I received an early, uncorrected copy of this book at BookCon. This in no way affects my opinion. Grammatical errors will not be taken into account.
Based on the cover and synopsis, I imagined The Loose Ends List would be an emotional yet enjoyable read, perfect for kicking off my summer break. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, and I DNFed the book at about 35% (123 pages in). I tried to get to at least the halfway point and stayed hopeful that it would improve, but this book just didn’t work for me. 😦
I liked the premise of this book. It sounded like it would be a nice, quick contemporary, albeit a sad one. The beginning had promise, too. But then the inappropriate jokes and moments started, and the *sort of* romance overshadowed the story itself. The former also made me slightly uncomfortable. 😐
Maddie was the main female character, and kind of a stereotypical teenager. Maddie had a group of close friends, but they only talked about boys and fashion. She went to parties, but never did anything against the rules. She was mostly nice to her family and other characters, but was quickly irritated and didn’t like the idea of being around old and/or sick people.
Enzo was the love interest, and although I liked him at first, he also fit the mold of any average teenage guy. He was the attractive athlete, and he enjoyed helping his mom with her “death with dignity” cruise ship during the summer. (As they call it.) I think what made me lose my interest was that he seemed plain (up to the point I got to, anyway).
Everyone else was kind of a blur. Maddie had a large family, and nearly all of them went on the cruise. Then there were a bunch of other people and families on the ship that interacted with Maddie as well. I could keep a few names straight, but my biggest issue was that I didn’t really like any of them. I would start to, but then it would be lost because there would be an inappropriate joke or exchange. 😦
I’m not entirely sure where the story started; I think somewhere in New York. I know that right before the cruise departed, Maddie’s family was in Bermuda. After they got on the ship, the only stop I read to was Jamaica. Regardless, I did enjoy the descriptions: a huge, sparkling new ship, and a couple of warm, tropical islands I’d love to visit. 😀
The only word I can think of to describe Maddie’s family is dysfunctional; they’re not completely so, but I can’t think of anything better. They rarely got along, and didn’t mind spending minimal time together. I will give Carrie points for the realistic aspect of that, though, and I can say it was partially remedied by Maddie’s relationship with her grandmother. It’s not a bond we see often in books, and it was executed well. I think that was my favorite part of her family. 😉
What I didn’t like was the instant spark between Maddie and Enzo. I’m a hopeless romantic at heart and normally wouldn’t have minded something like this, but I think in this case that it happened too quickly. They met on a cruise ship meant for dying people, and they basically fell in love at first sight. I just feel like that’s a bit inappropriate. 😐
There were none up to the point I stopped at. There are likely some scattered throughout the rest of the book, but I can’t say for sure.
The Loose Ends List promised a lot, but for me it didn’t deliver. However, if you enjoy contemporaries and are thinking of reading this one, definitely give it a try. You might like it, even though I didn’t. 😉
my rating: 1½ out of 5 stars
Note: I wasn’t trying to be harsh in any way. This review was shorter only because I didn’t want to offend anyone.
I’ll be reading my sampler of Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor next, and then starting something else. I haven’t decided what yet. 😛
Make sure to check out my giveaway for three copies of Schism by Britt Holewinski! 🙂
I hope you’re all having a spectacular day/night! ❤
Until next time…
Come visit me! 😀