I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone
Published by Little on June 7th 2016
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Also by this author: The Unlikelies
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.
I absolutely loved this book. So much that it made my top reads of 2016 list. It’s fun, endearing, sad, and all the emotions in between.
Maddie is planning on spending her summer crossing things off her Loose Ends list before heading to college. Her grandmother has a huge announcement that changes that plan completely. I haven’t read many books that talk about death with dignity, but I can understand it. Especially after meeting the characters in this book. After her grandmother lets the family know she’s terminally ill, they set off on a cruise and adventures to cherish the time they have left. They meet so many other people on the cruise in the same circumstances, and form a new type of familial bond with them.
I was sad at many moments. I can’t imagine being a teen, and being surrounded by death, but Maddie tries her best to treat them like she would anyone else. She forms close relationships, and learns to hold on to the little things. While her family is definitely odd, they seem like a close knit family. Gram is an absolute hoot! She’s spunky, says whatever she’s thinking, and is a beacon of wisdom and guidance to those she loves. I’m pretty sure we all have a Gram in our lives, or at least know one.
I did like that there was also a romance woven into the story. It just proves that love can find you at anytime in your life. It may not be your one “great love,” but it still finds it’s way into your heart.
I don’t want to give all the shenanigans this bunch of people get into, but many of them are hysterical and will have you laughing. And the relationships formed are ones that will last years.
I just have all the warm feelings about this book. It definitely makes you think about how you live. Life is truly too short, and we should all find our “snowglobe moments.”