The Loose Ends List Book Review

It’s been a long time since I’ve stayed up late reading for fun. In college, I stayed up reading novels I wasn’t interested in and highlighting print outs for my 8 AM the next day.

Since I graduated, I’ve been rereading the Outlander series for the third time because I was celebrating that I could read whatever I wanted. But since the books were so familiar to me, I didn’t feel the need to stay up to find out what happens next.


Enter: The Loose Ends List. I was intrigued by it because of the plot (and the pretty cover. Don’t judge me for judging books by their covers), which approaches death and saying good bye in a unique way. I was particularly interested in it because I recently lost a friend very suddenly and we didn’t get to say goodbye. I hoped that maybe I could find some sense of closure or comfort in a book so focused on death, but in a positive way.

The Loose Ends List is about a woman, Gram, who has pancreatic cancer. Rather than suffering through treatment, she decides to take her family on a worldwide tour on a boat called The Wishwell. It’s a boat where you can plan your own death and say good bye to your family in a meaningful way. It’s kind of beautiful how the people came together and supported each other through their rather unique and frankly, depressing, situations.

The main character, Maddie, is an 18 year old girl. She is terrified of death and trying new things. I didn’t love her or even relate to her very well, but I tried not to hold that against her. It’s not her or The Loose Ends List’s author, Carrie Firestone, fault that I didn’t connect with the main character. I think I would’ve connected with her 5 years ago when I was her age though.

The book is heartfelt and beautiful and at many moments, hilarious. Gram is a character that I wish I had in my life. Watching dysfunctional families love each other is one of my favorite things and that is most of what happens in the book.

I would definitely recommend The Loose Ends List. Especially if you need a damn good cry. ❤

Now I need to figure out what my loose ends list is going to be! Here are some ideas:

  1. Get a tattoo of an elephant, the Harry Potter stars, and/or a simple little cat.
  2. Write more book reviews (not exactly a loose end, but definitely a goal?)
  3. Knit an entire blanket.

This is looking more like a bucket list than loose ends. I’ll have to think about this more. In the meantime, you all should read The Loose Ends List!

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