Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lindsay's Review: The F-It List by Julie Halpern

The F-It List by Julie Halpern
Series: None
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Rating: ★★★
Pages: 256
Published by Feiwel and Friends on November 12, 2013
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Alex and Becca have always been best friends. But when Becca does something nearly unforgivable at Alex’s dad’s funeral, Alex cuts ties with her and focuses on her grieving family.

Time passes, and Alex finally decides to forgive Becca. Then she’s hit with another shocker: Becca has cancer. It also turns out Becca has a bucket list, one she doesn’t know she’ll be able to finish now. That’s where Alex comes in, along with a mysterious and guarded boy who just may help Alex check a few items off her own bucket list.

Julie Halpern writes about illness, loss, love, and friendship with candor and compassion. Here is an unforgettable book about living fully, living authentically, and just . . . living.
A quick but thorough read that had me staying up late reading at night when I was really needing sleep. The premise has been used before - best friend gets cancer - however add in best friend sleeps with boyfriend the night of your father's funeral and then get cancer, well that, my friends, is the most original idea I've ever heard.

The summary of this book is so wrong in my opinion. Half the book isn't even about the bucket list. Honestly, the bucket list isn't even really an important part of the book. It's mostly about Becca being sick and Alex's struggle between a guy and fear of being happy.

My main problems with this book were the characters and the length. Alex's problems were big ones and could have been drawn out more clearly while also making the book longer. She never quite goes into much about her father's death or having any real memories of him. Her brothers were genetic characters with nothing to define them not only from each other, but to make them realistic, and her mother never seemed to be a real person either. This book could have been five stars if the length was longer because then the author could have had much more room to define these characters and make them believable.

And I don't know about you guys, but I don't talk to my friends about my 'private' life and they don't tell me about theirs. We don't go into detail, we don't discuss people's sex lives or our own. But Becca and Alex talked about it CONSTANTLY. I'm no prude, but even I was blushing and embarrassed at the amount that they were going on about it. BECCA IS DYING AND ALEX'S FATHER IS DEAD AND ALL THEY DO IS TALK ABOUT SEX.

Another minor problem in the book - Becca's love for Alex's dad was never that big of a deal. I'm sorry, but if my best friend thought of my dad as her own and I JUST found that out, I would think that was a pretty big deal. But Alex hardly even cares. It's brought up once at the start of the book and never brought up again. If you create a problem in a novel, it has to be consistent until it's resolved and it was neither.

Overall, even though I did a bit of bashing, this book was a worthwhile read. The premise is unique, intriguing and writing isn't bad at all. I really enjoyed it and was fist pumping at the end of it for the character's!
"So yes. We had sex," I pronounced with a cheeky smile.

"I knew it! It's almost like I could psychically feel you doing it last night while I was in bed!"

"My god, Becca, contain yourself."

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