“The Life List” was an unexpectedly good book because the story diverged so well from a predictable plot. When Brett’s mother died, she expected to become the CEO of her very successful company, but her mother had other ideas. Instead of inheriting the exorbitant fortune received by her brothers, Brett received a copy of her teenage “Life List” with instructions to do everything on the list. Brett is furious that she is required to accomplish goals she set as a child in order to obtain her inheritance. Frustrated, broke, and unemployed, Brett had no other option but to follow her mother’s last wishes. The first few pages where Brett wallowed in despair in the hours after her mother’s funeral were a bit dark, but the story soon became up-lifting.
The storyline constantly surprised me, as everything about it was unexpected and very emotionally charged. Brett is constantly frustrated at how difficult it is to accomplish the tasks on the Life List, and this made her a great character because her reactions seemed so natural. There were a few red herrings in the book, where I thought the plot would take the predictable route, but the author surprised me. The writing was easy, but very strong. My least favorite part of the book was the focus on Brett’s job as a home school teacher and the common characters she encountered, but I will admit that even that aspect served the storyline very well. I liked that Brett was not successful in everything that the Life List required her to do, and this made the story seem about as realistic as possible. The book proposes that sometimes people aren’t happy because of the choices they have made in life. I thought it was a good reminder that we are all in control of our lives and that change can be positive.
I really liked this novel, and I look forward to reading more from this author.