Sunday, April 20, 2014

F-It List.

Halpern, Julie.  F-It List.   Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends    2013  247  $16.99  ISBN 978-1-250-02565-4 hs   Realistic fiction   VG           

Alex has had a rough summer dealing with her dad’s death in a traffic accident.  As she returns to her senior year in high school, she finds out her best friend since childhood has cancer. The book presents a hopeful, but realistic, view of Becca’s cancer treatment and its emotional and physical toll on both Becca and Alex.  Becca has decided that Alex should complete the bucket list (renamed the Fuck-It List to keep from sounding like a list written by a dying person) Becca has been compiling for many years. Some of the items are sexual, some revenge motivated, some relate to food, and some relate to the girls’ shared interest in horror films. Levity is abundant, keeping the story of dealing with a friend’s serious illness from becoming too sad and serious.  As Alex goes about completing the bucket list, there are graphic scenes of sexual acts, including masturbation, fondling of opposite-sex partners, and ultimately intercourse, some of which occurs without protection.  This book becomes a tutorial about horror films, which may irritate those who do not like the genre.  Like many of Halpern’s books, this novel provides insight into how to help friends through serious illness and survive the grief process within the larger plot of finding true love. Crude language appears frequently, sometimes unnecessarily.

Summary: Alex’s dad has just recently died, and to make matters worse, her best friend Becca has cancer.  Becca writes a bucket list and asks Alex to complete it.  Notes of levity keep this book interesting and far from maudlin.  Explicit sexual content. Gr. 10-12.                

Illness-Fiction, Grief-Fiction, Humor                       --Lois McNicol

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