Monday, 11 November 2013

The F-It List by Julie Halpern.

The F-It List by Julie Halpern
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: November 12th 2013.
My rating: 3.5 stars. 


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.

“Maybe not amazing, but we have to do what we want and not let conventional fear get in the way”.

There seems to be a certain trend with books dealing with bucket lists as of late. I find that I’m really an emotional reader, I seem to find myself gravitate towards books which deal with tough emotional subjects and ones which make me cry. So bucket list books were certainly books I couldn’t wait to dive into.

Despite me assuming that The F-it List would be a book which would solely focus on a friend complete her sick friends bucket List I’m pleased to say this story provided much more than this. The bucket list that Becca who had been diagnosed with cancer asked her friend Alex to compete was an integral part of the story. It was made even more important because Becca and Alex hadn’t been talking until Alex found out about Becca’s diagnosis. It was like it had become crucial to make up on the precious time the two friends had lost over the summer. But also Becca hadn’t just made this bucket list since she had found out about her cancer, but had worked on it for a long time, so helping Becca fulfil some of the dreams, even though some did sound lame was important to Alex.

Alex was a complicated character, she was still dealing with the loss of her dad and now her best friend had been diagnosed with cancer. She didn’t really know what to do. Alex was also one of those characters who because she was afraid, she wouldn’t allow herself to get close to anyone else. Some readers may find this characteristic in Alex annoying especially when they meet the lovely Leo, who seemed perfect for Alex. But when you get under Alex’s layers that she keeps so she won’t get hurt, you understand why she does this in the first place. At times there is a lot of faffing about and time lost between Alex and Leo, but the realisations that Alex comes to and the character which emerges in the end I think was worth some of the heartbreak.

Like I mentioned before The F-it List focuses on several different stories, some readers may have wished for more focus on the bucket list, but I liked how Halpern shifted the focus around a bit. And most importantly, with these individual stories coming together it resulted in a lot of character growth and overall a brilliant read.



15 comments:

  1. Man, Alex seems like she has a lot to be dealing with! I'm really intrigued by her character, def going to be reading this one. I haven't read too many books with bucket lists--maybe one? And it went pretty well.

    Lovely review, Jasprit! <33

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  2. I have read only one book with bucket list and surprisingly didn't enjoy it. I have no idea but it didn't fit me at all. I have heard of this one and I can see mostly people enjoy it. I like the sound of Alex and it seems to me I'd connect with her easily. Great review, Jasprit :))

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  3. I think Jenny Downham's Before I Die is similar to this in the sense that a cancer patient has a bucket list of activities she wants to do before she dies. I wasn't impressed by that one, so I'm not sure how I'd enjoy this, but if it had any kind of emotional impact then I have a feeling I'd like it. Plus, a varied focus sounds like such a refreshing change from the usual, so I'll have to check this out for sure. Great review, Jasprit!(:

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  4. I love the concept of this one. Alex sounds like a fantastic character and a good person to do that for her bestie.

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  5. I've heard surprisingly little about this one, but I really like the sound of it. I think it's almost cool that the author takes a wayward approach to the story...offering us a little more than we might have expected. That's always fun to read, in my book. Great review, Jasprit! :)

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  6. I actually haven't read any books dealing with bucket lists despite how prevalent they've become of late Jasprit, I really need to fix that! I kind of like that this story deals with more than just the list itself as well, and I of course love books that feature strong character growth, so I'm putting this on my TBR list for sure!

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  7. I think Alex may seem like a complex, difficult-to-get-to-know character, but if you've had to endure so many bad things, it just isn't.. that easy to be a bubbly person. So even though I could possibly find myself struggling with her, I'd definitely understand. I do love how this is a book about a bucket list and a re-bonding friendship. I know that Jenni loved this one and with your very decent rating. I think this could totally work for me. Thanks so much for sharing, pumpkin!

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  8. I too liked how it all came together.

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  9. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I have been seeing the trend of bucket lists lately. It's an interesting idea.

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  10. There IS a trend with bucket list books at the moment--I tried a couple recently (GoodBye, Rebel Blue and one other I can't remember) and I have to say I didn't really enjoy either one. I think it's a tricky subject to do well, trying to adapt someone else's aspirations to tell another character's story, although I'd be intrigued to read a book where that's actually done well. It's good that you enjoyed this overall, despite some issues.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  11. I think I'm the opposite. Although I generally tend to find books like this pretty moving overall, it takes a LOT of convincing before I can work up the courage to read something that I know might be draining (especially when cancer is in the picture). However with you mentioning that there's a focus on more than just the one story, you definitely have me curious now. Great review, Jasprit! I'm glad that this was a solid read for you overall. :)

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  12. For some reason, I tend to avoid bucket list books/movies. I think it's because I try to avoid what will make me sad. This does seem like a profound story, and I'm happy you enjoyed it, Jasprit. Lovely review!

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  13. It's the 'much more' part of your review that intrigues me, Jasprit. I don't think I'm ready for a bucket list novel, but the complexity of it, the additional stories, are enough to make me reconsider. This is not my usual type of read, but I find myself in need of something different these days.
    Lovely review, hon.

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  14. Amazing review. <3 Glad you enjoyed this book :) I'm not sure yet if I wish to read it, since you mention that time lost between the romance couple :\ (You see, I have peeked at the book, hih.) But I do think it sounds like a great book, even so. Thank you for sharing sweetie :)

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  15. I tend to stay away from cancer book because I just can't take. I know, weak excuse. But that's why I still haven't read Fault in our stars. Anyways, the bucket list idea is really good. I might read it just for that. Thank for sharing, Jasprit! Lovely review :)

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