From Goodreads: "Sometimes, a few dares can change lives…
The weekend before the start of senior year, Sophie Erickson and her best friends, Ella and Grace, discover a handwritten list of dares tucked away in the glove compartment of Sophie’s beat-up old Toyota. But this isn’t just any list; it’s a dead girl's bucket list.
Sophie's beloved aunt Suzy died as a teenager in a fatal fall, leaving Sophie with an overly cautious family, a few fading photographs, and a bucket of bolts that barely passes for a car. But now, Sophie has Suzy’s list of the things she wanted to do in her last year of high school. Sophie can't help but wonder: What would happen if she tried to fulfill Suzy’s last wishes, to live out the longed-for life of her aunt, her hero?
As Sophie and her friends attempt to knock off the things on Suzy's list of dares, love blossoms in unexpected places and Sophie begins to feel that her life is finally coming together...when in fact, everything is slowly unraveling around her. When the truth about a long-held family secret threatens to shatter everything she believed to be true, Sophie is forced to question everything she knew about the life and people she believed in, and ultimately herself."
I think that my biggest complaint about the book prior to the 50% mark were the characters. For one, I found Sophie to be quite whiny, especially when it came to her parents- compared to her friends parents hers were GODS (I mean, her biggest worry was essentially that her mom wanted her to eat healthy, whereas her friends was that theirs were bitter, broke, or had basically even up on them) and I think that she really took them for granted. I would have like a more detailed look about why their relationship was as strained as it was. Additionally, I found that the girls went on so many random tangents that I found my mind drifting during these moments, not remembering what I had just read by the time I had come to theperiod at the end of the sentence.
That being said, as mentioned, I do believe that the second half of the book was much more enjoyable than the first half. The characters, Sophie especially, slowly started to grow on me as I came to gain a better understanding of their characters (Sophie's parents might be overprotective at times because of their want to protect her, physically, mentally, and emotionally, Ella has had to develop a somewhat prickly exterior because of her home-life, Grace acts like any other teen would when facing their first experience with love, etc.). I loved that there was actual character growth as the book progressed. Furthermore, I loved seeing more and more of Johnny in the second half of the novel, I thought that he brought a lot of humor to the book and was truly the icing on the top of the cake.
All in all, despite my earlier complaints I'm glad that I did stick out the remainder of the book (if you are like me and are debating whether to finish it halfway through I do encourage you to do so). Furthermore, I think that this is the perfect book for those YA readers who are still hesitant to make the jump to NA.
I received this book from the publisher to rate and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.