Monday, November 5, 2018

Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West

West, Kasie. Love, Life, and the List. HarperTeen, 2017. 978-0-062-67577-4. 384 p. $17.99. Gr. 9 and up.

From the Publisher: 

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 is the first in a set of three standalone books with crossover characters.

My Review: 

Crushed and disappointed after being told her art "has no heart," Abby with input from her family and best friend Cooper, creates a list to help her take chances and prove her art is gallery worthy. The list forces Abby to take risks and experience new things, sometimes with a new perspective. As she finds herself emerging as an artist, Abby begins to re-evaluate her friendship and her life. Is completing the list possible, and will Abby get what she wants? Or will the new Abby have new aspirations? 

THOUGHTS: Kasie West books are essential to popular high school romance collections, but as one of my students put it, "They're no Sarah Dessen book." I enjoyed the characters and idea of this one but I also found it predictable. Purchase where realistic romance is in demand. 

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