You’ve heard of bucket lists…
The F***-It List, by Julie Halpern
Feiwel & Friends, ISBN: 978 1 250 02565 4
Alex had a crap summer both grieving her dad’s death and being mad at her bff Becca, but she’s pretty much ready to forgive and make up now that school’s back in. She looks for her all day… and finds out that she’s in cancer treatment. Running to support her, they reunite and Alex sets out on a mission to help Becca fulfill a list of things she wanted to do while Becca’s getting chemo and recovering. She won’t call it a bucket list, though, since she insists Becca’s going to beat this. So they dub it the “fuck-it list”. The list gives Alex a focus for the next while, as she tries to be there for Becca and somehow navigate the awkward start of something with a guy she likes but has no idea how to talk to.
It’s a lot for one girl to handle, especially one who specializes in squashing down her emotions and not showing anything. At the end, Alex is kind of forced to open up and talk about some of it, and it helps, but she is the kind of tongue-tied teen who feels like she makes everything worse by trying to talk. She’d rather watch horror movies, where the scary stuff isn’t real. She is very relateable heorine, and her stop-start fledgling relationship with Leo works well – it’s sweet, but feels real. I was very much cheering for both girls and for the relationships that form, and I loved seeing Alex start to find a way to open up at the end. This book is, I should add, laden with plenty of sex and swearing, as the title may suggest, but truly, it’s got great heart and I really, really liked it.
(I’m kind of secretly hoping for a next installment…)
Also available as an ebook.