AUTHOR: Lindsey Leavitt
SERIES/STAND ALONE: Stand alone
SOURCE: R.A.K from Khadija
OUTLINE: 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.
STARTED: May 17,2011
FINISHED: May 20,2011
After learning that her dad has MS Payton goes through hard times from learning about it (her parents weren't exactly straightforward), the anger towards her parents, guilt for acting mean towards her parents, and any other emotions that come with finding out a family member or anyone you love is sick with a disease that could be life threatning. When she goes to see the counselor at her school she is told to start a focus journal. The focus journal is mainly a way to keep her mind off what's going on and keep her well... focused. As she sits in her biology class she thinks to herself what could be that focus object she goes through a list of things, and then looking up she sees Sean Griswolds Head. That is when her life changes..sort of. Now with the help of her friend Jac they're on a mission to learn who Sean Griswold is. Oh and to help Payton with her father.
I adored the characters in the book.
Payton was a good main character. There were times when I thought you know I understand your hurt because your family lied to you and all, but he's your dad you need to forgive and enjoy the time you have with him. I loved how she was kind of nerdy, and not so much of an outcast. She enjoyed basketball and was on her school team at one point. She did have some of those qualities that alot of other female characters have in books though for example staying away from guys and thinking she's not good enough I guess. Then she has the bet friend that pushes her to act on her feelings. Sometimes that doesn't always work.
Jac is Paytons best friend and again kind of a cliche in books because they are complete opposites. Jac is the outgoing, boy-crazed girl where as Payton isn't. Jac likes to pushes buttons. She likes to go for it and doesn't really think twice about how it will affect her friendship with Payton. Sometimes that's not always the best route. In the end it did cause problems, and because it did I could totally relate to it. I know how it is when your best friend can piss you off, and you go along time not talking to them, trying to avoid them at all cost. That kind of thing happened to me in middle school, and now after 7 or 8 years not talking to her. We talk.
Sean, yes the boys head who caught Paytons eyes. He is an adorable character who's kind of clueless for awhile. After Payton and him start to talk though it's pretty clear that something will happen. I mean how can you not like someone who understands your obsession with Seinfield reruns. He's definitely not the typical "jock". He's a bike rider and rides in marathons (maybe triathalons I'm not sure) and because he's into that soon Payton is bicycling. It's weird because when you have the characters doing something in books like bicycling it makes you want to. Or maybe that's just me? So yeah he's not your typical romantic guy character which to me is a good thing. :)
Payton's Family- I loved how her family was in the book throughout it. They weren't by any means a perfect family, and to me that's what makes good characters.They lied to her and didn't give her a chance to understand. Each of them (mom, dad, and brothers) treated as if she were a little kid. It's not a good feeling at all to have people you love look down on you thinking you can't handle stuff. Her brother quit school so that he could be with their dad during everything. Then treated Payton like she didn't care about what was happening to her father when in reality she did. So I feel like I'm just rambling on now.
I enjoyed the plot. Like I said before I'm not much on the contemporary side of books. I more of a paranormal reader, but sometimes you just have to step out of that comfort zone just a little to see what else is out there. The book is focused on a girl who tries to overcome her feelings about her dad's disease, MS. Working at a pharmacy I learn alot about the different kinds of diseases. Whether it's from our customers talking to us telling us what's going on, or our pharmacist talking about them. (yeah we get into some interesting convos) I know of it, but I can say I didn't know a whole lot about it, and the book helps me on some levels. When a book can teach you something that is a sign to me that the book is worth a little more. This book has its serious moments, but it has the comdeic side to help lighten the mood. :)
I definitely had some thoughts as to whether or not I would enjoy this book. I must say I was pleasently suprised after finishing it. I'm not one for the contemporary stories, but sometimes there's that one that just captures you, and this book was one of those for me. So if you like funny yet serious reading this one will definitely capture your heart.
-Call me tonight. I need you to tell me what happens in A Tale of Two Cities before break ends. Jac
You could read it you know. Or buy the cliffnotes. (Payton)
Forget Cliff Payton. Notes are much better. (Jac)
I bet you wouldn't say that if Cliff was cute. (Payton)
He'd have to be way cute to pull off a name like Cliff. (Jac)
-I can focus. I'm the queen of focus. Well, former queen. Princess maybe. Duchess.. Oh, who am I kidding? These last two weeks I've been lost. I couldn't cook in the royal focus kitchen. (Payton)
-Where do lost socks go? I bet if you corralled all the renegade socks and stitched them into a blanket, it'd cover more of the earth then the waning ozone layer. (Payton)
-That's not crazy it's cathartic. (Payton)
Cathartic? Isn't that like a laxative? (Jac)
No, well yes, but that's not what the definition I meant. I mean catharsis, an emotional purging. (Payton)
You just compared pressing pleats to diarrhea. You are crazy. (Jac)
-I like to bike. I blurt out sounding like I'm reciting from an I can read book. See spot. See spot say stupid stuff. (Payton)
-Not that your cantankerous attitude. (Payton)
Can't-what-a cus? (Jac)
-Right like I have any plans of hanging out with Vampire boy ever again. Schedule it right after my lunch date with Lord Voldemort. (Payton)
-I'll be there...lamebrain. (Payton)
Did you seriously just say lamebrain? (Sean)
I think I did. (Payton)
Is this a word you use often. I meanm should I be offended or flattered here. (Sean)
I was trying to think of something hardcore sounding and lamebrain is what came out. (payton)
Why not buttmunch? I've always been a fan of that one. Even though I have no idea what a buttmunch is. (Sean)
I think it's self-explanatory. (Payton)