Love, Life and the List by Kasie West – Colorful Artist Curates Portrait of Summer with ‘Heart’ List

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Book Review: Love, Life and the List by Kasie West – Colorful Artist Curates Portrait of Summer with ‘Heart’ List

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Author: Kasie West | Publisher: HarperTeen | Publication Date: 2017
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romance
Source: Amazon Preorder
FIND the BOOK ELSEWHERE: Amazon | Goodreads
Amazon | Blogger | Goodreads | Wordpress
Rating: ★★★★½
Living without the things she wants most is something Abby Turner is accustomed to. This is true of her family life and her love life. Her mother is something of a shut-in who often refuses Abby’s attempts to get her to experience the outside world. Then there’s Cooper. Cooper is Abby’s best friend with whom she’s in love with, but it’s an unrequited love Cooper does not return.

Her one passion is art. But when she’s told her art has “no heart,” she’s devastated.

This summer is going to be different. Abby is weary of doing nothing special and being a bystander of her own life. This is why she creates a summer “heart list” full of daring, inspiring– and impossible, things meant to give her life more color. One of these things is to get accepted into the art show she’s already been rejected for. A show where she hopes everything will change…

Though I have my favorites, any of the Kasie West novels I’ve read have been golden. They’re the sort of stories I cannot not enjoy because they bring with them rays of sunshine that brightens any day, making the story impossible not to love. Nothing is any different when it comes to this charmer, West’s latest release.
“We’re good for each other, I think. You bring me down to earth and I make you dream big.” ― Kasie WestLove, Life, and the List
At the surface of each novel with West’s name on the cover, it appears to be all sunshine and happy emotions. Read the story and you’ll discover, there are usually poignant or deeper hardships waiting beneath that surface. Inside this portrait, it’s all about the hardship Abby has to weave through with her mother. The challenges of pushing her mother to do more without causing regression is Abby’s burden, and one she bears in the typical teenage girl fashion. Because of this, some readers might take issue with Abby; she does whine from time to time, but I read the book more as an accurate depiction of how a 17-year-old might react were they in this situation.

Sweet, and charming, Kasie’s Love, Life and the List is sure to be a sparkling delight for anyone who likes cute YA romances. The characters and map of the plot might not work for every reader, and that’s okay. I thought the DNA of the characters and story is a lovely thing to discover. Abby and Cooper’s romance isn’t the focal point some contemporary romances are, but what’s there is cute. Furthermore I appreciate the quieter, unrequited romance because these are all moments that lead to the cute ending.

Those wanting a lighthearted summertime read, don’t miss Love, Life and the List. It’s a colorful canvas of YA literary bliss.

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances.

Which is where the list comes in.

Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself.

This is the first in a set of three standalone books with crossover characters. – Goodreads

Coming Next from Kasie West, LISTEN TO YOUR HEART: Talking to other people isn't Kate Bailey's favorite activity. She'd much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school's podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she'll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate's surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend ... until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.

Kasie West's adorable story of secrets, love, and friendship is sure to win over hearts everywhere. – Goodreads, May 2018


  1. I haven't had the chance to read this Kasie West novel, but I'm glad that you enjoyed it. Makes me feel like I have something really good to look forward to. I also like a good unrequited love story. Makes you sympathize with the character almost immediately. Great review!

    1. Kasie's books are always like sunshine. There's just something really fun about her stories. Hope you enjoy this one when you read it, Alicia. It made me smile for sure. :)

      Thank YOU for stopping by and reading.

  2. Aw yay, I am so glad you enjoyed this! I haven't read any of Kasie West's books but I do hope to at some point. I get a little nervous with fluffier books, but the fact that this has some harder topics makes me much more likely to give it a try! Awesome review!

    1. They're rays of sunshine, Shannon! So much sweetest in each of her stories.

      YAY! If you do read this one - or any of Kasie's books, let me know what you think. :) Thank you for reading.


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