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Source: c/o Thomas Allen & Son (thank you! <3)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Steven Arntson skillfully manoeuvres the topics of death and friendship in this relatively light-hearted supernatural read.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?Friendship, first love, and fantasy artfully mesh in this magically realistic world that ultimately celebrates life.
Gabriela has received notification that she is going to "depart" (die) in one week. Before this happens, she has been generously provided the opportunity to write up a list of the things she hopes to accomplish before her death and hopefully figure out a way to escape it. Gabriela's voice shines in this first-person novel with sharp wit and dark humour.
Despite the morbid concept, The Wrap-Up List is actually a refreshingly light read. Gabriela's final days are filled with family, friends and laughter rather than despair at her impending doom. Her wrap-up list, the list of things she'd like to accomplish before passing, was wonderful and I loved how much she discovered about herself and the people she loved in the process of trying to fulfil it.
The supporting cast of characters is a diverse and wonderful group of people, all there to support Gabriela and each other in their own special way. It's clear to see the unique place each holds in Gabriela's life and a nice change to see that they actually have their own lives as well. The fact that these characters have their own concerns independent of their friend is a welcome plot point in my eyes.
Despite the inventive concept, The Wrap-Up List is a novel you will find both easy to believe and easy to read.
Cover Comments: I love that the wrap-up list is featured so plainly. It certainly managed to get my attention!
4 Golden Crowns!