Friday, June 3, 2011

June Book Club Read - The Next Thing On My List by Jill Smolinski

June Parker gives a ride to a stranger and it changes her life.  The passenger, a young woman named Marissa, is killed in a freak accident, leaving June feeling responsible.  When returning Marissa’s purse to her grieving family, June discovers that Marissa had a list of things she wanted to accomplish by her 25th birthday.  June decides that she will finish Marissa’s list for her.  Kissing a total stranger, going braless, and eating ice cream in public are the easy ones.  Changing someone else’s life will be the challenge. Yet, June, with the help of friends and co-workers tackles the list with determination.  As she marks things off her list, she discovers it just might be her own life she changes.

My book club (The Pikes Peak Bookworms) selected The Next Thing On My List because we wanted a light read after having read two rather dark selections.  It was certainly a light, quick read.

What I liked about the book:  It was easy for me to connect with this book because I am working on my own Life Celebration list.  It’s a feel good story – a welcome break after the rather somber reading I’ve been doing the last several months.  The pacing was just perfect for a summer beach read. And though the book does make you think about your life and where it’s going, it’s not so deep that it feels like “assigned reading.”  Smolinski has a light, witty writing style that will appeal to most readers, especially those who enjoy “Chick Lit.”  The author includes discussion questions at the back of the book along with activities to help readers create their own list.  Since this is a book club read, I found this to be rather helpful.

What I didn’t like about the book:  I didn’t like the romantic twist at the end. Not that this takes away from the book.  It just didn’t end the way I expected or had hoped.  However, upon reflection, Smolinski did include clues about where the romance was going. I just failed to pick up on them.

If you enjoy Chick Lit or if you are looking for a quick, easy read for travel or the beach, this is a book you should slip into your travel/beach tote.

The Pikes Peak Bookworms will be discussing this book on June 6th. I’ll let you know what the rest of the group thinks.

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