3/16/13

The Wrap-Up List


Author: Steven Arntson 
Pages: 240 
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin 
Format: Hardcover 
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads): In this modern-day suburban town, one percent of all fatalities come about in the most peculiar way. Deaths—eight-foot-tall, silver-gray creatures—send a letter (“Dear So-and-So, your days are numbered”) to whomever is chosen for a departure, telling them to wrap up their lives and do the things they always wanted to do before they have to “depart.” When sixteen-year-old Gabriela receives her notice, she is, of course devastated. Will she kiss her crush Sylvester before it’s too late?



Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

My Summary: Gabby has always been a good girl. She loves her parents and her friends and she never gets into trouble, spending most of her free time at church or at home doing schoolwork. She is barely sixteen and she knows she has her entire life ahead of her.

Until she receives the letter: a bright red envelope with nothing on it but her name, Gabby knows what this means - she's been chosen for departure.

Now, with only a week left to cross off everything on her 'wrap-up list', Gabby must get herself ready for the end - all while trying to figure out how to stop it from happening.

My Thoughts: This was definitely a unique, original read. At 240 pages, it still felt like  a really quick read (I finished in just under four hours). I enjoyed the way the author incorporated religion into the novel, and the way Gabby didn't just follow blindly. The people in her town are used to hearing about the departure letters, but even this little dash of paranormal hasn't altered their lives too much - they still have to deal with the same issues: crumbling marriages, civil responsibilities, and unrequited crushes. I was really impressed with how genuine Gabby's voice was, and how she seemed like your average teenager. Props to Steven Arntson for not making her sound like a walking, talking cliche.

Final Thoughts: I recommend this novel to anyone looking for a quick, original read that doesn't shy away from the issues that teens have to deal with nowadays. 

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