Sunday, 18 August 2013
Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Release Date: 7 July 2011
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.
I read 'Going Vintage' by this author about a month ago and really enjoyed it so I decided to find out what else she had written and this is what came up.
Payton is super organised, straight-A student with big plans for the future, until she finds out that her dad has MS and worse still her parents have known for quite a while but hadn't told her. Feeling betrayed, scared and confused she starts to slip. The things in her life that seemed super important before suddenly don't seem to matter so much anymore. So she gets sent to the school counsellor, she tells Payton that she needs a 'Focus Project', something to concentrate on and distract her mind, whilst wondering what she could possibly focus on her eyes land on the back of Sean Griswold's head, the same head she has been staring at for years and she realises she knows practically nothing about this boy, so maybe it's time to find out.
I liked Payton overall but she did have her moments when I wanted to just slap her and tell her to grow up, a lot of things she does are hurtful and childish but at the same time I can sort of understand why she did it and I did feel sorry for her as well as her parents. You can't help but empathize with her.
We discover Sean through Payton's eyes which means we see him come together piece by piece. I liked this as it meant we got to know him better and I liked him as a character. He's funny, sweet and charming and a bit of a joker too. I really wanted everything to work out with him, he is one of those characters you can't help but love.
I liked the stle of writing, it was quirky and funny but also sensitive and expressive. I also liked that although the MS was a big part of the plot, it wasn't all that the book focused on, instead it looked at how it affects those around it, the family dynamics and friendships. It looks at relationships, trust and truth.
It's quite a quick read but one that will pull you in and make you care about the characters in very little time.
I'm glad to have discovered Lindsey Leavitt and will look out for more by her.
Posted by barmybex at 23:14