Friday, June 10, 2016

Review: The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone

The Loose Ends List by Carrie FirestoneThe Loose Ends List
by Carrie Firestone
June 7, 2016
352 pages

Goodreads Summary:
Seventeen-year-old Maddie O'Neill Levine lives a charmed life, and is primed to spend the perfect pre-college summer with her best friends and young-at-heart socialite grandmother (also Maddie's closest confidante), tying up high school loose ends. Maddie's plans change the instant Gram announces that she is terminally ill and has booked the family on a secret "death with dignity" cruise ship so that she can leave the world in her own unconventional way - and give the O'Neill clan an unforgettable summer of dreams-come-true in the process.

Soon, Maddie is on the trip of a lifetime with her over-the-top family. As they travel the globe, Maddie bonds with other passengers and falls for Enzo, who is processing his own grief. But despite the laughter, headiness of first love, and excitement of glamorous destinations, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram. She struggles to find the strength to say good-bye in a whirlwind summer shaped by love, loss, and the power of forgiveness.


I had some confused thoughts while reading The Loose Ends List. I wholly loved the idea of this book but the tone of the story in the first half didn't exactly suggest I take the issues at hand seriously. However, the second half of the book hit me hard and had me bawling. My eyes were leaking on its own (literally).

The Loose Ends List made me laugh which was unexpected (with that synopsis). The jokes were funny but some came off as insensitive and sometimes even offensive. The sarcastic nature made me a little uncomfortable but I kind of get that that's reality. It's honest in a way that we know these people exist and people do think along those lines so why try to pass it off as anything but what it is?
From the first moment I met Maddie I was surprised. She wasn't what I expected for sure. Maddie is rich and with that you get these cliché thoughts of hers that were rude and snobby. I wasn't a fan of hers until I saw how much she loved her family. The story showed me she was capable of caring for others and that redeemed her in my eyes. Some of her thoughts and actions made her kind and endearing. Her romance with Enzo was adorable but also bittersweet. He is totally her Bob Johns!

I very much loved the relationships depicted between 
the characters especially with Maddie's family. It was the strongest thing going in this book for me. Maddie was very close with her family (with the exception of a few for good reasons). Each had their share of flaws and problems but nothing too severe that couldn't be worked through. Then there are the Wishwellians who have become such a tight-knit group through their journey on the waters together. The joy, the grief and the sorrow will forever tie them to each other.

With the last third of this book my emotions were switched on high. What Maddie had with her grandma was so special. I loved every moment of their time together. On a personal note, I'm close with both my grandparents. It was devastating when I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to my grandfather. I would do anything to have had that chance (just a little bit more time with him) so I wouldn't hesitate if this opportunity came into my life.
Even though some of the characters and the tone of this book bothered me at first, The Loose Ends List won me over by the end. I cannot emphasize enough how much I wish the premise of this book was real. I would make the most of the time and always treasure the sweet sorrow.

4 Cats
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way.


  1. I'm VERY excited to read this one. I have high hopes. I have heard that the tone of the book is a touch crude, so I'll have to see how I react to that. Great review!

    1. Haha crude was actually one of the word I originally used in my review. Not sure why I took it out lol... I hope you'll see it in a different light and enjoy it! Can't wait to hear what you think :)

  2. Great review! I had a few issues with this one but I liked its messages and overall theme.

    my review

    1. Thanks! I get that there were some things that were less than savory but I found them to be very realistic :)


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