Hello, book dragons! How are you all doing? Today’s review is of The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone. I received this galley copy
through my job at my local bookstore. I had seen this before on Goodreads and here and there on Instagram, and it definitely piqued my interest. Coincidentally, I brought this on my cruise with me and read it 🙂 Okay, it wasn’t much of a coincidence, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity! I’m so excited for this release next week!
Here’s what it’s about:
Seventeen-year-old Maddie O’Neill Levine lives a charmed life, and is primed to spend the perfect pre-college summer with her best friends and young-at-heart socialite grandmother (also Maddie’s closest confidante), tying up high school loose ends. Maddie’s plans change the instant Gram announces that she is terminally ill and has booked the family on a secret “death with dignity” cruise ship so that she can leave the world in her own unconventional way – and give the O’Neill clan an unforgettable summer of dreams-come-true in the process.
Soon, Maddie is on the trip of a lifetime with her over-the-top family. As they travel the globe, Maddie bonds with other passengers and falls for Enzo, who is processing his own grief. But despite the laughter, headiness of first love, and excitement of glamorous destinations, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram. She struggles to find the strength to say good-bye in a whirlwind summer shaped by love, loss, and the power of forgiveness.
Release date: June 7,2016
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Page #: 352
This book broke my heart a little bit. I couldn’t help falling in love with all the characters – especially Gram! With such a dismal yet controversial subject I was curious to see what direction Firestone would take this in.
Okay, I’m going to be real – things could have gotten very political quickly with the death with dignity theme, but it was done so well that I didn’t feel like it was being preachy in any way. The story is about so much more than Gram’s choice in dying – it’s about living and doing it well.
Maddie was a character I had a hard time warming up to though as the book carried on I began to appreciate her situation. I personally haven’t had that kind of relationship with any of my grandparents (most of them had passed on by the time I was with my family), so it was nice to see someone have that kind of relationship. (Shoutout to my adopted Grandma Jill 😉 ) Janie is another complex and interesting character. I like how she is portrayed as someone who is more than the label of slut. Her love for Gram extends over anything that has been said about her previously and I wish I had gotten to know her more.
The exotic locations the O’Neills visit sound divine! Each segment of their adventure draws them closer to Gram’s death and it’s fun to see how each character handles each location. I think it’s an awesome idea to knock things off your bucket list this way. I also love the term “loose ends list” instead because it is applicable without being morbid. I’m going to need to construct myself a loose ends list myself my senior year!
I wish I had gotten to know a little more about the characters after the cruise was over! It leaves ends loose!!! I do appreciate how the story was developed and structured.
Definitely keep an eye out for this read! It’s a great beach read.