Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The Wrap-Up List by Steven Arntson

The Wrap-Up ListThe Wrap-Up List by Steven Arntson

Add to: Goodreads
Source: c/o Thomas Allen & Son (thank you! <3)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
Release Date: January 8, 2013

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.
Steven Arntson skillfully manoeuvres the topics of death and friendship in this relatively light-hearted supernatural read.

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!


  1. This book sounds interesting! I'd never heard of it before your review, and now I think I want to read it. :) I'm glad you enjoyed it - though I think I would've preferred it if it was darker. The characters sound really fleshed out as well, so that's definitely a plus.

    THE WRAP-UP LIST sounds like something I'd enjoy, and thanks for your wonderful review, Sonia!

  2. Wow, this has such a creepy and yet interesting concept to it. I love how you say that this is a book that really celebrates life though. I'm glad to hear that the story is filled with wonderful characters and it's not as depressing as I would have thought it to be. Thanks for the review, I definitely want to know more about this book!

  3. Oh this sounds brilliant! I don't think I've come across it before, so thanks for putting it on my radar. The premise is pretty cool, but I get the impression the character interactions is where this book excels. I can't wait to read it now. Great review, Sonia! :)

  4. I like that it's a light read despite the concept! It reminds me of the show Dead Like Me in tone. This sounds like such a fantastic book and I'm happy the characters were diverse too. Wonderful review!

  5. This sounds incredibly interesting and I am definitely adding it to my to-read list. It sounds, as you say. like a refreshing novel and I have a really strong feeling that it's going to be one I'll like.
    This is a fantastic review!

  6. STUNNING review, Sonia! This one's already been on my to-read shelf ever since it came out, but you've given me that extra shove to get it in my hands pronto.

    The premise is eerie, but completely absorbing, and I feel like I'd enjoy this one because it's not all dark and devastating, but rather hopeful. Sounds like a charming book overall.

    Thanks for your pretty thoughts my dear! xo

    ♥ Karielle @ Books à la Mode