Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Review of The F- It List by Julie Halpern

Title/Author: The F- It List by Julie Halpern
Publisher/Date published: Feiwel & Friends, November 12th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Alex’s father recently died in a car accident. And on the night of his funeral, her best friend Becca slept with Alex’s boyfriend. So things aren’t great. Alex steps away from her friendship with Becca and focuses on her family.

But when Alex finally decides to forgive Becca, she finds out something that will change her world again - Becca has cancer.

So what do you do when your best friend has cancer? You help her shave her head. And then you take her bucket list and try to fulfill it on her behalf. Because if that’s all you can do to help your ailing friend--you do it.

Guys, I struggled with this book. I don't really read a lot of books that deal with tough subjects such as this one, because in my line of work I deal with disease and awful things happening to people and sometimes I just want to relax and not think about all the horrible things happening in the world when I get home. But The F- It List sounded like it could be more my kind of book because it's about a friendship and I like books about friendships. But like I said: I struggled with this book.

I think a huge part of the problem for me comes from the fact that I just did not like Alex. I really disliked Alex to be honest. She's harsh and in your face and just not a nice person. And I didn't really think that Becca was necessarily a nice person either. So it was kinda hard for me to really get into the story, because let's face it, I can sympathize a whole lot more with characters if I like them, I can't help it. I just never felt connected to Alex and half the time I didn't understand what the hell she was doing.
I know that she's been through a lot with her father dying and her best friend having cancer, but from what I've gathered she wasn't all that different personality-wise before that happened and I was kinda glad that someone actually called her out on it at one point, because she needed an attitude-adjustment.

Also, I was confused by the friendship between Becca and Alex. I get that not every friendship is the same and that not everyone is always hugging each other and everything. Not everyone is shiny and happy. But I genuinely was confused by the stuff they'd pulled on each other in the past. I mean, seriously, I don't think my best friend in high school would have slept with my boyfriend. EVER. No matter the circumstances.

I'd expected it to be more about actually doing the things on Becca's list, but it The F- It list was mostly about Becca being sick, Alex dealing with it and with her budding romance. And you know, usually I'm all for the romance, but here it was just a distraction for me. I mean, I liked Leo, he was probably one of the only decent persons in the novel, but it just felt a bit off for me.

I did like Alex's brothers, and Leo. They were the bright spots in the novel for me and I like how they didn't take crap from Alex and would call her out on her behaviour.

But yeah, overall I was kinda disappointed in this book, as I had just expected it to be more than it was. But my struggles were also for a huge part due to my major disconnect and also dislike of the main character and that falls at least party into the 'it's not you, it's me' category, so it may not be the same for others.

My rating: 1,5 stars


  1. This one sounded so good, but I've been seeing a lot of negative reviews. Boo. Looks like I'll be skipping it.

  2. I wasn't very interested in this book to start with, so I'm definitely going to stay away from it. I don't like it when I have troubles with the characters :) It's a shame it was so disappointing!

  3. Thanks for the heads up on this one!
    I've read one of the author's books and really liked it - Into the WIld Nerd Yonder - but haven't really liked her other books and it doesn't sounds like this one would be the exception.

  4. I was surprised by how fast they crossed some items off-I had anticipated them taking a bit longer to complete at least. I did still mostly enjoy this though-sorry you didn't click with it!