Friday, March 4, 2011

Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt

Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books

Release date: March 1st, 2011

Ever pick up a book in a kind of okay mood and really hope that it cheers you up, makes you laugh out loud, make your day -maybe even your weekend, or week, or MONTH!- just make you generally want to put aside everything and have no care for anything while you're reading it? Well, Sean Griswold's Head was all that and much more. I'd heard from other people on Twitter, while they were in various stages of the book, of loving it for many different reasons. I for once, after having read it completely concur!

I loved, loved, loved, LOVED SGH! Right off the bat, you can tell that the protagonist , 15-yr old Payton Gritas' voice is simply put - authentic. One can just feel her energy jump off the page and bounce off you. She's your average high school freshman, dedicated student, with quintessential characteristics that a high school freshman has. With her best friend/sidekick Jac, they're ready to tackle the new year, micro-manage every last detail (trust me, Payton could put the best of us to shame with her crazy organization skills and her Executive Deluxe day planner!) and just so darn cute. You can see the subtle undertones of the something lying just under the visible lines. Leavitt goes right into it and somehow manages to change her prose from humoristic to heavy in seconds - kind of like a car going from 0 to 60mph in 5 seconds (which is maybe impossible? There's a reason, I don't drive.).

In a nutshell, Sean Griswold's Head is story of a 15yr-old's struggle to deal with her father MS, getting through therapy with an orange-loving counselor (Payton hates the color orange), and trying to look over Sean Griswold's big head that is always in her way. Somewhere along the way trying to survive this all, Payton gets to know Sean, deal with her father's illness and learns an important lesson- why waste time thinking about something that could happen in the future when you have the now and the power and ability to live it to the fullest with the ones you love. It's about not having regrets.

Sean Griswold's Head is a story about a girl who falls for a guy she's known all her life (well he sits in front of her - alphabetical order and all that!) - well she's known his head rather. It is the story of a girl who finally opens her eyes and 'sees' what's staring her right in the face - once again Sean's big head. It's the story of a girl who realizes what it feels like when you're the last one to be let in on something life threatening. But more importantly, it's about figuring out the little things, like 'how can you go so long knowing someone without really knowing them at all?'

With the help of Jac (who at times REALLY got on my nerves, but when you put it in the context of a 15yr-old freshman - man, do you get some crazy flashbacks! Trust me, the kind you don't want to remember), Trent- her heterosexual straight brother, Sean, Mrs. Callahan (orange-loving counselor), and her Focus Journal/Object, Payton arrives to a place where she realizes what potential she has and how lucky she is to have the ones she loves around her. In short, Sean Griswold' Head is a poignant story of a 15 yr-olds search for some semblance of normalcy while growing up and facing the questions, decisions and responsibilities that go along with maturation.

Leavitt delivers a fantastic novel that will make readers cry, groan, and laugh until they drop. You won't want to miss this one folks! It's really that good. I hated putting it down even to take a quick snack break!

Some miscellaneous SGH love:

Favorite lines:

Pg 33: "Accents aren't contagious".

Pg 120: "Land of Like"

Pg 238: "So accents are contagious". "Highly".

Without giving much away, all I'd like to mention is that I LOVED pg 166 and did NOT like pg 206 at all (if you're one of those people as well, please mention that in the comments, we can discuss this further!). Also, I really love the cover. Love the font, the green and the pinks and just the general composition of the cover!

Here are some pictures from my GoodReads stream, some thoughts on the book I posted while reading it.

Some places you can find Lindsey or buy the book!

Lindsey Leavitt: Website/Twitter

Sean Griswold's Head: IndieBound/Borders/B&N

Sound off in the comments, guys!

Until next time,

FTC, FYI, I didn't steal this book from the publisher even though I really wanted to. I asked for it. Nicely.


  1. So excited to read this one! Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

  2. I loved this book. I'm adding your review to mine now. I was torn on 266. Such good, good, dialogue and character insight. But to the reader..oh.

    Great review! I also loved the little details about Payton's family such as their trash valentine's. How cute!

  3. MITALI!!

    I am so glad you have actually posted a review again. I of course have yet to read this one, so I expect I shall eventually borrow it from you. Okay?

    Welcome back :)

  4. "Accents aren't contagious." Heheh! I hope not. 'Cause then I doubt any of my northern friends would want to speak to me...