The F-It List – the JTAC

While the general concept behind them is morbid, bucket lists are something the majority of people are pretty familiar with. A to-do list is a list of things someone says they want to do before they “kick the bucket” or die, in other words. This week’s book review is for a novel called ”The F-It List” by Julie Halpern. Although the title might seem a little self-explanatory, the book is actually quite moving.

Our main characters, Becca and Alex, were best friends. At Alex’s father’s funeral, Becca betrays Alex’s trust and shatters years of friendship, leaving Alex to pick up the pieces and focus on herself and her family. After a summer of growth and healing, Alex and Becca reunite, but this time things aren’t so simple. Becka has cancer. This terrifying new diagnosis led Becca to create her own to-do list, but she named it her “F-It List.”

As Becca has slowly become sicker and sicker, she isn’t sure she can finish the list herself and asks Alex to help her before her time is up. However, several items on the list include a partner of interest. That’s where Leo comes in. Although Alex is used to casual flings, Leo is different and Alex needs to learn what it’s like to have more than just a physical connection with someone.

Although Becca and Alex have had their fair share of arguments and bad deeds towards each other, in the end, their support for each other doesn’t fade. Especially in the midst of such difficulties, a friendship like theirs is refreshing and vital for survival.

The beginning of the book leaves you with mixed emotions. It’s easy to sympathize with a character like Alex, who has just lost his father and been stabbed in the back by his best friend. However, after finding out about Becca’s diagnosis, it’s hard not to like her. As the book progresses, it’s impossible not to fall in love with these characters and the unbreakable bond they have with each other. Throughout the book, there are some pretty serious topics and situations the girls find themselves in, but there’s a perfect balance of humor woven into the story to keep things from feeling depressing.

Overall, I loved this book. Although slightly more suggestive than the books I usually read, it contains many humorous moments perfectly mixed with heartwarming touches. I also like the realism of this book. Often we see stories of teenagers who fall in love and run off together into the sunset to spend the rest of their lives happily entangled with each other. This book represents teenagers in a real way and does not paint a picture of something imaginary. Halpern does a great job of making the characters feel very easy to understand, laugh at, and sympathize with when needed. I would rate this book a seven and a half out of 10. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy adventurous stories and laughing while crying simultaneously.