Finished Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West in One Sitting

A while ago, I talked a lot about Kasie West and professed my undying love for her cute books in one post, along with my plan to order her other work in the near future. As a matter of fact, I bought Love, Life, and the List the day after and somehow managed to finish it in one sitting yesterday. Considering that sleep could wait while curiosity couldn't, it wasn't exactly unusual. I spent my whole night going through each chapter until it was 1 o'clock in the morning and I could finally say, "Yes, I'm done."

Love, Life, and The List follows the story of a teenage girl named Abby Turner who loves art and sarcasm. Following her passion, Abby has a goal this summer: she plans to turn in her paintings for an upcoming exhibition at the museum she’s currently working in. If she can maybe sell some of her artworks, Abby will be more confident to apply for an art institute which is where her main goal lays. Sadly, things don’t go very smoothly for her. The museum curator who is also her boss, Mr. Wallace, rejects all of her paintings. He even goes as far as to say that the paintings hold no emotion whatsoever.

Feeling her dream crushed, Abby is very frustrated though she doesn't give up. For the sake of experimenting, she decides to change her life this summer by making a list of new things she will do. Together with her agoraphobic mother and her sarcastic grandfather, Abby starts to arrange the list in the hope of new art with heart. She gets some help from Cooper also, her best friend whom she secretly falls for.

Love, Life, and The List might not be my most favorite from Kasie West, but still it was very cute. I might have silently rooted for Abby and Cooper the whole time, but it's important to remember that I wasn’t a big fan of Cooper. For a while, I even considered him a better friend for Abby than a love interest. Minor spoiler alert: No matter how romantic the conclusion might seem, what Cooper did to Abby in the last few chapters was pretty unforgivable. Abby was very quick to forgive him even when all he ever did to perceive it was devoting his undying love for her. In my opinion, he should have done something grander after everything he had left Abby to go through.

Regardless of my minor dislike, I found the other aspects well-developed. Generally speaking, it's very easy for a character to grow on me, especially when they’re witty and sarcastic most of the time. This book was lovable mainly because of the connection Abby shared with her family: I very much adored their witty banters and sarcasm. Consider her 'duel' time with her grandpa the highlight of this book, I was wholly entertained and even laughed a few times.

Despite the fact that I wasn’t a big fan of Cooper, I have to admit that his friendship with Abby was very precious that in the end I didn't see why I shouldn't root for them even after the unforgivable thing he had done. Cooper and Abby cared about each other so much that it made me wonder what would it be like to have a friend you could rely on all the time. I bet it must be nice to know someone will always have your back no matter what. Glad to announce that the same went for Justin and Rachel also: they seemed like the kind of best friend we would want to have in our circle.

Still, I couldn’t not feel bad for Elliot. In addition to being nice, I considered him way more charming than Cooper. Too bad our Abby could lay her eyes on no one or else the two of them would make a very cute couple once they got over the awkwardness (considering they actually shared a similar interest). Abby didn't have to end up with him, but Elliot could've been the life-changing experience she had to go through in order to develop her depth and perspective. It must have been more amazing, as West's way to describe the way Abby painted was already quite enchanting. So yes, I couldn’t ignore the feeling that it would have been more thorough if the experiences Abby had to go through were more developed and less instant.

Overall, Love, Life and The List was a cute enjoyable read. If you consider friends-to-lovers trope as your cup of tea, you should totally go give it a try. Or, if by any chance you have already read it, it would be great if you could help me answer this question: in chapter six, Abby mentioned something about her following the footsteps of her dad and grandfather in the military; while in chapter thirty-six, Abby and her grandpa were talking about her mother and one of his responses was, “I’m his father.” Whose side does her grandfather come from, her father's or mother’s? I'd say that he is her mother's father but I wasn't so sure (side note: I read the translated edition so it's possible that there's an error with the translation).