The Next Thing On My List by Jill Smolinski

I started this book mid-evening last night, then had to stay up past my bedtime to finish it!

What a great, great read!

Get this: a character named Marissa (hee!), who will be turning 25 in a few months, has written a list of 20 things to do before her birthday, everything from get a massage to go on a blind date to ride in a helicopter.

The problem is, Marissa is killed in a car wreck on page 6.

The driver of the car, June Parker, decides to take Marissa's list and finish it for her, out of guilt and depression, and the need to make it up to Marissa.

What follows is a book filled with funny moments, empowering moments, gut-wrenching moment, and truly satisfying moments. Filled with great characters, a hint of romance, some truly embarrassing situations and a lot of heart, this is such a lovely, readable novel about pushing yourself to step outside of "going through the motions".

Okay, sure, I read it because Marissa was a character, but I ended up loving it for June Parker.

And here is my favorite quote from the novel, which made me laugh out loud at the irony of it:

"That's the guy my sister had a crush on - in the pink polo shirt. She thought he looked like the lead singer from Nine Inch Nails."

It was hard to decide what seemed stranger: that the sweet girl I pictured Marissa Jones to be would have had a thing for Nine Inch Nails or that she thought anyone in a pink polo shirt could resemble Trent Reznor.

I swear, it's like this book was written for me. :-)

I loveloveloved it,and can't say enough about how much I enjoyed every page of it. Highly recommended!