Author: Morgan Matson
Genres: Young Adult Realistic/Issues
Format: eBook • Pages: 464
Published: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
I read this as part of one of the book clubs I’m in. I have mixed feelings about it.
First, the good stuff. I love this to-do list that Sloane sends Emily. I love how it pushes her boundaries and that she struggles to check things off. I like the character growth seen in Emily, how she finds the determination and courage within herself to defy her limits and step outside her comfort zone. I think this is a good lesson for all humans.
Most of the writing is good, the plot is fine, the characterizations were believable. For mature readers, I think this book is an okay read.
But. I think there are some “coincidences” that are just a little too much for me to believe. I also think it falls apart a bit at the very end. No spoilers, but when we find out what happened to Sloane, it was a bit of a anticlimax. Not that I wanted it to be a different ending, just that it wasn’t as tight and convincing as the rest of the story.
And an even bigger But. I don’t like some of the things that Emily does—just because they’re on the list. There are teen parties with alcohol. Not a good thing. Lying to your parents about where you are, or just not telling them. And skinny dipping. Putting integrity and modesty issues aside, Emily puts herself into some really dangerous situations that could have backfired horrendously. I have concerns that young readers might try a list like this and not get out of it as relatively unscathed, as Emily did.
It’s recommended for ages 12 and up, but I disagree. For older teens and adults who like YA, I say go for it. But for younger teens, use caution.