The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski

I’ve missed a bunch of books in here somewhere. I have read a lot on the Tudors that I didn’t feel like writing about (how many times can I say, “I am glad I didn’t live back then”), and then I was out of the habit of writing about my books, so a few got read and went unrecorded. I finished this one last week. I’m not planning on going back and writing about any of the others I missed, though.

The Next Thing on My List is about June, a woman who offered a woman she’d just met a ride home from their Weight Watchers meeting. On that drive, June got into an accident, and her passenger, Marissa, was killed. Marissa had a list of things she wanted to do before she was 25, and June decides to complete them for her, with the help of her friends and Marissa’s brother.

While I was reading this book, I really enjoyed it . . . until about ¾ of the way through. It took a wrong turn or something. It didn’t live up to its potential. I liked June. I liked the setup. I understood why it had to take that particular turn. But it didn’t work for me. It lost steam. And while I liked the ending, I think that maybe we should have been directed that way a little bit sooner, rather than making such a sharp turn.

I am not panning it completely, though. This would definitely be a good beach read. It’s chick lit of the sort that I can get behind – June is genuinely wanting to do good in the face of the terrible thing that is happened. I enjoyed watching her try to change her corner of the world in order to honor the life that was lost. Despite its problems, it’s a fluffy book with a little more depth than expected, a good reminder that we should make the most of the time that we have.

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