Sunday, March 13, 2011

Review: Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt

Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: YA

The Story: (from Bloomsbury) What if your first love was literally sitting right in front of you?

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.

My Review: I fell in love with this book on so many levels. Payton's ability to grow and accept life's challenges was heartwarming and remarkably written. 

Payton is a star student, athlete, daughter and has an overall great life. She has an entertaining and lovable best friend, she has caring and thoughtful parents and she's talented in both academics and basketball. When her father is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis Payton suddenly can't deal with it. She struggles with talking to her father about it and the pain this brings to their relationship is palpable.

After several weeks of silence, Payton is forced to visit the school guidance counselor. There she is told to find a focus object - something to help her work out her emotions. She chooses Sean Griswold, or well, his head rather, and before long Payton finds herself not just focusing on his head but on the rest of him as well. Through this, Payton is realizing that Sean is not only cute but he's interesting too. After years of having him near her in school but never really knowing him, she suddenly has the desire to know him more than ever. 

It makes for very good read that Sean also wants to get to know Payton as well. As they learn more about one another, Payton is forced to face her own issues with her family and her father's illness. Payton's character is very well written and believable. Her struggle is one that many people could be facing and although Payton doesn't initially handle the stress in the best way, it's the fact that she eventually learns a better way that makes her so admirable and distinctly human. 

The secondary characters, Jac (her hilarious and pushy best friend), Sean (the object of Payton's attention), her parents and brothers, all add the perfect balance to this touching story. I absolutely adore the athletic and genuine Sean. Plus, he's just adorable. Jac is all about boys and she doesn't always make the best choices to help her best friend but she's still a wonderful best friend with the best intentions at heart. Payton's parents are obviously hurting over Payton's reaction to her father's illness but seem determined to help her work it out in the best way she can. 

I teared up more than once reading this book but there were also plenty of times when I was left with a broad smile on my face. If you are looking for a sweet, honest story with a plenty of enjoyable characters and meanings, this book is for you. I really enjoyed Sean Griswold's Head and am looking forward to many more outstanding books from this great author.

My Rating:

This review is part of the Sean Griswold's Head Blog Tour with The Teen {Book} Scene. Click HERE to follow along with the rest of the tour.


  1. After being told time and again about the awesomeness of this book, as well as reading a bazillion incredible reviews, I finally bought it. I'm waiting for it to ship and I may just have to bump it straight to the top of my list because I cannot wait to read it.

    I've heard this is laugh-out-loud funny, but I'm definitely okay for a bit of a tearjerker as well. If it can do both, then even better. Great review!

  2. I cannot wait to hear your thoughts on this book. Please come back when you've read it, Nikki!



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