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Release Date: March 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover (288 pages)
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.
After pining for this book for months, I can finally say that I've read it. I can also say that it is spectacular.
Right off the bat, I felt a connection to Payton. She has a bit of an obsession with organization and office supplies and is just so relatable overall. The story definitely shines a spotlight on Payton's own growth and how she comes to terms with her father's illness.
I wasn't too sure where the line would fall between light-hearted humour and more serious problems, but Sean Griswold's Head finds a great balance. There were things that made me laugh out loud and I definitely smiled my way through most of Payton's interactions with Sean. At the same time though, the book made me tear up a few times while Payton tried to get a grip on her life. Being Payton's age, I can't imagine finding myself in her situation, and the book did an excellent job of making me feel it.
One of my favourite things about this novel is just how real it is. The teenagers seemed like teenagers, and everything from how Payton reacts to learning the news about her dad to how her family interacts at home just felt so honest.
I would be remiss to not mention Sean Griswold in this review. This is the kind of boy I would want to date! Patient, understanding, funny and sweet, Sean was such a great guy to read about. He is protective about the people he cares about and passionate about what he likes. Oh, and he apparently has a massive head... me too!* Sean and Payton were so adorable together!
So, are you looking for realistic teen romance with splashes of deeper emotion? Look no further - recommended to fans of Stephanie Perkins.
Cover Comments: Love it! I obviously didn't know this before reading it, but the drawings on the chalkboard actually relate to the story (the pie diagram is actually one that Payton makes for her "assignment").
* Seriously, I can never even find hats that fit on my head! "One size fits all!" NO. IT DOESN'T.