Thursday, December 28, 2017

Love, Life and the List by Kasie West

Title: Love, Life and the List
Author: Kasie West
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

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.
Review by Nara

I've really enjoyed most of Kasie West's contemporary novels, and was hoping that Love, Life and the List would be up there with The Distance Between Us and On the Fence. Unfortunately, while it was a cute read, that's all it was: a cute read.

The story was quick overall, but it definitely didn't have that extra layer of depth that some of my favourites of West's fluffy novels have. I think this was especially apparent in the fact that some of the minor plotlines were left hanging, for example the issue of Abby's mother's anxiety. On the other hand, I did quite like the portrayal of the family relationships, for example, even the relationship Abby had with her father (who is a soldier deployed overseas) was clearly a close one.

I have to admit, I wasn't sold on Cooper as the love interest for the majority of the novel. It seemed like either he was ridiculously oblivious to Abby's feelings or in denial, or something. But instead of addressing the feelings, they were ignored and I'm not sure whether I liked the way he dealt with it for most of the novel.

All in all, a cute but simplistic read. I would recommend it for a quick read, but would prioritise some of West's other novels.

Liked it
Overall: 7/10
Plot: 3/5
Romance: 3/5
Writing: 3.5/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 2/5