(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Also by this author: P.S. I Like You, By Your Side
Published by HarperCollins on December 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Dating & Sex, Mental Illness, Romance, Social Themes, Young Adult Fiction
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.
Hi… Have we met? I’m a Kasie West junkie. Whatever she’s writing, I’m reading. Her writing, her characters, her stories… everything just works perfectly for me, and her latest, Love, Life & The List was such a wonderful read.
Abby and Cooper are best friends and have been for ages. The catch? Abby has some very strong, unrequited feelings for Cooper, and when she approached him about them and he didn’t react as expected she very quickly made a joke and pretended she didn’t mean a word. So now she’s focused on her art and pretending she doesn’t notice all the other girls that Cooper is hooking up with.
When her employer rejects her art from a local art show stating that her work just doesn’t have enough heart, she is determined to change his mind and she decides she needs to make a list of life experiences that will help her grow as a person.
Enter the list.
Abby has one month to complete the tasks on her list and get herself in the show, but growing concerns about her mother’s anxiety and Cooper being Cooper, may derail everything.
I absolutely love the way that Kasie West can weave some very important issues into a somewhat light-hearted story and present it in a way that isn’t overly depressing. West hits on some big ones here… a parent deployed, a mom dealing with anxiety, unrequited feelings… and I really think she does an amazing job handling each of these issues within the story.
West also has a wonderful knack for creating these incredible friendships and relationships in her stories and I just completely loved what was going on between Abby and Cooper… and I hated that they weren’t a couple!! I can say that and still love the book right? Honestly, for as much as I love Abby & Cooper, seeing Abby branch out from Cooper was incredibly gratifying and I really enjoyed seeing her grow as a character.
I’m not going to lie. Kasie made me cry a bit with this one. I don’t know if I was having an overly emotional day or what, but there is one part towards the end that just broke my heart and I truly didn’t know how West was going to fix it. But fix it she did, and it made my sappy heart happy.
Ultimately, this is going to have a home on my Kasie West shelf among my other favorites and if you’re a fan of sweet, fun, contemporary YA this is definitely a must read for you.
Thank you so much to the publisher for an early copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.