The Loose Ends List (Paperback)
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A refreshing, funny, and moving debut novel about first loves, last wishes, and letting go.
Seventeen-year-old Maddie O'Neill Levine lives a charmed life, and is primed to spend the perfect pre-college summer with her best friends and young-at-heart socialite grandmother (also Maddie's closest confidante), tying up high school loose ends. Maddie's plans change the instant Gram announces that she is terminally ill and has booked the family on a secret "death with dignity" cruise ship so that she can leave the world in her own unconventional way - and give the O'Neill clan an unforgettable summer of dreams-come-true in the process.
Soon, Maddie is on the trip of a lifetime with her over-the-top family. As they travel the globe, Maddie bonds with other passengers and falls for Enzo, who is processing his own grief. But despite the laughter, headiness of first love, and excitement of glamorous destinations, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram. She struggles to find the strength to say good-bye in a whirlwind summer shaped by love, loss, and the power of forgiveness.
About the Author
Carrie Firestone is the author of The Loose Ends List and The Unlikelies. A former NYC high school teacher, she currently lives in Connecticut with her husband, two daughters, and their pets.
* "Maddie's first-person account is filled with humor and fun, introducing readers to a raunchy, heartwarming, and endearingly dysfunctional family. Best of all is the achingly romantic love story that unexpectedly blossoms between Maddie and a fellow shipmate and lends the story much-appreciated moments of passion and levity. A poignant and important story about compassion, love, and the decision to live life on your own terms--right up to the very last minute."—Kirkus Reviews
Filled with equal amounts of laugh- and tear-inducing moments, this debut novel will be impossible to put down. Fans of Jenny Downham's Before I Die or Jonathan Tropper's This Is Where I Leave You will enjoy this unique story about dying on one's own terms. With its fresh, original plot and thought-provoking themes, this title will have a high teen appeal.
—School Library Journal
"A bright, promising debut that will resonate."—Booklist
"A sweet story of a young girl growing and learning about the depths
that exist in everyone...Maddie is an accessible and relatable