Friday, November 14, 2008

The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski

Summary: After a car accident in which her passenger, Marissa, dies, June Parker finds herself in possession of a list Marissa has written: "20 Things to Do by My 25th Birthday." The tasks range from inspiring (run a 5K) to daring (go braless) to near-impossible (change someone's life). To assuage her guilt, June races to achieve each goal herself before the deadline, learning more about her own life than she ever bargained for.

My Review:
June Parker is a girl trying to find herself. She is in her thirties, single, works as a writer for LA Rideshare and has a limited social life. This is pretty much the extint that we get to know June through the entire book. Actually almost all the characters in this book are under-developed, leaving the reader longing for something more. The exception being Marissa, who is dead before the book even begins.
Completing a life list, especially one written by someone else, makes for an interesting plot. And the list in this book is rather interesting. I found myself wishing the list was a little longer or more challenging but all in all it did contain a fairly good mix. The list contains the potential for a hilarious book mixed with some emotional serious moments.
Unfortunately that is not what comes about. You do get a small chuckle or two but no uncontrollable laughter from reading this novel. And the serious moments lack emotion. The methods in which June goes about completing this list are fairly dull and unrealistic. Everything seemed to fall together without enough action to engage the reader.
There are some unpredictable moments in the second half of the book that keep it from flopping altogether, but nothing so spectacular that will have me recommending or even remembering this book. Overall I feel this book did a decent job of setting up the reader but then continued to just let the reader fall.

Rating: 2.5 Stars, Just so-so, not sorry that I read it but probably won't think about it again.

If I could sum this book up in one phrase it would be: An easy, mindless read that would wedge well between more thought-provoking books (or under the short leg of a table).


MindySue said...

I love your review. It's perfect. I think the premise of the book sounds really fun, in a PS I Love You sort of way...but it's good to know that it doesn't deliver. Thanks.

Cathe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cathe said...

I agree with your comment. The book is very forgetable. It was highly recommended for our book club. I love the concept of the book and the title. However, the writing is very simplistic.


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