Release Date: March 1st, 2011
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.
In this sweet story of first love, Lindsey Leavitt seamlessly balances heartfelt family moments, spot-on sarcastic humor, and a budding young romance.
Sean Griswold is just the boy with the big head that sits in front of Payton, that is, until Payton makes him her Focus Object. I loved the set up for this book because at first, Sean really is just a head that blocks the board, but as the book develops, new layers of Sean are slowly revealed one by one and you learn about them as Payton does. Payton though is a different story. I had to constantly remind myself that she was only fifteen because some of her decisions were extremely childish in my opinion. She isolated herself from everyone when she needed them most and when I personally would have clung to the important relationships in my life.
That's the only reason why it lost a star, but aside from that it was a great novel. In my opinion, Lindsey Leavitt did a fantastic job intertwining the seriousness of multiple sclerosis with the sweetness of first love. This is my second Linsey Leavitt book and I will continue to read everything she writes in the future.
★ ★ ★ ★