The Next Thing on My List
Author: Jill Smolinski
Genre: Adult lit
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money
Summary (from the back of the book): 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.
Review: I read about this book on One Person's Journey and really liked her review. Her book group read it and each brought a list to talk about. I suggested this to my MUS Moms book group at our last meeting and they thought it sounded like fun. So, in April I'll get to share parts of my list with the group and I will get to hear their lists, which I am really excited about!
First off, I am a list maker, no doubt about it. And, I've had a "to do" list since I was 18. I add to it every few years and I even subtract from it. Embarrassingly, at 19 and far from home I thought it would be "cool" to join others at my college and do shrooms so added that to the list. Wisely I never did them and crossed them off the list a couple years later. Some of the things I've done that are on my list: have children, be a weight I am satisfied with, and earn a college and advanced degree. Still to do? Pet a lion, go to the moon, and read War and Peace.
Ok. Back to the book. I really enjoyed it. It flows well, the characters are believable and likable, and the plot is also based in reality, which I liked. The book has its "heavy" moments, but they aren't a downer and don't detract from the overall positive feeling I had when reading this book. I found the whole concept of fulfilling someone else's wish list (for whatever the reason) uplifting and exciting. Would she finish the list before Marissa's Birthday? How would Marissa's family react? Would June's friends be supportive? I love it when a book pulls me in and makes me want to stay up late to finish (which I did last night).
I think we all tend to go through our daily lives not realizing the impact we have on others. I don't mean the big, extreme impact as in "You've changed my life!", but rather, the small aspects. A smile, a hello, a well-timed question, a compliment. This book also explores that idea, that people we don't feel are important in our lives or with whom we have nothing in common, can become significant if we let them.