Monday, April 9, 2018

ARC Review: The Weekend Bucket List by Mia Kerick

The Weekend Bucket List
High school seniors Cady LaBrie and Cooper Murphy have yet to set one toe out of line—they’ve never stayed out all night or snuck into a movie, never gotten drunk or gone skinny-dipping. But they have each other, forty-eight hours before graduation, and a Weekend Bucket List.

There’s a lot riding on this one weekend, especially since Cady and Cooper have yet to admit, much less resolve, their confounding feelings for one another—feelings that prove even more difficult to discern when genial high school dropout Eli Stanley joins their epic adventure. But as the trio ticks through their bucket list, the questions they face shift toward something new: Must friendship play second fiddle to romance? Or can it be the ultimate prize?

Todd's rating:

Where to begin, where to begin...

First, Mia Kerick's books are always well-written and interesting, so when I first read the blurb for this story, I had *assumed* that this would be another of her compelling M/M romances. But...

This. Is. Not. A. Romance.

If you're looking for the slow burn of attraction, turning into swooning feelings as those feelings are acted upon, I have several other book recommendations, but this story would not be on that list.

Instead, this was a book about high school friendship, which was fine, but not really what I personally was hoping for. This was more the ultimate "And they lived happily ever after -- as friends" tale.

Also, this was not really my definition of M/M. To me, of the three MC's, the book felt more about Cady, the female friend, than either of the two guys.

And we need to have ourselves a little talk about Cady.

...when Cady gets embarrassed she sets her sharp tongue free to wreak havoc on the innocent— and the less than innocent
She was supposed to be this "take no prisoners" tomboy, but for me, she was nearly everything that I truly did not enjoy about this book.

Cadence, aka Cady, bisexual boy Cooper's best friend, had a huge tendency to write people off, abandoning them at her leisure, then indulging in way too much mental flagellation after the fact. I found her to be exhausting, especially when she teamed up with the mean, drunken, pretty girls as a way to pass her time during her spat with Cooper.

Then we had Cooper, who'd recently come to terms with his bisexuality, thanks to kisses from both Cady and their new friend Eli. But Cooper was 1,000% submissive to Cady's wishes, until it was too late, and he found himself going along with Cady in agreeing to betray Eli's fragile trust.

Eli, Eli, Eli. I have to say that most things good in this story revolved around Eli. He was such a sweet soul and his difficult life story made me want to swaddle him in bubble wrap and hug him close to me until he almost couldn't breathe. I'm a cuddler. Sue me.

As the book wraps up, and Cady finally, thank God almighty, finally pulls her head out of her obstinate ass, her actions do improve, but I was already pretty much over her by that point, especially for a "just friends" ending.

So to help determine if you think you want to read this book, the question at the end of the blurb is very important for you to answer:

Must friendship play second fiddle to romance? Or can [friendship] be the ultimate prize?
In other words, if you're not all about the romance, happy with a meaningful friendship, you will probably enjoy this story a bit more than I did.

But I needed at least some romance.

Overall, I'd have to rate this one at around 2.75 "it's not you, it's me" stars.

My copy of the book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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