Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Book Review: The List

To be honest, I thought The List was going to be a breezy little romance. It had all the elements---a girl planning for a summer fling, the hot guy who seems unreachable but has depth, and a situation that throws them together. I settled in for a fun read.

But The List surprised me. The writing was fun and quirky, the situations had a fresh twist on it, and I absolutely loved the ending, but for me, it didn’t feel quite finished. (And believe me, I don't say that a lot and it is purely a personal feeling, does that make sense?) I mean, it ended and there was some closure, but I really just wanted an epilogue. I needed an epilogue!

So, in hopes of trying to get one, I’m currently lobbying the author to write me a page of epilogue. Just ONE little page! I will join her fan club forever just to have it. I would even throw in two of my precious Canadian chocolate bars. (Melanie, if you’re reading this, just one little epilogue, pretty please? With cherries and your favorite topping on top?)

Seriously, though, I think the thing I liked best about the book is the dialogue. It was witty and flowy and natural. Sometimes in books like these it feels forced, but Melanie seems to have a knack for crisp dialogue that I really enjoyed. The characters were realistic, which is sometimes hard to find with romantic humor, and I liked that their flaws were so real, and the reasons behind the flaws were, again, very natural. I mean, Ashley had a good reason for making her list that was very sympathetic, and her cousins had a good reason for calling her Smashley, (which was really funny). And of course, Matt had just enough mysteriousness about him that made him irresistible, but his reactions to things showed exactly how deep he really was. *le sigh* It was so good. I know Melanie is going to be one of those writers that I will be first in line on her book's release day so I can have my own copy to devour the second it comes out!

The only thing I really had a hard time with wasn’t something the author could control. It was the formatting. I bought the book on Kindle and there were several spacing issues that were distracting for me. But the story made it worth it. My daughter took it the second I was through and is almost finished reading it herself. It’s just that kind of book---so fun and fresh that you have to see what happens! It’s a great summer read.

Here’s the back copy for it:

Ashley Barrett doesn’t want to get married. At least, not anytime soon. She doesn’t care how many of her friends and family members and fellow churchgoers had weddings before they finished college — the last thing she needs in her fun-loving twenties is the dead-weight of some guy. And that’s why she created The List. By the time she completes all twenty-five goals — from learning a language to skydiving to perfecting the art of making sushi — she’ll be more ready to settle down. Maybe.

This summer in California is a prime time for Ashley to cross two items off the list: learn to surf (#13) and have a summer romance (#17). And Matt Gibson, the best surf instructor in Huntington Beach and the most wanted guy in the singles ward, is the perfect man for the job. Ashley hatches a plan to love him and leave him before heading off to grad school in the fall (#4, get a master’s degree). But when Matt decides he doesn’t like the “leaving” part, Ashley’s carefully laid plans are turned sideways. Now Ashley faces an unexpected dilemma: should she stick to the safety of The List, or risk everything for a love that may tie her down — or might set her free?

Definitely put this one on your to-read list. You won’t be sorry!


Charlie Moore said...

I haven't purchased it yet, but this book is on my List.


Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Charlie, HAHA! I totally got that one. :)

Debra Erfert said...

Is Canadian chocolate somehow better than others? Just asking! This sounds like a great summer read. I just got a Kindle for Mac app and its sooo easy to dowload stories, but it doesn't seem to play nicely with everything. I'd like to think it's not me, and that I'm smarter than a computer, but ... *shakes head*

Melanie Jacobson said...

Wow, Julie. I love it! Thank you so much, and I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Debra, Canadian chocolate is incredible. My mom sends me care packages of it, just so I can have a taste of paradise regularly. *le sigh*

Melanie, I'm honored you read the review! Sadly, I can see my lobbying efforts aren't working on you. I haven't given up yet, though! ;)

Anna said...

Just read it and loved it. Definitely worth reading.

Christy said...

This one looks great and it's on my to read list! Thanks for the review.