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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Stefanie's Thoughts: Love, Life and the List by Kasie West

Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings, Abby isn’t going to take any chances.

Which is where the list comes in.

Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list, she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being.

But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems... and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself.

Hey everyone,

Today I'm reviewing one of my favorite author's new book, Love, Life and the List by Kasie West. She has become an auto-buy author, and to me, she can honestly write nothing I don't like. If you are ever just looking for a fun, light-hearted book with substance then you pick up one of West's books. 

First, can we take a moment to admire that cover??

The story: this one hit right at home, because back in my teenage years (soo long ago ha) I had numerous unrequited crushes on friends (I mean, than again who didn't really during those awkward teenage years!) and it was tough. I mean I survived and all, but seriously, when are crushes ever easy...guess that's why they are called crushes.

Abby was a main character that I could totally relate too. She was full on sarcastic and I loved it; she felt so real and fleshed out. Her problems weren't just fluffy ones created to have drama in a plot, but actual issues I could see happening in real life. I think that's one of West's strengths; she always creates fleshed out, really vivid characters with actual problems you feel for, plus it's not even just the main character that is but all of them! (As I typed that, I'm not sure if I should have ended that with an exclamation point..)

I could also relate to Abby's mom with the anxiety piece. I don't have it as bad as her mom does, but I could totally see where at times her mom was coming from. I liked the inclusion of Abby's grandfather as a main character; typically I find when a grandparent is present they are either only there as a filler character, but Abby's grandfather was full of heart.

Love, Life and the List is filled with West's signature ability to write stories that end with a smile on your face, yet are filled with serious issues. Abby's father is away most of the time (I read somewhere that he was deployed, I must have missed that because I didn't pick up on that..) and they email as much as they can, but his absence is effecting (affecting, I seriously never know the answer to this...and I'm an ENGLISH MAJOR...after researching it, I'm pretty sure it's effect) Abby's home life.

Friendships are a big thing in West's books as well; Abby has her core group of Cooper, Justin and Rachel. Rachel and Justin go away for the summer and that's where the real fun with Abby and Cooper start, as the two are left alone with each other. Cooper becomes a major part of Abby's list and the two's friendship evolves, with a new friendship, and new relationships to come into play.

The concept of the list was my favorite part: I myself have a 30 to do before 30 list, which I'm going to basically fail at as I only have (shockingly) two years left to get it done. I have accomplished some of it, but Abby's list was perfect to push her out of her comfort zone and have an epic summer vacation. I think reading this when it was still snowy here made me enjoy the summer atmosphere much more.

Overall I just loved this book. I started off reading it a bit slower than I normally do, but by page 50 I was completely addicted and devoured it within a couple days. It didn't even feel like a 300+ page book to me either, and I loved that.

Solid 5 out of 5 stars!!

I can't wait for her next book, which I think comes out next month..or May, but soon!!

Until my next review,


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