author: Rachel Bateman
published: 9 May 2017
publisher: Running Press
genre(s): contemporary, romance
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Goodreads
Anna's always idolized her older sister, Storm. So when Storm dies in a tragic car accident on the night of her high school graduation, Anna is completely lost and her family is torn apart. That is, until she finds Storm's summer bucket list and decides to honor her sister by having the best summer ever—which includes taking an epic road trip to the coast from her sleepy Iowa town. Setting out to do everything on Storm's list along with her sisters best friend Cameron—the boy next door—who knew that Storm's dream summer would eventually lead to Anna's own self-discovery?
This book… I had a bit of a book hangover after finishing it. It is a beautifully written story with amazing characters and all the feels.
Anna’s older sister Storm is killed on the night of her high school graduation. Their parents fall apart, turning to each other in their grief. Anna is left to work through her pain on her own. Until she discovers her sister’s bucket list. That list becomes both a gift and a curse as she works her way through it in honor of her sister. But she doesn’t do it alone. She does it with Storm’s best friend Cameron, the boy who lives next door that she’s known for most of her life.
The story is emotionally charged as it explores the journey of grief, self-discovery, change, friendship, acceptance, and secrets that can be devastating to learn. This is a story that will, at times, leave your heart shredded. But before your tears dry, there will be a funny moment that will bring a smile to your face.
At first, her mother’s total lack of compassion for Anna’s grief was horrifying to me. I just didn’t understand how a mother could be that blind to the grief of her child that she would go so far as to send her to her room for expressing it. But as we learn more, it becomes easier to understand. Her mother is broken, shut down. She has nothing to give her daughter in the way of support. Everyone reacts differently to grief… that is a reality. And what was initially hard for me to accept became something I truly applaud. The author showed grief in its raw reality… messy, painful, hurtful, and impossible to navigate cleanly.