“You’ll be hooked by this charming story. . . . Smolinski gives us a quick-witted heroine . . . with just the right amount of romance and a tad of suspense.”
Meet June Parker. She works for L.A. Rideshare, adores her rent-stabilized apartment in Santa Monica, and struggles with losing a few pesky pounds.
But June’s life is about to change.
After a dark turn of events involving Weight Watchers, a chili recipe, and a car accident in which her passenger, Marissa, dies, June finds herself in possession of a list Marissa has written, “20 Things to Do By My 25th Birthday.” Even though they barely knew each other, June is compelled by both guilt and a desire to set things right and finish the list for Marissa.
The tasks before her range from inspiring (Run a 5K), to daring (Go braless), to near-impossible (Change someone’ s life), and as June races to achieve each goal before the deadline, she learns more about her own life than she ever bargained for.
Funny, engaging, and heartwarming, The Next Thing on My List features a loveable, relatable heroine and a story with plenty of humor and heart.
Smolinski follows up her debut, Flip-Flopped, with an airy, hit and mostly miss novel about one rudderless woman's accidental journey of self-discovery. After a Weight Watchers meeting, narrator June Parker offers a ride home to newly svelte Marissa Jones, and the two hit it off until Marissa dies in a nasty one-car accident. When June runs into Marissa's hot brother at the cemetery six months after the crash, she makes a rash promise to carry out the dead girl's list of 20 things to do before she turned 25 (even though June is 34). The challenges that follow running a 5K, kissing a stranger, "dare to go braless" serve less to improve June's life than to highlight how unfortunate it is that she's taken up a stranger's goals instead of her own. Smolinski's Los Angeles is a well-executed set June tilts at windmills as a writer for a ride-sharing nonprofit but the most human characters in it are June's tyrannical and calculating boss and her secretly sensitive, underused brother. Though completing the list is a transformative experience for June, the leadup fizzles. (Apr.)
This was a great book!!! It makes me motivated to do something