Friday YA: Love, Life and the List by Kasie West

Do you ever start off reading a book thinking it’s about one thing, but your own experience with the words on the page make your experience something entirely different? That’s what happened to me with Kasie West’s Love, Life and the List.

Abby is seventeen years old and in love with her best friend Cooper. As if that’s not bad enough, she is trying to enter her art into an exhibit to help her chances of getting into art school but her mentor tells her that she hasn’t lived through enough life experiences to portray art with feeling. Abby is pretty destroyed, but determined to live life to the fullest by following a list she creates. What’s on the list? Things like facing your fear; watch a life end; experiencing unrequited love, etc. and her painting changes as she does with each life event she faces.

I think we’ve all lived through Abby’s emotion of loving her best friend and not having that love returned. Although mine was at a little bit older of an age, those feelings came rushing right back as she tried to deny the importance of her feelings. Thankfully she had some other things to check off to keep her busy and as she did I realized I should make my own list because even though I’m older, there is still a lot I need to experience. Kasie West’s point about your life becoming 3D by living through different experiences was poignant, and even though sometimes I’m human and want to avoid heavy emotions, reading this book made me think I may be missing something by not living them. (OK, I am mostly thinking about my avoidance of movies and books that make me cry, but even so, I may be missing something!)

Cooper was a charming leading man. He was a typical teen in that he didn’t think that far into the future and so in making a joke of Abby’s feelings he actually hurts himself as much as he hurts her. He was a really fun character to read and I enjoyed their sparring, but was thankful to see his character growth because it gave him dimension and the story more impact. I enjoyed experiencing life through Abby’s character and loved how quickly this plot moved. If you are looking for a one hanky lighthearted romance, I think this is the story for you! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Love, Life and the List

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Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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Friday YA: Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

Kate Bailey doesn’t really like people. OK, let me clarify. She doesn’t dislike them, she’s just kind of a loner. She’d rather be out on the lake then with a group of people, unless they are lake people. When her best friend Alana talks her into taking a podcast class at school, she agree’s half-heartedly. Their first assignment is to offer one suggestion each for the topic of their class podcast that year. Surprise! Kate’s topic, an advice podcast is the winner and Kate finds herself co-hosting, which is completely at odds with her loner personality. Suprisingly, she finds her caustic sense of humor plays well on air and their podcast becomes a hit and one day a young man calls in asking for advice on a crush….

Our young heroine has a lesson to learn, and in Kate’s it was that there is more out in the world to discover beyond lake life. Even though Kate is kind of loner, she isn’t really because her family is huge. Her parents, aunts and uncles all live on a block together so she’s surrounded by family, cousins et. al at almost all times. So for a loner, she surprisingly is pretty social. When she drives her cousin to her weekly tutoring sessions she gets to know Diego, the boy her best friend is crushing on. As she gets to know him, she develops her own crush. Due to the girl code and first dibs, she doesn’t do anything about it.

I didn’t think this was the best Kasie West novel I’d ever read, but it wasn’t the worst either. I did really enjoy the podcasts, and the supporting characters were energetic and fun. Which was good because Kate was not a ball of energy. She did have a good heart though and in the end, she did learn her life lesson, having fun with the podcast and expanding her horizons. Listen to you Heart was a quick read, so if you have a few hours on a rainy Saturday it will be the perfect book to spend your time.


LIsten to Your Heart

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Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your Side surprised me by the depth hidden behind what I thought would be cotton candy fluff. A last minute potty break as the library is closing and Autumn Collins finds herself on the wrong side of the locked doors. Having put her bag in a friends car she is without a phone and has no way of letting anyone know where she is. She thought she was alone but is surprised to discover that Dax Miller, mysterious boy from the wrong side of the tracks is locked in the library with her. Autumn, not used to indifference tries really hard to break down Dax’s walls and succeeds. Up to a point.

Autumn, who seemed to be your average teenage girl, was hiding a secret from her friends. She has a severe anxiety disorder and takes medication to control her panic attacks. I thought these panic attacks were an interesting way to spotlight what would be pretty normal high school drama. Semi popular girl has a crush on a popular guy that is just starting to like her back. The panic attacks put more emphasis on if he was the right guy for her. Her working through those thoughts while holding panic at bay added tension to what would have been a banal plotline.

Dax was your typical misunderstood teen. His being locked in the library wasn’t an accident, he was actually “taking a break” from his foster family. His character didn’t seem to be so unusual. What was unusual was his self sacrifice for Autumn. That sacrifice and his willingly becoming her safe harbor placed me firmly on his side.

This type of novel is not my usual choice but I really enjoyed the surprise of liking these characters and enjoying their love story. For those of you much younger than myself, I think you’ll identify with these characters even more than I. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click link to purchase! By Your Side

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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This Chick Read: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

P.S. I Like You is a straight up young adult romance.  If you follow my blog, you know I like YA books, but usually they are in the fantasy genre, or historical.  This book is a contemporary romance set in high school, which I will admit, was a long time ago for me.  However, I received this book in my Uppercase Box book club of the month and cracked it open yesterday. I listened to the author, Kasie West’s video where she talked about her idea of writing a romance without all of the technology available to them today.  No texts, email, video, etc.  I thought, ok, that is like how it was when I was in High School.  Back in the good old days, when you passed notes and wrote letters. (Gasp!). Continue reading “This Chick Read: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West”