e-ARC, 257 pages
Release Date: November 12, 2013
Published by: Feiwel & Friends
Source: NetGalley (A huge thanks to NetGalley and Fiewel & Friends)
For fans of: Realistic Fiction, Romance, Health Issues, Contemporary, YA
With her signature heart and humor, Julie Halpern explores a strained friendship strengthened by one girl’s battle with cancer.
Alex’s father recently died in a car accident. And on the night of his funeral, her best friend Becca slept with Alex’s boyfriend. So things aren’t great. Alex steps away from her friendship with Becca and focuses on her family.
But when Alex finally decides to forgive Becca, she finds out something that will change her world again--Becca has cancer.
So what do you do when your best friend has cancer? You help her shave her head. And then you take her bucket list and try to fulfill it on her behalf. Because if that’s all you can do to help your ailing friend--you do it.
When I first heard about this book, I must admit I was expecting something else. I had my mind set for all the feels and tears and something like really really sad, but this was no such thing. It was filled with sarcasm, dry humor, and sex.
"The only thing worse than having my best friend sleep with my boyfriend the night of my father's funeral would be if she killed herself"
Now I'm not one to judge people on how they grieve, but I kind of felt this was a little over the top. I actually lost two people to different forms of cancer this year and at some times I was mad, but most of the time I was just crying. In this story, it doesn't seem like Alex is effected at all. Even when things got really serious, she was still trying to act like it didn't mean much. Maybe it was supposed to be the comic relief, but I just couldn't connect with it. She just seems to be pushing everyone away but her best friend, who slept with her boyfriend. I couldn't connect with her and she basically just got on my nerves. Her humor was dry and never really funny. It got really annoying most times. The only person I thought had a little sense of remorse was Becca, but she was the one that had cancer and was depressed all the time. There was one time that things got realistic for Alex, and that was when she finally started acting like it affected her. I know everyone is not the same, but at some time, one does crack.
"We should never have any regrets, not when we're dying and not when we're alone"
Another thing I didn't like was the romance. Leo and Alex's romance felt so fake. When they met it seemed rushed and then once they started "dating," I was completely over it. Dude, all they were doing was having sex or messing around. Again, I'm not one to judge someone on how they grieve, but this wasn't for me. It was like they hung out for one time and then they were wrestling in the sheets or closets. And then when Leo said the "l- word," I was done. Insta-love city. I was very unhappy with it.
"Like Ke$ha so wisely puts is, 'Let's make the most of the night like we're gonna die young.'""
As for the actual list, that's the only reason I kept reading this. She had a lot of things on the list that I wanted to try myself, and I applauded her for trying, but also chiding her for only REALLY trying to complete the list because she knew she might not have much time. As she quoted Ke$ha, "Let's make the most of the night like we're gonna die young."
"It doesn't make any sense that I can chat with someone on a tiny screen, that governments can spend billions of dollars on war and mayhem, that actors can make millions of dollars just to look pretty and skinny, yet no one can fucking figure out how to cure cancer without torturing people."
It wasn't what I was expected for most of the book, but I didn't exactly hate it. The actual ending where she started understanding herself made things so much better. Instead of making me emotional, this book just made me mad. But I know I can't speak for everyone. If you're looking for an emotional read , minus all the tears and.... well the emotions, this book just might be the one for you.
Overall, I give this