Publisher: HarperTeen | Pages: 378
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.75)
The publisher kindly sent me a physical copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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.
This book gave me all the feels! I have never read a Kasie West novel before this one, but it seems like I may be a convert! I really enjoyed this novel and I’m excited to delve into more of her stories.
The story was really enjoyable – I loved seeing the crazy ride Abby and her best friend Cooper’s relationship took us on. While unrequited love themes can sometimes feel a bit cliche and annoying, I never felt that way during this book, which was honestly refreshing. I loved their witty banter, which made it so easy to fall in love with them – and secretly root for them the whole way through!
I loved the theme of creating a list to help change the way you see the world or the way in which you do something that you previously thought was easy. Abby thought her art was easy and didn’t feel the need to change her perspective on it – but throughout the course of the story it was clear that sometimes other perspectives are an advantage, not a disadvantage. It really makes the reader think that sometimes going outside of our comfort zones can have beneficial results!
I absolutely loved the relationship Abby had with her grandfather. I think that it added a sweet and sensitive side to the novel that I didn’t realize I needed. I never realized that their sarcastic conversations would replay over and over in my head, but I’m glad they did! They always brought a smile to my face.
My only qualm with this, and albeit, it’s small, is the way in which anxiety was dealt with in this book. Specifically, I feel as though there wasn’t much detail given as to her mother’s anxiety and why it was as bad as it was. I felt that at times it was sort of glossed over and I found myself wanting to know more as to why Abby’s mother dealt with crippling anxiety and its significant link to Abby’s emotion. But I did appreciate the way in which West accentuated the grippling issues that come with having anxiety. I just would have liked to have had more background information.
I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a story of romance, friendship and finding your inner self and peace! I will definitely be going for some more Kasie West books in the future! Especially since this was the first in a set of three standalone books, where the characters crossover! Can’t wait to see how things unfold in other books!
Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.75)
Favourite Quote: “That we can only control ourselves. No matter how much we wish we could twist and bend someone’s will to ours, they have to want to.”
About the Author:
Kasie West lives with her family in central California, where the heat tries to kill her with its 115-degree stretches. She graduated from Fresno State University with a BA degree that has nothing to do with writing.
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