Monday, September 25, 2017

Review: The Date to Save - Stephanie Kate Strohm

The Date to Save
Stephanie Kate Strohm
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Point
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
The word is out...

BROOKS MANDEVILLE, quarterback: Friday is the homecoming game and dance. It is a very big deal.

NATALIE WAGNER, marching band clarinet: Our band's halftime show performances are legendary - even if our football team isn't.

CINTHIA ALVAREZ, Academic Battle team member: Our Academic Battle team has won five years in a row. This Friday, it'll be six.

TANNER ERICKSEN, sophomore class candidate for vice president: Holly has to win the election for class president this Friday!

HOLLY CARPENTER, cheerleader, Academic Battle team member, class president candidate: Friday? Everything is on Friday? How can I be in three places at once?

COLIN VON KOHORN, editor-in-chief of the Prepster: This kind of scheduling incompetence could only have come straight from the top.

ANGELICA HUTCHERSON, reporter-at-large: I talked to everyone and my article is going to crack this story wide open...

This is what happens on the wildest day in the history of high school!
One day, five events

Oh, San Anselmo Prep how I missed you and your quirky student body! It was so much fun to be back in this world, and to have an all new oral history to enjoy.

I was such a HUGE fan of It's Not Me, It's You, so when I heard Strohm was releasing a companion, I sort of danced a little jig of joy.

In The Date to Save, we get to meet the younger sister of Hutch, one of the main characters from the previous book. While working on an article for the newspaper about the Academic Battle, Angelica discovers that there has been a major scheduling mishap. It was loads of fun navigating the ultra-competitive world of prep school, as she tries to uncover how this monumental mistake occurred.
"Sometimes I feel like Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. Obviously, my problems are nothing compared to what that guy goes through, but I'd love Ellison's take on being black, female, and the younger sibling of San Anselmo's most famous academic overachiever."
I really felt for Angelica, because I totally related to living in the shadow of a stellar older sibling. But now he was gone (or so she thought), and she wanted her shot at being the superstar. However, where he was an academic battle star, she wants to be a literary goddess. Strohm showcased so many awesome sides of Angelica, and I was rooting for her to make her mark. It was fantastic to watch her work through her feelings regarding her family, and along the way, find how to define herself.

I was pretty excited to get to catch up with some characters from the previous book. This is really why I love companion books. Everyone knows I never seem to get enough closure when I read a book, so it's a special treat to get to check in with old friends and see what's been going on in their lives since the last book. I was really pleased with the storyline and amount of time Strohm dedicated to Avery and Hutch. I fell in love with these two in INMIY, and was really surprised how I got to know Hutch so much better in this book, where he was more of a supporting character, than in the previous book. The Hutcherson family was so fantastic and I absolutely wanted to spend as much time with them as possible.
"a complete and authoritative oral history of the craziest homecoming weekend San Anselmo Prep had ever seen."
I adore books that stray from the traditional narrative format, and found the oral history added to my overall enjoyment and amusement. The format is fun and allows a larger number of characters to be involved in actually telling the story.

Quick Summary
  • Fun format
  • Quirky and interesting characters
  • A nefarious plot
  • Lots of hijinks
  • Some mystery and mayhem 
  • A super-sweet-adorable romance
  • Visits from the alumni 
  • Fantastic banter and cultural references
  • Terribly fun, fast-paced with a very satisfying ending

Strohm has wormed her way into my heart. When I need to laugh, I know I can count on her to deliver. 

**I would like to thank the publisher for the advanced copy of this book.

Have you ever had a scheduling mishap?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. I haven't heard of this series before, but this sounds like a whole lot of fun, and adorable to boot too! I'm curious about the format and want to read the book just to find out more about it.

    1. I like reading books that stay from the traditional format. It's always a nice change of pace, and the I like about the oral history format, is that it gives you the opportunity to get inside the head of so many different characters.

  2. I do love a good companion book. Getting to revisit the same world, some of the same characters or even ones that were previously side characters... such a good time. Angelica sounds like a great character to follow and I think the following in the older sibling's footsteps will make her relatable to a lot of readers. *raises hand*

    1. I didn't realize there was going to be a connection between the characters in the first book and this book. It was such a pleasant surprise to be able to be back in the world and learn more about a few of the past characters. It was especially fun learning more about Hutch from his little sister.

  3. This sounds like an interesting book. I haven't read the first one in the series, but I love when a companion books gives you just enough more and it alone great. Great review!

    1. I read Strohm, because she delivers the fun, and sometimes, I just want to laugh. This definitely has that beauty that companions offer. It is its own story, but if you have read the first book, it adds a little to that story, by telling us what happened after.

  4. This sounds like fun! I love books told in an usual format. I should probably try to grab the first book. Great review!

    1. It's Not Me, It's You ebook is on sale at Amazon for $1.99. If you like funny books with quirky characters, you should enjoy it. Lots of fun, snappy commentary. Loved it!

  5. I haven't seen this one nor have I read anything in this format, but it sounds like it would be a fun way to read it. I might have to check out It's Not Me, It's You now. :)

    1. This is my third oral history (that I recall), and the format was utilized well by both authors. Here, Strohm uses it to enhance the comedic delivery, and I really enjoyed it.

  6. I hadn't heard of this series, but you've definitely piqued my interest! I'll have to go check out the first book...

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. I got the first book last year at BEA, and it made me seek out other Strohm books. I know I will laugh lots when I read her books.

  7. I haven't read the first book but I am interested now for both books with your review. I love fun formats and all your other points make me curious. Great review!

    1. I love alternative formats so much, and the way this is done, you get so many perspectives. Strohm utilized it so well too, and it added to the fun.

  8. I'd not heard of this book or the first book but it does sound like it was fun. I do love an enjoyable YA read and this sounds really good. And any book where a review has to include the word hijinks is one I need to check out! Great review.

    1. These books are so fun and quirky. The style lends itself to the comedic delivery too.