Thursday, February 16, 2012

Book Review: Sean Griswold's Head (Whitney Finalist)

Title: Sean Griswold's Head
Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Enjoyment Rating: 7/10
Referral: Whitney Finalist
Source: Library Copy
Books I've read this year: 19

When fifteen-year-old Payton Gritas walks in on her mother giving her father a shot in the backside and discovers, not only that he has MS, but also that the whole family has been hiding it from her, she freaks out. She stops taking to her parents, and they sign her up with counseling sessions at school. The counselor tells Payton to pick an object she can focus on while she's working through  her feelings, and Payton decides that the head of the kid she's been sitting behind in school for the last several years, Sean Griswold, will do the trick. Payton's a little OCD, and she throws herself into learning as much as she can about her focus object, and, you guessed it, she ends up falling head over heels for him.

Sean Griswold's Head has a lot going for it. Payton is an engaging narrator. Her relationship with her family seems real. And who wouldn't like Sean-- he's cute, interesting, nice, and just a little mysterious. It deals with a serious issue (Payton's father's health) without being too didactic about it. It's the kind of book I'd like my daughter to read in a couple of years, and it's also a book that I think she'd really enjoy. Payton has the "I'm smart but quirky" vibe that seems to be a prerequisite for teen heroines, and the book isn't groundbreaking in any way, but it's a nice, well-written story that a teenage girl would enjoy curling up with.


Blue said...

when i was sixteen, i dated a boy named scott griswold, and even though he was a nice guy and cute as teen boys go, i just couldn't let myself get interested in him because of his last name.

i'd had such flack over my last name all my life, that i was hyper-conscious about names and any name i might acquire someday (which i was intent on doing...even if it meant just going to court and changing it...anything to escape my maiden moniker. which isn't horrific, but it just had so much negativity associated with it in my mind).

i'm sure this would be a nice popcorn read for my 15 yr. old...if she had time for leisure reading these days. sigh.

Blue said...

(oh, also, he wasn't LDS. which was more significant than his name.)

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this book. It was fun to read and the portrayal of teenagers rang true. Ms. Leavitt gave girls a nice book that felt uplifting while dealing with a difficult family challenge. -Leah