Morgan Matson formerly worked as a teen book editor. Morgan is a lover of roadtrips, having crossed the USA three times ... so far, and a huge music fan, both passions that fed into her first YA novel Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. When not writing, she drinks far too much coffee, watches old movies, and plans out her next journey. She lives in California.
Author photo (c) Gina Stock.
Everyone loves a wedding, right? Especially when you’re Charlie and your beloved big sister is about to get hitched with all your siblings reunited for the big occasion. Focusing on this event is Charlie’s only source of stability right now, what with her parents selling the family home, her Mom’s long-running family-inspired comic strip ending after 25 years, and her having to make huge decisions about her future. It’s the end of an era every which way you look at it, so this weekend “had to be perfect. I would make sure of it,’ Charlie resolves. But, with so much outside her control, Charlie’s dream of a perfect wedding weekend is threatened by a succession of obstacles, errors and unexpected encounters, including an intense reunion with her long-time crush (cue a whole lot of complicated cuteness and deep and meaningful realisations). Alongside the humour, the daunting giddiness of being of the verge of everything changing is brilliantly evoked. Charlie has pushed aside making college decisions for months and instead been utterly preoccupied with the wedding. The million-dollar question is, as her best friend posits, “What happens when this weekend is over?” It’s by no means easy, but since she’s a thoughtful, resourceful young woman, “the one who came to help, who tried to make things work”, the one her siblings called when “they were in trouble”, Charlie realises that while the tides of change are strong, she’s strong enough to ride them out. She and her family will always be there for one another, and you never know what wonders await further out at sea. I adored the author’s The Unexpected Everything and this confirms her status as a mighty fine creator of exuberantly entertaining coming-of-age dramas with authentic emotional depth.
Super-focused Andie has her future mapped-out. She knows what she wants (to go to med school) and how to get it. But when her plans to do an internship over the summer break are scuppered by a scandal surrounding her high-profile congressman father, she ends up taking a dog-walking job, to her friends' surprise and amusement. It’s through this unlikely job that Andie meets gorgeous Clark, a bestselling fantasy writer who blows her firm commitment to three week romances clean out the water. After an awful first date, they find themselves falling for one another, which is when “the summer started to find its own rhythm”. Beneath its feel-good summer break vibe this novel charts deeper waters - dealing with the loss of a parent; how it feels to be the teenager of a scrutinised public figure; the pain of falling out with best friends. There are touching moments between Andie and her dad when they begin to enjoy each other’s company after years of unemotional awkwardness. Above all, this is a warm-hearted coming-of-age novel about the unexpected joys that can come from being thrown outside your comfort zone, and following your heart because “there's no day like today”. ~ Joanne Owen
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