Title: Sean Griswold's Head
Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Published: March 1st 2011 by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Summary: "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."
Thoughts: Sean Griswold's Head is every bit as endearing, funny and sweet as the summary makes it sound. I'll admit, I have yet to read Lindsey's debut novel, A Princess For Hire, but after reading this, I'm adding it to my list.
Follow the life of Payton Gritas. She used to have it all together. She was a great student and even a fantastic basketball player. Then she finds out her dad has been struggling with MS and everything falls apart. She can't seem to focus on anything else, but her dad and even so, still can't really talk to him.
Her high school guidance counselor suggests that Payton focuses on something else by writing about anything in a journal. After mapping and graphing, Payton's answer finally comes to her. And he's been sitting in front of her ever since the third grade. At first, Payton just thinks Sean's head is the answer. I mean, she doesn't have a crush on him. He's just someone with a big head, right?
One thing I love about this book is how relatable Payton is. Anyone would be a wreck if they found out their father has been struggling with MS. Imagine finding out when you're 15! Her voice felt so real. At times, I thought I was Payton, going through the same actions as she. Oh, plus I love her graphs and the way she breaks everything down in her journal. Hilarious!
Another character I adored was Jac. She is everything a boy-crazy best friend should be. At times, she can be a bit much, but isn't every hormone driven teenage girl? And of course, there's Sean himself. It's funny because through a lot of the book, you only get to witness him from a distance, yet he still comes off as this sweetheart. Once Payton actually starts talking to him, he ends up becoming more real, and that's when you'll truly start to adore him. The only reason I wouldn't put him in the swoon-worthy category, I think, is because this book is directly more towards younger readers, so there's so much swoon you can get. Still, he's a great character to read about and admire from a distance.
Overall, Sean Griswold's Head is one of those books you can easily finish in a day. It's funny, smart, creative and, of course, fun!
Now, onto the giveaway. One US winner will win an ARC of Sean Griswold's Head. To enter, please fill out THIS FORM. You must be at least 15 years old to enter. This giveaway will end March 25th. Good luck!
**Special thanks to Kate at Bloomsbury for hosting this amazing tour!**