Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Review: The F-It List

Title: The F- It List
Author: Julie Halpern
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: November 12th 2013
Source: Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group


Two stars.

Alex and Becca's friendship is strained, to say the very least. While Alex is faced with the loss of her father, Becca comes forward and confesses to sleeping with Alex's boyfriend. A bit of time passes, and Alex's anger is all but forgotten when she hears that Becca has cancer. Becca asks Alex to complete her bucket list as she starts chemo, so that's exactly what Alex does- sets out to complete the renamed F- It list.


This book wasn't my cup of tea. I felt like it has a good base idea and concept, but tried to do too much.

-As my regular followers know, relatability to characters is something that is very important to me. Now, that doesn't mean I want all characters to think or act like I would were I in their shoes, but I at least need to be able to understand the choices that they make and why they made them. That wasn't the case with Alex. I found her unlikable and often questioned why she felt the need to behave as she did.

+The one aspect of Alex that I did like was that she is pretty much a walking encyclopedia of horror movie knowledge. I also have a love of all things spooky and macabre, so props to the author for including the references that she did.

+-That being said, if the reader has no previous knowledge of horror movies, I feel like the constant references will get old quickly.

-I was also pretty surprised at the amount of mentions of sex and obscene language. Keep in mind that I'm no prude, and in life away from the blog, I swear like a trucker. But I expected this book to be a more, well, young young adult than it was- it's from a children's publishing group after all. It threw me off guard, and while I personally don't have a problem with content of this sort, I know that other people will definitely be unhappily surprised with it.

+Another positive point is the cover. I'd definitely pick it up on a shelf. It looks edgy and very teen angst-y.

Overall, I think why I'm so disappointed is that I expected the story to be more focused on the pair of Becca and Alex as friends, and less Alex-centric. I wanted more story about Becca's battle with cancer and their friendship and less scenes between Alex and Leo. I am sure that a lot of people will enjoy this book. It's not badly written, and it has a great concept. But for me, this wasn't what I was expecting, and it left me disappointed.

Thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for my copy.


  1. Ah, bummer. I'm the same way with characters, if their choices seem completely unrealistic I can't stay totally focused on the story. Thanks for the honest review, I'm glad to know that it doesn't focus as much on the relationship between the girls as it could have.

    1. Yeah, I was kind of surprised. Maybe if the blurb had been different, I'd have a different review. I just felt like what I read wasn't what was presented to me.

  2. I like having relatable, or at least, understandable, characters too. I'm sorry this didn't work for you.
    Nice review!

    1. I'm all for characters making horrid decisions- as long as they make sense. Oh well. I can't love 'em all!

  3. This seems like a book I'd probably have to pass up, though I would initially pick it up because of the concept and the sweet cover.

    1. I think the cover will bring it a lot of attention.