Monday, December 18, 2017

Review: Love, Life, and the List - Kasie West

Love, Life, and the List
Kasie West
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: HarperTEEN
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances.

Which is where the list comes in.

Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself.

This is the first in a set of three standalone books with crossover characters.
Love, Life, and the List, was one of my Can't-Wait Wednesday picks back in October, and I am happy to report, that this book delivered beyond my expectations. Here is my "Heart List" sharing all the reasons why I loved this book so much:
  1. Abby was my kind of girl, as she was fluent in my mother tongue, sarcasm. There were so many fabulous verbal exchanges in this book, and I found myself constantly laughing. I also admired Abby's drive and ambition. She wanted something, she set a goal, and she took steps to make it happen. These steps forced her outside of her comfort zone, but she knew she had to push herself if she really wanted to achieve her artistic dreams. 
  2. When they said the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, they definitely had Abby's grandfather in mind. I could absolutely tell where Abby learned the fine art of sarcasm from after reading the exchanges between her and her grandfather. They were adorable. I have a special soft spot for grandparents and really adored the relationship Abby had with her grandpa. 
  3. Grandpa wasn't the only fabulous family member in this book, mom and dad were pretty great too. Abby's dad was in the Army, so most of her communication with her dad was via email or Skype. Their exchanges were very fun and sweet. I won't lie, her parents made a few mistakes in this book, but the one thing I did not doubt, was how much they loved her. 
  4. The friendship between Cooper and Abby was very genuine. They went way back and were very comfortable with each other, and I really enjoyed being around the two of them. 
  5. I really enjoyed all the sites West took me to. I was especially fond of the Underground Gardens and hope to actually see them some day. 
  6. THE LIST! The whole way the list was constructed was very endearing. Abby picked a trait that she admired about each person in her inner circle, and she developed a challenge to demonstrate that trait. So sweet, right? I also liked the results of the list. Abby was trying new things, spreading her wings, making new friends. It made me happy to see her broaden her horizons.  
  7. Endings count for a lot with me, and you can call me a sap, but I got all squishy from the ending of this book.
    Exhibit A: My status update when I finished this book 
Overall: This was a book that lived up to the hype in my head. It made me smile, swoon, and laugh, but most of all, it made me happy.

You can read the first 3 chapters of this book here

**I would like to thank the publisher for the advanced copy of this book.








Do you like to make lists?
Let us know in the comments!

28 comments:

  1. YAY!!! So happy this one was a hit. I am so excited to get to it. Plus a list!!! Great review!

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    1. I really liked it and felt like this was "classic" West.

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  2. Yes! The list was amazing and I just loved her grandfather and even the bits with her dad we saw. I always love her novels. :)

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    1. West is someone I can rely on to give us a good YA family, and we need that rep too.

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  3. I STILL have not read a Kasie West book - I think I'm officially the last person on earth! This sounds like a cute story, though! Love the relationship she has with her grandfather!

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    1. My co-blogger may not have read a West book. The cute and fluffy is not for everyone, but she is one of my favorites.

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  4. I've read one book by Kasie in the past (The Distance Between Us), and I liked it but it didn't blow me away. This one sounds great though! Sarcasm is the best so I'm sure I'd like that aspect of Abby. Great review!

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    1. West always writes a sweet contemporary, and it's what makes her one of my go-tos. This one had some fantastic dialog when Abby was on page.

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  5. I'm glad you liked it. I didn't love it unfortunately but I think I've just outgrown Kasie's books. I did really like her grandpa and Abby was a nice character too.
    Great review!

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    1. Sometimes that happens. I know there a few romance authors I no longer read for that reason. *crying on the inside*

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  6. OH that was such a lovely review! I have read one book by Kasie West so far and enjoyed it - I feel like she is one of the queens of contemporary romances... and one author I definitely should read more books from. Will put that one on my TBR for sure, thank you for sharing the love for this book :D

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    1. West is on a list with Sarah Dessen and Jennifer E Smith as an author I can count on to deliver a great contemporary with just the right amount of drama. Her books work for me.

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  7. Yep, I've got to get to this one soon, too. These types of books make me all sorts of happy.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. And sometimes you just want to feel happy.

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  8. I just started reading this earlier today and I'm already halfway through it - I haven't taken my eyes off my Kindle for very long today! It's such a good book so far!

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  9. This was one of my most anticipated new releases of the month and I get super excited all over again seeing such positive reviews about it! I'm glad Kasie West seems to be back- despite my not having read anything by her before, everyone seems to think that this has been a comeback of sorts for her and I'm glad! Loved the review, Sam! <3

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    1. West released three books this year, and while I agree her last book was not her strongest, it was still good. This one just had that "classic West" feel to it.

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  10. It's always such a great feeling when a book exceeds expectations. It sounds wonderful and I think Abby is a character I'd really enjoy.

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    1. I was impressed that West sort of kept me guessing in this one too. It was cute and fun and even had some touches of the serious. It was a very "me" book.

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  11. YESSSS!😂 I'm so glad you loved it. I'm actually reading this as we speak and I'm loving it. I love the grandfather so, so much! The sarcasm in this book is to die for and I can't get enough of both of them. I can always count on Kasie West for a great read. Thank you so much for a great review, Sam. I hope you have a great week.

    -Helena 💋xoxo

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    1. I am so a sap for old people in a book, and grandpa was very special. Even West's "worst" book was pretty good. I will always read her work.

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  12. Yay, so glad this one delivered for you! West's books tend to be hit or miss with me so it's great to see you say that it lived up to the hype. I love the sound of the grandfather. :)

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    1. Even my least favorite by West was good for me. I just like the kind of books she writes, but I do feel like this is a throw back to her earlier work. I know people had issues with the romance, and the way Abby reacted to certain things, but I thought she was in self preservation mode, so I was ok with it. A strong ending can erase almost any misgivings I had about a book, and this had a really sweet, sappy, strong ending.

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  13. This looks so adorable!! I can't wait to read it. Thankfully my library purchased it so all I have to do is get out of this reading slump. Great review <3

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    1. I love the cute and fluffy and KWest always delivers. I hope you love it when you read it.

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  14. You're the second blogger I've seen review this and yours is a very different review to the other I've read. I have to say I've not picked up a Kasie West book in a while as from everything I've heard about them they seem to have been disappointing a few folks. I am willing to give her a shot but I'm waiting for the book which people are raving about. Hopefully this will be the one because I love friends to lovers books when they're done well. Also, I love an MC who nice the fine art of sarcasm.

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    1. I know some people were unhappy with the romance. They wanted something else to happen, but I always feel that West's books are more than the romance. This was Abby's story and it was about her growing and changing and I personally enjoyed the trip.

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