Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Book Review: Sean Griswold's Head, by Lindsey Leavitt

Sean Griswold's Head is a delightful, heartwarming story that will appeal to younger teens who enjoy contemporaries.

Peyton gets very angry at her parents, and everyone, when she finds out her father has multiple sclerosis. Her family has been keeping this from her for at least six months. After she refuses to speak to her parents, her mother sets up an appointment with the school guidance counselor. The counselor suggests that Peyton find a focus object, and journal about it while she learns to deal with all of her other emotions.

She chooses Sean Griswold's head, the kid who has sat in front of her since third grade, but she really knows very little about him.

The attention on Sean expands from his head to his entire body and personality. Peyton's friend, Jac, is all too willing to assist Peyton in her "research." And, soon Sean becomes an obsession.

The obsession progresses, and yes, eventually blossoms into romance. But there's more to the book. There's a strong message about judging people by their appearance. About assuming you know a lot about someone, just because they act a certain way. This is portrayed in several ways throughout the story. (A teacher, who they assume is hung over when she decides to show them movies, the "goth" guy that inexplicably is Sean's friend, Sean himself, who has been next to Peyton for years, but she knows nothing about him.)

Leavitt utilizes a strong family support system, making this book stand out. Peyton has two older brothers, and her parents are involved -- not the typical inattentive parents we see so much in YA fiction. What is a friend? The relationship between Jac and Peyton also delivers a powerful message.

I fear I'm giving the impression that this is a preachy book, but it's not. It's a heartwarming story, with steady pacing and realistic situations. The messages don't hit you across the head, because we can relate to these situations -- teens experience these things on a regular basis.

Recommend this one! It's a quick read, entertaining, and powerful. It is probably more suited to younger teens, but more experienced readers shouldn't be discouraged.

Published by Bloomsbury, 2011
Copy obtained from the library
274 pages (qualifies for my Books You Can Read in a Day Challenge!)

Rating: 4/5





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1 comment:

  1. This was one of my favorite reads in 2011. I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE it!! Such a beautiful story and so enjoyable. Not preachy at all.

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