Sean Griswold's Head - Lindsey Leavitt Only two things I disagree with in the entire drama that is Payton's life, just two. One: the most obvious would have to be how long she holds the grudge against her parents for keeping her father's disease quiet for six months. One thing I'm secure of myself about is that when I hold a grudge, 1) the grudge-ee is aware of my feelings, 2) I will most likely not be the first to realize the situation could have been handled better, and 3) forget about apologizing. (You'd best be on your knees by then.) That is why, when Payton Gritas finds out that her parents lied to her, I was like "Yeah! Right there with you, sister." However, that factor seemed to automatically matter so much more than her father's initial diagnosis. Now, Payton does care--don't think she doesn't just because she's giving her parents the silent treatment for a while. What I have a problem dealing with is how LONG she maintains that "while" and inevitably--going psychological here--displaces that anger-with-underlying-fear to her friends. Besides the fact that she confronts herself in the end and gives herself a HUGE mental slap, I have to say that the girl is on an emotional roller coaster. I accepted this, especially when I read the conflicting hurdles that stand in her way on her path to, shall we say, self-discovery.

Now that I've ranted about her inability to deal, my second tickle I have is minor but felt worthy of being mentioned. I did not like the very last page, the very last scene written about Sean and Payton. This may just be a fan-girl thing, but it is noteworthy indeed; it just did not satisfy my additive need of reading about complex but horny teenagers. Some juice would have been nice!

Exceptionally, to the more exciting and hilarious quotes in this book. I had the best time reading Payton's entries in her "Payton's Focusing Exercise" journal , and the fact that she referred to Sean's head as a dome just about killed me. Some great traits of Payton are the activities she gave up on when the Truth came out. I found that totally understandable, and ended up really loving the way Leavitt wrote Payton as an avoids-hard-topics/her-feelings kind of girl because in the end it just made her all the more of a stronger character for it. As for her best friend Jac, who plays an important role in the book in general, needs to encode privacy into her vocabulary. Some may find her outgoing attitude just this side of sane, but I found it down right irritating; her never-ending variety of nicknames for Payton drove me just a tad over the edge. However, I do believe this was mostly because we only got brief glimpses of how Jac's background taints her forthright temperament. In fact, I would have liked to have read more about Sean home life as well. I have to admit that Leavitt did a phenomenal in describing him as person, likes/dislikes, accomplishments, his view of the world, etc. As for his parents, or previous years of schooling--that were mostly spent with Payton, by the way--would have been enjoyable to read as well.

Overall, I must conclude that Leavitt has an admirable style of writing and I'm hoping to get my hands on a copy of her debut, Princess for Hire, soon. (Especially since the sequel, The Royal Treatment, is due out early May.)

Grade: B-

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