Monday, February 19, 2018

"Love, Life, and the List" by Kasie West

I've been waiting to read Kasie West's Love, Life, and the List ever since it released in December. After almost two months on my library's waiting list, I finally got my hands on the book last week!

Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances.

Which is where the list comes in.

Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself.

Over the last year, I've become a big fan of Kasie West's YA romances. P.S. I Like You is my favorite, but I've enjoyed several others. I also haven't enjoyed a couple (including Lucky in Love, which I didn't even finish), and, unfortunately, Love, Life, and the List falls under the latter category.

The premise of the novel is one I enjoy: best friends falling in love, where one has loved the other for a long time. The problem with this novel is that a) there's absolutely zero chemistry between Abby and Cooper, b) Cooper has to be one of the most unlikable "heroes" I've read about in a long time, and c) I found the book to be slow and boring.

Abby and Cooper are part of a foursome (two boys, two girls, and none of them have ever dated). When the other two leave for summer trips, only Abby and Cooper remain. Abby, who has been in love with Cooper forever (at least "forever" in teenage time), thinks that this may be the opportunity she needs to win him over. But when he begins dating Iris, a girl he met while out with Abby, Abby decides it may be time to move on.

Oh, yeah, and there's the whole thing about Abby's art and her mom's agoraphobia, both of which are supposed to be major plot points but fade into the background as the book is actually all about Abby and Cooper's relationship.

I liked Abby. I enjoyed her quest to improve herself to in turn improve her art. I loved that she stepped out and made a friend outside her core group. But the whole Cooper plot I could not stand. Cooper knows that Abby is in love with him—she professed her love and then laughed it off when he responded in terror—yet he continually flirts with other girls in front of her, he blows off really important events because of other girls, and he becomes incredibly needy when Abby finally grows a backbone and keeps him at arms length. Let's just say that I was rooting for Abby to move on with the sweet artist Elliot, but it was obvious that wasn't where West was going with her story.

I know I've done a lot of griping in this review, but it's really not a bad book; it's just that I have really high hopes for West's novels, and this one didn't live up to those expectations.

I'll keep reading West's books, but I hope future ones are more like P.S. I Like You and less like this one. 2-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my reviews of West's P.S. I Like You (5 stars), By Your Side (3-1/2 stars), On the Fence (4-1/2 stars), and The Distance Between Us (4 stars).

Kasie West lives with her family in central California, where the heat tries to kill her with its 115-degree stretches. She graduated from Fresno State University with a BA degree that has nothing to do with writing. Visit her online at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I borrowed this book from my local library and chose to review it. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. Bummer! Sorry you didn't care for this one. I'm reading it off and on (between INSPY reads) now and find it super cute. But maybe that's partially because when I read it, it's because I want something lighthearted, silly and fun. :)

    1. 1. Yay for INSPY reads!
      2. While I was reading this, I thought, "I bet Rissi will like it more than I do" ... because I remembered that you really liked Lucky in Love, whereas I gave up on it. I'm glad you're liking it, and I'm still looking forward to Kasie's next book :-)


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