindy Pon and HUNTRESS by Malinda Lo. Both were a-mazing. :)

Matthew MacNish said...

I usually love all the books I read, but the best one so far this year has been Stick. I feel like I talk about it too much though, so I'll mention something a little lighter: The Ring of Solomon, by Johnathan Stroud. It's another Bartimaues book, but works outside the plot of the original trilogy, and is basically a prequel. I'm not done yet, but it's good so far.

Kelly said...

I love the quirky premise of the book! Must read SG's Head!

Lydia Sharp said...

This book has been on my reading list for a while. I think it's time to bump it up. :)

I've read quite a few frawesome books lately. Thanks for asking.

Bad Apple by Laura Ruby (ya contemp)
Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz (ya contemp)
The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow (ya historical)
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (ya sci-fi)
Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer (ya contemp)

Okay... gonna stop there. Or I'll be here all day. The above are just the most recent. :D

Megan Miranda said...

I so loved this book, too! For all the reasons listed above.

Elana Johnson said...

Lydia, thanks for the list! I have a couple of those, and need to get the spines cracked.

Carolyn V said...

Yes! I'm compiling a summer tbr pile. Thanks for the info Elana! =D

Janet Johnson said...

This one is definitely on my to-read list. :)

Kristin Rae said...

I've jumped on the contemporary train too. Even started writing it! EEEK! But I think it's love... and you can't turn your back on love.

I enjoyed SGH too. Though, I sort of thought her anger toward her dad felt unrealistic. Maybe it's been too long since I've been a teen, but I feel like if someone found out their dad was sick, they'd get more clingy and emotional instead of pushing them away. But thankfully, I've never had to deal with it, so who knows how I'd react. And I suppose the anger/tension made for a more interesting story anyway. LOL.

Stasia said...

Love YA contemp. I didn't know much about this book but now I SO want to read it. Not waiting or adding to a list. Buying on my Kindle today. Thanks for a great review!

Shari said...

I have been wanting to read this book for a very long time. I've got to go get it!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I finished Divergent last week and I am in love, BIG-TIME!! So, so good. :-)

Jonathon Arntson said...

Kudos to you for going contemporary! Makes me happy to know you'll be well-versed in the genre by the time you read my works :P

SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD has been hovering in my radar for a month or so and I think the cover is perfect. I'll check it out!

Kaitlyn (Kaitlyn in Bookland) said...

I loved how naturally their relationship--too often in YA books people are in love at first sight. I know that in teens many emotions are heightened, but often teens are unsure of themselves and Payton and Sean showcased this brilliantly. I loved this book. Great review!

The Golden Eagle said...

I'll have to check out this book!

I finished The Iron King last night and really enjoyed it--it's one of my favorite Paranormal books, now!

ali said...

coolness! thanks E!

Stephen L. Duncan said...

I happen to know that besides being a H-E-double hockysticks of a writier (she probably wouldn't say the other word), she can put down Shirley Temples like she's about to cross a desert. ;) Great pick, Elana!

Jemi Fraser said...

I've been dying to read this one - it's on my wishlist for sure!

Leslie Rose said...

Did you say "Seinfeld?" This book sounds like gold, Jerry, like gold.

Lydia K said...

I like the idea of how this story evolves. Great review!

Fresh Garden said...

Great review! Absolutely fantastic!

Ishta Mercurio said...

Okay! I like what you said about the book being built up brick by brick, layer by layer. I'll check this one out. Thanks for the recommendation!

Ishta Mercurio said...

Oh, and I just finished THE EARTH, MY BUTT, AND OTHER BIG ROUND THINGS by Carolyn Mackler. It was good! At first, I didn't think I'd like it because I couldn't relate to the character's surface issues, but once the story unfolded and it became clear what the underlying issues were, I realized that a) I could really, totally relate to the MC; and b) a whole lot of craft went into writing this book. It's one to study for plotting and general building up of layers.

Katrina L. Lantz said...

I absolutely adored Lindsey Leavitt's Princess for Hire series (first two books). Waiting with bated breath for the third. So I've got my eye on this book already. After this review, I'm even more excited about it. Thanks, Elana!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

i know right? hilarious! shes so funny. love that book

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