Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt

Sean Griswold's Head

Good Reads Summary

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 Thoughts

It's been a while since a book's got me pilling an all-nighter. And it came as total surprise to find that Sean Griswold's Head is the book that had me doing so. Honestly, I read it on a lark (without even glance at the synopsis.) Now? I find myself pleasantly surprised and very satisfied (if a little bit groggy.)

That title merely hints at how funny Payton could be BUT while she is funny, her observations hilarious, I found that she could be self-centered, bratty and annoying too. Now given all those flaws, one might wonder, what's so good in SGH then? At it's core it's about her growing up and facing up to what is. And her what-is is actually quite depressing. It's how she initially reacts that shapes how the rest of the story flows. And boy, did the story flow! From the very first page, I had to know how things would turn out for her, her flighty bestfriend, her out of the box family, and yes, even Sean, and his head. The best thing about this book is the characters, while the female protag was a bit off putting at times, at least all of them tried to be present. Sean's entry into the book was particularly unusual. And as the title seems to indicate, it all starts with his head. Or would it be more apt to say it all starts with Payton's guidance counsellor and her unusual coping strategies?

The supporting cast is nothing to sneeze at either. Each with their own quirks added a lot to this book. Without them, I think I'd have wanted to strangle Payton given her tendency to label and her brattyness. Her bestfriend is so far from what she was and how she would behave! But it's not their difference that has me commenting on her, it's that the same bestfriend had issues to deal with as well. My point? It wasn't all just about Payton. I liked that. And there's her paretns as well. At that age, I don't think I'd have gotten away with a quarter of the things she did.. and she managed to stretch it out for three months. Lenient? Yes... but understandable given them trying to work out the kinks in their relationship. Which now brings me to Sean. All right, is this boy for real? I don;t mean that in a bad way either!

So yeah, SGH = WIN!


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