Sean Griswold's Head
March 1st 2011
Payton Gritas likes everything just so-she even color-codes the pages of her school planner. But her perfectly organized life falls apart when she learns that her father has MS-and that her parents have been keeping it a secret. Payton refuses to speak to her parents about the illness and lands herself in the school guidance office where she's encouraged to choose a personal focus exercise to help her deal with her feelings. It's a completely ridiculous exercise, but Payton decides to try it. For her focus object, she chooses Sean Griswold's head. Sean and Payton have been linked since kindergarten (Gritas/Griswold-it's an alphabetical order thing) but she's never really known him. The more Payton focuses on his head, the more Payton becomes intrigued with Sean Griswold. Sean is training for a bike race, shares Payton's Seinfeld obsession, and seems to have a secret or two of his own. As their relationship develops, Payton realizes that it actually helps to focus on something else for awhile-especially something like Sean Griswold. But focusing on Sean won't fix her battered relationship with her father. For that, Payton has to focus on herself.
Sean Griswold's Head is one cute book. It has everything, a great main character, an adorable love interest and a perfect balance between the funny and the serious. Plus a whole lot of cycling... Which is something I'm pretty sure I've never read about before.. ;)
I think Payton is one of my favourite characters, from this year at least. She's an organisation freak, slightly OCD, completely adorable and totally relatable. It was great to read about a character who cared about school and grades, and who was a little anal retentive, so she stood out to me for that. And I guess she was just likeable. Despite the problems she has with her friends, and that she can be a little straight laced. There's just something about her that you just can't help but like, though that might be because you know that whatever mistakes she's making, it's probably to do with her confusion and frustration with her dad's MS.
I also think that Sean is one of my favourite guys from a YA. I know, I know, I always say this, but really, he was just so nice, and so normal! He was so sweet with Payton and they had a really natural relationship, nothing seemed forced at all. And even though things went a bit wobbly in the middle, it all worked out :) And I adored their bike rides! Awww they're just so cute :3 Thinking about them makes me go all mushy :3
I really loved Payton's parents too because, even though they kept her Dad's MS a secret, they were only doing it because they wanted too protect her, and they really love her, and they were great parents, whether Payton thought so or not. They were only doing what they thought was right, and they were suffering too. I got all teary at the end, even though it wasn't really sad, when Payton and her Dad were finally talking talking to each other.
The whole idea of the cycling and the MS bike ride were all so great and different from what I usually read about (I'm kind of a sportophobe), and seeing Payton want to do this for her Dad, and seeing her slowly come to terms with what was happening, no matter how many mistakes she made on the way, was really uplifting, and she really grew as a person.
Sean Griswold's Head is a cute, funny, sweet and sometimes serious read about love and family and illness, and understanding. And focusing on an almost strangers head... ;)