- Written by Carrie Firestone
- 346 pages
- Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on June 7th, 2016
Synopsis from the publisher: Maddie has big plans to spend the last months before college tying up high school “loose ends” alongside her best friends. Then her beloved grandmother drops two bombshells: (1) Gram is dying. (2) She’s taking her entire family on a round-the-world cruise of dreams come true—but at the end, Gram won’t be returning home.
With a promise to live in the now without regrets, Maddie boards the Wishwell determined to make every moment count. She finds new friends in her fellow Wishwellians, takes advantage of the trip’s many luxuries, gets even closer to her quirky family, and falls for painfully gorgeous Enzo. But despite the copious laughter, headiness of first love, and wonder of the glamorous destinations, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram, and she struggles to find the strength to let go in a whirlwind summer shaped by love, grief, and laughter.
My rating: 5 stars
My review: I am very, very afraid of death. Losing my loved ones is my biggest fear, and I wasn’t sure if I should attempt to read The Loose Ends List. But that fantastic cover and compelling synopsis got to me, so I decided to give it a try. I am so, so glad I did. I loved this book. Love love loved it.
The characters are amazing. I related to Maddie in a deep way, and her thoughts felt so very much like mine. Astrid, Maddie’s Gram, is hilarious, entertaining, and oh-so lovable. Honestly, if I talked about how much I adored each individual character, this review would become as long as the book itself. So I’ll just leave it at this: every single one of the characters is lovable, thought-provoking, and unforgettable in their own way.
This book is touching and profound, and makes you think about death and life and so much more, without sounding overly preachy. The plot was fabulous. The premise is fascinating, and the book delivers, keeping me interested and engaged throughout the entire novel. The book had such wonderful ups and downs, with beautiful, incredibly joyful moments, and also some sad scenes filled with fear and uncertainty. It was a perfect mix of emotion, not so sad that you just feel somber and heavy, but not all unicorns and rainbows. I sobbed through the penultimate scenes, but the book closed on an uplifting note.
Overall, The Loose Ends List has one of the best casts of characters I have ever read about, and uses them to perfectly portray the realities of life and death. I would recommend this book to anyone age 14 or above who wants a good laugh, but doesn’t mind a good cry too!