Showing posts with label bucket list. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bucket list. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

[Review] Someone Else's Summer - Rachel Bateman: Bucket Lists and Losing a Family Member

In SOMEONE ELSE'S SUMMER, Anna finds her late sister Storm's bucket list and decides to go on a road trip to check off all the things Storm didn't get to.

What intrigued me: I totally didn't read the blurb and went off the gorgeous cover.

Fantastic Characters

SOMEONE ELSE'S SUMMER is an unexpected gut punch. I immediately grew very attached to the characters, from protagonist Anna to her ex-boyfriend Jovani to her neighbor Cameron - I loved them all! 

This is very much a character-driven story that takes its time to get to the actual premise and get the plot started, so it's always fantastic to connect with the characters. Bateman excels at conveying the emotions of her characters and portraying their grief and sorrow over Storm's passing realistically and beautifully. 

It truly feels like Bateman took her time creating realistic and fleshed-out characters with intricate and sometimes complicated relationships to each other.

Quite unoriginal and following tropes

However, there just isn't that much to this story after all. This is your typical bucket list / road trip story with absolutely no spin to the topic, no originality, and nothing memorable about it aside from the nice characters. Every twist and turn the plot takes is extremely predictable if you've read a handful of novels with similar themes. 

As soon as everything is settled introduction-wise the story just starts to become really dull and boring. Anna and her sidekick Cameron embark on a journey to tick off all the bullet points on the list and that's it. You have to be a fan of those types of novels to enjoy this and specifically enjoy bucket list narratives. Because this personally isn't really my thing, I found the narration and plot to end up feeling very stoic and boring. 

SOMEONE ELSE'S SUMMER really has its peak within the first 80 pages, which are just brilliant, but then simply recedes to boring bucket-list-novel tropes. 




Overall: Do I Recommend?

I really enjoyed the first third of SOMEONE ELSE'S SUMMER but quickly grew uninterested when I realized that this is quite unoriginal with little to no variation to other novels that feature bucket list storylines. If you enjoy these types of contemporaries, SOMEONE ELSE'S SUMMER surely is among the better of these books, if you don't and like me enjoy variation, original plot, and surprises, you might want to skip this one.

Additional Info

Published: May 9th 2017
Pages: 320
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Genre: YA / Contemporary
ISBN: 9780762462193

"Anna's always idolized her older sister, Storm. So when Storm dies in a tragic car accident on the night of her high school graduation, Anna is completely lost and her family is torn apart. That is, until she finds Storm's summer bucket list and decides to honor her sister by having the best summer ever—which includes taking an epic road trip to the coast from her sleepy Iowa town. Setting out to do everything on Storm's list along with her sisters best friend Cameron—the boy next door—who knew that Storm's dream summer would eventually lead to Anna's own self-discovery?"
(Source: Goodreads)

What's your favorite road trip read?

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

[Review] The Life List - Lori Nelson Spielman

In THE LIFE LIST by Lori Nelson Spielman, Brett Bohlinger has to fulfill every single goal on a bucket list that she wrote at 14 if she wants to get her hands on her mother's inheritance.
What intrigued me: I love books about bucket lists!

You can simply tell it’s a debut. Each chapter begins with pseudo-eloquent descriptions of the weather and there’s a lot of inconsistency going on. The writing is mediocre at best and had this been my first chick-lit novel, I would have probably abandoned the genre altogether. 

THE LIFE LIST perfectly plays into all (negative clichees) and rumors about the genre: Cheesiness, predictability, no depth whatsoever, and shallowness.

The protagonist Brett seems to be the only character that got properly explored. Everyone else just seems like a plot device (e.g. surprisingly playing significant roles in the end) and are abandoned the second they have had their influence on Brett’s life. This doesn't only make this book extremely predictable and boring, but also very frustrating. Every single character that isn't Brett or the love interest is a plot device. How am I supposed to sympathize with anyone here?

I could have guessed the entire plot out of the blue. The epic twist in the end is pretty obvious and as a reader I felt cheated that the title-giving Life List wasn’t even further addressed. It just seemed like the editor yelled cut there and deleted four chapters to save printing costs. I felt like I wasted my time on this.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

To be honest - I’ve read better chick-lit. Brett annoyed me with her superficial, vain attitude that got miraculously transformed in the end after she met a handful of (magical plot device) POC.

I’m not a fan of using side characters for plot reasons, and the fact that Brad, Shelley and Catherine (beautifully developed characters!!) were neglected despite their potential.
Chick-lit shouldn’t leave the reader unsatisfied and feeling cheated. I want to read chick-lit that’s upbeat, maybe a bit cheesy but overall leaves me with a happy feeling. This one didn't.

Additional Info

Published: July 2nd 2013
Pages: 368
Publisher: Bantam
Genre: Adult / Chick-Lit

"Brett Bohlinger seems to have it all: a plum job, a spacious loft, an irresistibly handsome boyfriend. All in all, a charmed life. That is, until her beloved mother passes away, leaving behind a will with one big stipulation: In order to receive her inheritance, Brett must first complete the life list of goals she'd written when she was a naive girl of fourteen.
Grief-stricken, Brett can barely make sense of her mother's decision-her childhood dreams don't resemble her ambitions at age thirty-four in the slightest. Some seem impossible. How can she possibly have a relationship with a father who died seven years ago? Other goals (Be an awesome teacher!) would require her to reinvent her entire future.

As Brett reluctantly embarks on a perplexing journey in search of her adolescent dreams, one thing becomes clear. Sometimes life's sweetest gifts can be found in the most unexpected places""
(Source: Goodreads)

 Have you read THE LIFE LIST?

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