Here's the back flap: After a car accident in which her passenger, Marissa, dies, June Parker finds herself in possession of a list Marissa has written: "20 Things to Do by My 25th Birthday." The tasks range from inspiring (run a 5K) to daring (go braless) to near-impossible (change someone's life). To assuage her guilt, June races to achieve each goal herself before the deadline, learning more about her own life than she ever bargained for.
Smolinski created a very lovable character in June, and a character that I found myself cheering for and laughing with (and at). The novel was very well paced with a believable storyline and a cast of enjoyable secondary characters. The best thing about it: it had a lot of humor--there were several places where I was laughing too hard to continue to read! If you like a good story of personal growth and a good laugh, this story's for you.
Sadly, I was all over Smolinski's site, and it doesn't look like it's been updated since a few months before this novel came out in 2007 (same with Smolinski's myspace page). I was really hoping for another novel in the works. However, the website says that the movie rights of this novel were purchased on March 22 (2007). A quick web search reveals pretty much nothing has happened on the film since the news was announced. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, because I'd love to see this novel adapted to the big screen. If it happens, I'll let y'all know about it.
As I've mentioned before, when I read a novel, oftentimes there are certain lines that jump out at me as exceptional, funny, vivid imagery, etc. This book had several great ones:
The change in his face was like one of those square puzzles where you can move the pieces around to form a picture--it hadn't settled yet, and since I didn't know what it was going to be, I kept talking.
To which I'd countered, "But that's more about the thrill of meeting someone new than the torment of picking up their socks from the floor for the rest of your life." To which she'd then replied, "You wind up picking up their dirty underwear, too." Which, as it turned out, was a real conversation stopper.
I tended to think of myself as an only child--one who happened to have a sibling.
"...I convinced myself that my biological clock was ticking. I don't know...now I'm wondering if it was just gas."