The Loose Ends List: A Novel of Firsts & Lasts
Author: Carrie Firestone
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: June 7, 2016
No. of Pages: Hardcover, 346 pages
Synopsis and Review:
When Maddie’s grandmother knows her time on earth is about to be up, she decides to whisk the whole family off to a ‘death with dignity’ cruise to see her off. The whole idea is completely innovating, and while I am not 100% on board with the idea of euthanasia, it does not stop me from keeping my mind open regarding the book. In fact, The Loose Ends List just creates an opportunity for me to learn more about the patients’ side.
I was expecting The Loose Ends List to be heart-breaking, poetic and exquisitely written but that’s unfortunately not it. The whole premise is touching definitely but Maddie is too much of a stereotypical teenage girl that it makes the book a cringe fest. All she does is lust after boys and as readers read from Maddie’s point of view, the book’s focus is unfortunately lost. There are just so many things that are borderline disrespectful and problematic, and maybe I am uptight but I do not find them funny.
However, I really appreciated the fact that Carrie Firestone took the time to explore other patients’ backstories. The cast of characters is so diverse that not doing so will be a waste. Those parts of The Loose Ends List make me give the book second chances after wanting to give it up. They are what I was searching for in this book; the celebration of life and the sadness of death.
Overall, this is a strange, strange book that I just cannot find myself getting into. I might actually enjoy it a lot better if Carrie Firestone revamped the book and wrote it in Maddie’s grandmother’s perspective. I am all for exploring euthanasia and this idea of a ‘death with dignity’ cruise ship but this book’s execution is not really for me.