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.
The first thing that caught me about this book was the voice. Payton's quirky, self-conscious personality and her good-natured sarcasm make her completely believable and totally endearing. When she learns of her father's diagnosis, she's thrown for a loop, but doesn't descend into deep depression or melodrama. Instead, she takes things day by day, dealing the best she can. I admired that about her, and respected the way Lindsey Leavitt handled it.
Many books that deal with parents' illnesses have a tendency to be on the heavier side, but this one is refreshingly balanced. Leavitt manages to tell the story of a girl dealing with potentially devastating news while at the same time keeping the details of her day to day life honest, funny, and relevant. The most relevant of those details is Sean Griswold, and he is a cute, well-drawn one at that. The relationship that forms between him and Payton is a sweet, understanding one, which is exactly what she needs.
It's no secret that even when we're in the midst of what can feel like a personal tragedy, life continues to happen all around us. In SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD, Leavitt blends humor, romance, and thoughtful observations to show just how.
If you'd like to find out more about Lindsey Leavitt, you can visit her website here.
If you'd like to see Lindsey Leavitt talk about Contemporary YA, you can come to the Orange County Children's Book Festival on October 2nd. Info is here!
But wait! Before you go, check out what the other Bookanistas are up to this week:
Elana Johnson shares some book love for Random Acts of Publicity Week
LiLa Roecker is wild about a double giveaway of Witch Eyes and Wildefire
Christine Fonseca thinks you should Write Your Book Now!
Shannon Whitney Messenger loves Legend – with signed arc giveaway
Scott Tracey: Today is Witch Eyes release day – wowza!
Sarah Frances Hardy applauds Lottie Paris Lives Here
Stasia Ward Kehoe marvels at The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer