Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
Publication Date: 9 June 2017
Anna's always idolized her older sister, Storm. So when Storm dies in a tragic car accident on the night of her high school graduation, Anna is completely lost and her family is torn apart. That is, until she finds Storm's summer bucket list and decides to honor her sister by having the best summer ever—which includes taking an epic road trip to the coast from her sleepy Iowa town. Setting out to do everything on Storm's list along with her sister’s best friend Cameron—the boy next door—who knew that Storm's dream summer would eventually lead to Anna's own self-discovery?
While this book is definitely outside of my usual reading tastes, I did find myself enjoying the story. Rather than the depressing read I had expected, I found it to be a touching story about dealing with grief and finding one's self after the loss of a loved one. The novel itself is about 300 pages, however, it is a very quick and easy read. I could see this book being perfect for those who want an easy summer read that still has some depth to it.
Much of what I liked about this novel comes from Rachel Bateman's writing style. Her writing is very clean and allows the reader to breeze through the book without feeling confused or needing to re-read sections of the novel. The author manages to write very poignant scenes without making the entire book feel bleak or depressing, and her writing style lends to the characters feeling authentic. The characters have flaws, particularly the main character Anna, who sometimes could seem a little selfish and moody, but to me this just made her feel more realistic, I found that it made sense for her to have misplaced anger and mood-swings directed at the other characters as she was still trying to figure out how to deal with the death of her sister.
The only negative I really have for this book is that it is not very innovative. The plot, while sweet and well written, does not have a unique or amazing plotline. Much of the book felt too easy, and to coincidental to be realistic. I personally just found it hard to believe that a spur of the moment could unfold so perfectly.
Is it the most exceptional of reads, no. However, it is a stand-alone novel that requires little commitment on behalf of the reader and would be perfect for someone who is looking for a fun summer read that still deals with an important topic.