Monday, August 19, 2013


Title: The F-It List
Author: Julie Halpern
Edition: eARC
Published: November 2013
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 256
Source: NetGalley
Category: Romance, Contemporary
Trailer: not available

With her signature heart and humor, Julie Halpern explores a strained friendship strengthened by one girl’s battle with cancer.

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.
The F-It List was just too good to be true.

A week ago, I decided to make my NetGalley/Kindle apps work so I can start requesting again. After a few excruciating and frustrating hours of troubleshooting, the apps finally worked. Giddy as I was, I browsed through the Most Requested tab and found this title. The cover was simple yet pretty and the title was catchy. When I read the synopsis, I thought why not give it a try. Luckily I was approved and few hours ago, I finished reading it. Now am suffering from severe migraine from reading on my phone.

Becca slept with her best friend's boyfriend on the night of her dad's wake. That infuriated Alex and decided not to talk to Becca the entire summer. When Alex was really to at least be civil again with Becca on the first day of their senior year, she was welcomed by the news that Becca has cancer. She visited her best friend, they reconciled and agreed that they would do whatever Becca listed on her bucket list -- they called it The Fuck It List. Alex didn't have a choice but do her part and her guilt skyrocketed. She hates herself so much about why her besf friend was in pain and not her, why did her father die and why her life isn't as complicated as others. But along side of her bucket-list, her long-time crush Leo approached her and kissed her.

The F-It List, I think, is a very typical day-by-day life which were jotted down into a piece of paper. It is very much relatable! The truthfulness behind each line and each emotion was compelling. The plotting maybe a simple one but I liked how well it came together. One can sense the idealism from the novel and I admire how Halpern managed to express it. Dealing with such devastating pain can only do so much to a person. Death, Cancer and relationships can change one's perspective and how it can form such defense mechanism we don't even notice. I can say that this novel is playing between YA and NA's boundary -- the sex, pot-smoking, swearing, blasphemy -- that am not sure would be for young audience. Plot's development was slow because from where I see it, it depends so much on Cancer. However, the bucket list? That is overrated. I believe there are better things to do than a bucket list and its over used. How I wish Halpern made something different, though. But I loved the fact that I can call this the strongest Womance novel I've read mostly because the friendship it represented was strong enough to pull through despite differences.

Obviously, Becca was the secondary character. Her take on life changed when she was diagnosed with Cancer which technically made me squirm. I don't know, I recently been thinking of death as well. Her thoughts about surviving and living were also my thoughts which eventually lead to pathetic queries. I appreciated that she didn't sulk in one corner and let cancer get the best of her but she fought and at least, tried to get well. The F-It List she wrote was hilarious. Without the list, she would have missed some of  the best things around and thankfully, her best friend Alex (who was the main character) was there to help her cross-out things from it. Alex was very idealist. I like how she thinks and ultimately loved her because of her fondness with horror movies. I envy her brave soul for that especially, how she used gore movies as an escape from her painful reality. She lost her dad and her best friend was suffering and as I go on and know her more, I realized she made this barrier from people not to reach her emotionally. Her pride's too strong she can't even admit it and most of the time, she bluntness irritated me. For goodness' sake, her mouth's a trash. But attached me to her because her character felt so real and I admire her honesty and bravery. However, I didn't think that Leo's presence can do wonders to her. I liked their chemistry, not too mushy or cheesy but not too plain. Their "relationship" I feel was the right kind for Alex's unexpressive attitude. I want to see more of Caleb and Brian, though.

The F-It List is a straight-forward story where realism and idealism perfectly worked. Its ridiculous romance will have you shout "SAY IT ALREADY" and will have you yearn for more. A sexy and a chaotic novel mixed with the right dosage of drama will surely capture everyone's heart. Reckoning how to live over how to survive, this novel turned engrossingly fun and and it gives something that hopefully would really stick for a while -- LIVE TODAY AS IF ITS YOUR LAST.

Thank you so much NetGalley/MacMillan for the eARC!

"As I flipped through the channels, it all seemed so pointless. Why were brainless people followed around all day with cameras and why did people watch them? Why did singers spend millions of dollars on one stupid video for one shitty song when there was still no cure for cancer? Why were so many as**les all over the news and reality television and on sports teams and so many good people were dead?"


  1. Ooh I want to read this! I wanted to read The S-Word and for aime reason the ARC isn't in my Kindle anymore :S. I want woe YA contemporary, this sounds like right up in my alley.



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