Book Review: “Someone Else’s Bucket List”

This past school year, I was invited to join a small book club with a few other teachers and their “teacher friends.” We take turns hosting and often attempt to theme our snacks and beverages with the novel we are to be discussing (this makes for very interesting spreads, by the way). When I was on my way to the first meeting, I had no clue how much this once-a-month get together would eventually mean to me.

I vaguely remember the first book club meeting I attended. I know we chatted a lot (we only see each other once a month) ate and drank some delicious things, and discussed our novel. Granted, we do not spend as much time talking about the novel as we would probably should, but hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. As we begin to wrap up each evening, we start to toss around suggestions and ideas for the next novel. We often refer to goodreads to help us if we get stuck. We also try not to repeat genres back to back (ie. if we read comedy in June, we try to skip it for July). This is great for me because I tend to stay in my comfort genres, so I am encouraged to read new things!

The most recent “book club book” I finished is “Someone Else’s Bucket List” by Amy T. Matthews (take a peek at the goodreads review here). Published only a few months ago (May 2023), it is a contemporary YA novel that deals with love, loss, adventure, and sisterly love. Jodie Boyd falls into the wildest adventure of her mundane life – completing the extremely viral bucket list of her late sister, Bree, who died of Leukemia. While this might sound fun, there’s a catch. For each item on the bucket list that Jodie completes (documented publicly on her influencer sister’s Instagram), a corporate sponser will pay off chunks of the medical debt left behind from Bree’s battle. Jodie takes on the bucket list in a whirlwind, head first dive, but quickly realizes that she may be in too deep (she has to perform a cameo on Broadway!). However, Jodie quickly transforms into a version of herself that learns to forgive, celebrate, and most importantly, fall in love. Yes, a love story!!

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. I heavily related to the sibling love storyline that Matthews created. I am the type of person that would do absolutely anything for my brothers and sisters; the love I have for them is unlike any other love. I do, however, feel that Jodie was backed into a corner with Bree’s bucket list. I understand wanting to complete the bucket list in order to help her family and herself, but I feel that Jodie never truly had a say/choice in her completion of the list. In a way, it was slightly selfish of Bree to force that upon Jodie. But, would you do the same thing if you were Bree? I want to say that I wouldn’t, but, I feel this is one of those situations where you don’t really know until you are in the situation.

Now, thats’s all I will tell you because any book lover knows that spoilers are the worst. If you want to learn more about Jodie, Bree, and Jodie’s love life, read or listen to “Someone Else’s Bucket List” by Amy T. Matthews. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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