Author: Rachel Bateman
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Published Date: May 9th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, YA
My Rating: ★ ★ ★
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?
"I should have known right away. That's the way it always happens in movies- there's intuition, a feeling deep in the gut. I had none of that, just a mild irritation at whoever was calling... Then my world ended with Mom's ear-breaking scream."
Anna's big sister Storm dies in a car crash one night on her way home from a graduation party. This leaves Anna, her parents, and her best friend Cameron in shock, they all deal with the grief differently. The parents become super protective of Anna in order to keep anything from happening to her. While Anna just feels alone and regrets having grown apart from Storm. One day she finds a list her sister made of things to do that summer. It reminds Anna of the good times they had when they were kids.
"1. Watch the sunriseAnna wants to do everything on the list, even if some of them don't make sense to her, and there's only one person she knows she can ask to go on this adventure with her Cameron. Cameron knew Storm better than anyone else, and because of that he also knows a secret about Storm that could ruin the whole trip.
2. take pictures of everything
3. get a tattoo
4. go inside a lighthouse
5. Meet my soulmate (cross out) Fall in Love
6. go skinny dipping
7. Kiss in the rain
8. put a secret in a balloon & let it fly away
9. road trip!
10. Crash a wedding
11. Go to a dive-in movie
12. Speak in a british accent all day
13. Sleep in the UNCW dorms
14. go parasailing
15. Be brave with my life"
"So, he waited. He went with you on this crazy journey to work through what happened and waited to tell you the truth. Maybe he waited too long, but I can see why he did. I bet if you realy think about it, you can see why, too."
Overall I really enjoyed this summer road trip. Anna and Cameron made a pretty good team, most of the time. Cameron kept her on track with the list and explained things she didn't understand why were on the list. Anna remembered the good times they all used to have together and contemplated what her future would be like, she knew she didn't just want to be a cheerleader anymore, and she wanted to find something else that she really liked and could see herself doing, but she was also afraid of what that would mean.
As for the whole Cameron/Anna relationship, I saw it happening almost immediately. But I didn't really care for it, and I actually found myself getting annoyed with both of them because of it. I did understand why Cameron kept the secret from her and I don't blame him for doing so, that's a big thing to have to tell someone, especially someone you care about and know is going to be hurt by it.
I am interested in reading another of Bateman's books, because her writing did make me feel like I was right there with them on the roadtrip.