ARC · book review

The Bucket List by Emma Ruben

The Bucket List

Title: The Bucket List

Author: Emily Ruben

Publisher: Inkitt

Date of publication: June 21st, 2017

Genre: New Adult, Young Adult

Number of pages: 404

POV: 1st person

Where you can find The Bucket List: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Leah thought that the turmoil in her life had come to an end. That is, until the boy-next-door who’s just moved in, turns out to be none other than her old childhood best friend, Damon. Rekindling their friendship, the two become inseparable and life seems perfect until Leah learns a tragic secret; Damon is terminally ill and has only one more year to live. 

Leah and Damon decide to embark on an adventure to have the time of their lives and cross out every to-do on their ‘Bucket List’. With the clock ticking and time precious, will they be able to complete every goal before time runs out?

I am going to be brutally honest here, The Bucket List is a tear jerker and will make you ugly cry the entire book. I was sitting outside, watching my kids play in my backyard, and I was sobbing like a baby. I had to put my Kindle down and take a break from reading it because of how intense the latter half of the book is. I just couldn’t handle reading it during key points of the book.

I thought Leah was an amazing friend to Damon in the beginning and a phenomenal girlfriend when things went downhill. Instead of running away when he told her that he was terminally ill or pretending that he was going to get better (like his girlfriend did), she decided to make a bucket list and tell him about it. Which, in turn, inspired him to make his own bucket list and make Leah do it with him. That was actually the easiest part of the book to read. The rest, well it was a sobfest for me because, well, it struck a nerve. See, my brother died in 2008 from a terminal illness and the whole book, I thought of him. Which made this book even more painful for me to read this book.

I thought Damon handled his illness with grace (I know sounds weird). He had come to terms with his life ending in a year but he wasn’t afraid to do his bucket list with Leah or fall deeply in love. Even towards the end, he didn’t lash out or ask why. He was the strong one and omg, here I go tearing up again. I couldn’t even imagine being in his shoes. Like I said, I was in Leah’s shoes but I couldn’t even imagine being told that you have 1 year to live. So, I was beyond happy when he grabbed life by its horns and decided to do the things he put on his bucket list with Leah.

The love between Leah and Damon was probably the most heart-wrenching things that I have read. If you want to know the details read the book. All I will say about their love story is that to love someone that deeply and then to lose them is awful.

The end of the book was the hardest for me to read and that letter….omg. Like I said in my first paragraph, I was ugly crying while reading the ending.

Now, instead of a playlist, I do have one song that totally personifies this book for me. It is Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying

How many stars will I give The Bucket List: 5

Why: A tear-jerker of a book that will pull on your heartstrings. You will get attached to Leah and Damon and you will cry, so read with tissues.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age Range: Older Teen

Why: Sexual situations and language

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

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