Published by Little on June 7th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: eARC, ARC
Source: Netgalley, Book Expo America
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository
Seventeen-year-old Maddie O'Neill Levine lives a charmed life, and is primed to spend the perfect pre-college summer with her best friends and young-at-heart socialite grandmother (also Maddie's closest confidante), tying up high school loose ends. Maddie's plans change the instant Gram announces that she is terminally ill and has booked the family on a secret "death with dignity" cruise ship so that she can leave the world in her own unconventional way - and give the O'Neill clan an unforgettable summer of dreams-come-true in the process.
Soon, Maddie is on the trip of a lifetime with her over-the-top family. As they travel the globe, Maddie bonds with other passengers and falls for Enzo, who is processing his own grief. But despite the laughter, headiness of first love, and excitement of glamorous destinations, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram. She struggles to find the strength to say good-bye in a whirlwind summer shaped by love, loss, and the power of forgiveness.
I really enjoyed THE LOOSE ENDS LIST! I thought it was creative and realistic and just so darn cute! The first couple chapters I was a little skeptical because of the main character, Maddie. She acted a little too entitled for her own good. But she definitely made up for that by the end!
The concept of a “death with dignity” cruise ship is just flat out hysterical and brilliant at the same time. I don’t know if these actually exist, but it does sound super interesting! I loved meeting all the characters aboard the cruise ship. Even if I did feel a little overwhelmed with the large cast of characters at times.
My favorite part of the whole story was Gram. She was flat out funny and I fell in love with her at the very beginning.
Gram thinks Dad is a weird, socially awkward freeloader and that Mom ended up with him because she has the emotional fortitude of a newborn panda. She’s kind of right.
“What the hell is ass play?” Gram says. “In my day, ass play was when your husband goosed you in the elevator.”
As for the romance between Maddie and Enzo, I felt it was just okay. While I loved Enzo, I just felt like they were instalove. And their romance is sweet and all, I just wish that it didn’t feel so instalove-y.
All-in-all, I thought that this was a great summer read and will really hit home with a lot of people. But do expect to shed some tears by the end, you have been warned.