The F- It List by Julie Halpern
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
For all the cussing and the directness that goes on here, this ends almost too happily for me. Yet, what’s so bad about an HEA you ask? Well, the girl does one thing and then another thing in an effort to establish herself different from the rest… but ends up not quite that. Sure she is different to an extent… she’s just not as remarkable as I was hoping because well, there’s ending, you see. Must the ending have been almost too Hollywood matchy-matchy? That aside, things did get interesting: her opening her eyes as she did AND her eyes screwed purposely shut prior thereto, as well.
So what’s in the before? It’s all about how she’s not really typical girl, particularly as she’s not able to define who she is for others, or more apt, who others are for her. These issues all ride on the back of her grief and what that can make one do and NOT DO. A lot of the drama in this stems from her failing to face up to certain (big) things. At the same time, there’s this thing about her and her friends (friend, really.)
It’s the last that I felt worked the most here: HOW NOT PERFECT any of them are. They’re coarse yet funny; careless with each other but there all the same. There’s no fear to be who they are with each other because there’s a history between them. I bought them together, their in-jokes, their crudeness even. Surprisingly, I bought the BFF’s relationship more than I did the lead and her guy! As to the romance: it was OK. OK, because I couldn’t get into it at first. The guy felt like he could have been any-guy. There’s nothing that truly defined him for me, just the guy for the girl. Required love interest in standard YA set ups, you know? And what they get together: it’s all intensely physical. But hey, I get that because at least that’s real. But for the life of me: the guy could have been anyone! ‘Till he wasn’t, and I was thankful for that.
It’s all real: what goes on, what they do, and what they talk about… yet that ending took away from what I liked. And that’s too bad too because it’s in the coarseness of her language; it’s in the matter of fact-ness of her recollections; and it’s even in the straightforward manner of their interaction that F LIST strength lie, to have it end so perfectly matchy-matchy HEA, well… not you’re not so dark after all, are Ms. Horror movie girl?
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