Thursday, February 16, 2012
Book Review: Sean Griswold's Head (Whitney Finalist)
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.