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In this utterly charming debut — one woman sets out to complete her old list of childhood goals and finds that her lifelong dreams lead her down a path she never expects 1 Go to Paris 2 Perform live on a super big stage 3 Have a baby maybe two 4 Fall in love Brett Bohlinger has forgotten all about the list of life goals she’d written as a naïve teenager In fact at thirty four Brett seems to have it all—a plum job at her family’s multimillion dollar company and a spacious loft with her irresistibly handsome boyfriend But when her beloved mother Elizabeth dies Brett’s world is turned upside down Rather than simply naming her daughter the new CEO of Bohlinger Cosmetics Elizabeth’s will comes with one big stipulation Brett must fulfill the list of childhood dreams she made so long ago Grief stricken Brett can barely make sense of her mother’s decision Some of her old hopes seem impossible How can she possibly have a relationship with a father who died seven years ago? Other dreams Be an awesome teacher would reuire her to reinvent her entire future For each goal attempted her mother has left behind a bittersweet letter offering words of wisdom warmth and—just when Brett needs it—tough love As Brett struggles to complete her abandoned life list one thing becomes clear Sometimes life’s sweetest gifts can be found in the most unexpected places

10 thoughts on “The Life List

  1. says:

    Thank you for reading and spreading the word if you liked it

  2. says:

    I decided to pick The Life List for Romance month over at The Book Geek Blog One of my best friends recommended this novel to me saying she read it in one sitting and absolutely loved it I wouldn’t say this is a bad book but it’s most certainly not my book Look at the following uotes“Love is the one thing on which you should never compromise”And “There will be another sky my love just you wait”Now if these are the kind of uotes that make you swoon and want to pick up a book immediately then you might very well enjoy The Life List You might find this novel heart warming and touching see it as an emotional and maybe even thought provoking journey of self discovery It will serve as a reminder that it’s never too late to live life the way you always dreamed to take a leap of faith even when your goals seem unobtainable And that really is a beautiful messageExcept I couldn’t appreciate any of it because I was too busy rolling my eyes Call me cold hearted but if there is one thing I hate it is cheesiness And this novel is about as cheesy as it gets The story follows 34 year old Brett Bohlinger who seemingly has the perfect life She has a great job at her mother’s multimillion dollar company lives together with her gorgeous boyfriend in an expensive apartment in the best part of town and has all the designer clothes anyone could wish for But when her mother Elizabeth dies of cancer Brett is devastated and her entire world is turned upside down Instead of simply inheriting her money – the way her brothers do – and getting the role of CEO at her mother’s company Brett must fulfill the life list she wrote when she was fourteen Only if she manages to complete all the goals on the list within a year will Brett receive her inheritance Some of the goals on the list are uite easily achieved eg get a dog While others are difficult and impactful eg fall in love have a baby I guess I should have known better I should have known from the description that this book wouldn’t appeal to me But it came so highly recommended that I wanted to give it a try anywayThe concept of the novel is an overused one and unfortunately Lori Nelson Spielman didn’t make it fresh or new in any way This didn’t really bother me that much however; my problem was the idea that a human being can dictate another person’s life from beyond the grave I understand what the author was going for Brett had such a great relationship with her mother that she knew her better than Brett knows herself But does that give Elizabeth the right to practically force her daughter to do something she essentially doesn’t want to do? To guilt trip her into leading a better life? I don’t think so Sure it may very well make Brett happier but the woman is 34 for goodness sake Should she not be able to choose her own path? And how is it that that a grown woman is still so dependent on her mother?This last uestion leads me to my next point Brett’s character Brett has the emotional maturity of a fourteen year old Which is ironic since she has fulfill goals she decided on when she was fourteen She is also the definition of a doormat She lets everyone walk all over her and has no spunk no wit and seemingly not a lot of intelligence She constantly complains about how she doesn’t want to follow the life list but doesn’t even try to do anything to change the situation Throughout the story Brett remained the obedient daughter with no backbone Who needs character development right? And no giving away possessions and then claiming to have become less materialistic doesn’t count if your character doesn’t actually change Brett is basically tasked to analyze her life and change the things that don’t make her happy But of course we can’t have the readers thinking Brett is motivated by money So the author makes it clear on every page that Brett’s motives are completely selfless that she only does this to appease her mother There is no possible way Brett could be motivated by money because she helps the poor and teaches underprivileged children A goody two shoes if ever I saw one As for the other characters in the novel they were all astonishingly flat and only seemed to be plot devices to pull the story along Brett’s mother appears as a goddess that could do no wrong Andrew is the idiot boyfriend who only wants Brett’s money Herbert is the perfect man that has no flaws except that he is well boring The list goes on Oh and for all those of you who thought love triangles and other geometric love shapes were a thing restricted to YA books think again This novel contains an actual love pentagon LOL And yes it’s as annoying as it sounds Spielman’s writing style was uite enjoyable and she did a good job of making the book engaging or as engaging as it could be with characters like that But ultimately I don’t appreciate when authors set out with an agenda to tug at my heartstrings I don’t like it when they try to hit me over the head with their “important” message It makes me feel manipulated in a bad way Perhaps this was what I disliked most about the bookSo do I recommend The Life List? No I can’t say that I would If you want to a good adult contemporary romance pick up Me Before You instead

  3. says:

    5 stars is definitely not enough for this book I wish I could give it 10Most well written books offer enjoyable moments clever dialogue and an entertaining adventure for the reader But a very special few of these books touch a reader's soul in a way that makes them look at life differently in a way that makes them feel alive and in a way that that book will be cherished on their bookshelf like an old photograph to be looked at revisited and thought of with fond memories – a book that becomes a valued possession that just could never be let go The Life List is just that sort of special novel that in all the books I've read this year a few of which I've already forgotten it stands out among the rest I will remember it and think fondly of the story and recommend it to others with great enthusiasm as an adventure that all lovers of literature should enjoy My first recommendation of course will be to my motherThis book is a lovely story about the decisions we make in life our search for happiness and what really matters in the end The leading character Brett Bohlinger is a successful executive at her mother's booming cosmetic business She has an apartment in a coveted area in town a successful boyfriend who is ambitious and hot enough to cause whiplash in women he walks by and items that would make the Joneses jealous From afar Brett has the perfect life When her mother suddenly becomes sick and passes away Brett is dealt a devastating blow The one parent who truly loved her the person who she could count on to smooth out life's difficulties answer any uestion and fix any problem is torn away from her in a heartbeat Brett's determined to make her mother proud as the new CEO of the family company and this position fills her with a mixture of motivation and dread Taking over the CEO will involve her being the boss of her ambitious perfect sister in law running a multi million dollar company and fitting in a position which she doesn't have the confidence in her ability to succeed Then Brett is dealt the second biggest blow of her life when the will is read Instead of the inheritance and company position she anticipates she's left with a reuirement to complete a life list she wrote when she was 14 and she has one year to complete all the items Brett stares at the list Buy a horse have a baby or two become a teacher perform on stage have a relationship with her father Her mom can't be serious A horse in the city? A relationship with her father who has already died and was cold and distant to Brett as a child? A baby or two in a year?As Brett's world flips upside down she realizes that sometimes not having what you thought you wanted like the CEO position or the designer watch can actually be a blessing As she completes the list her life focus changes and she finds things that bring her joy that she would have never expected Happiness isn't something you strive to achieve It's not impressing people who are difficult to please It's not something you can buy As she completes each item she gains ground on finding the hopeful optimistic girl she used to be and moves past the fearful woman who is settling and is afraid of change In her will her mother left her the greatest gift a mother could give – a roadmap long abandoned to the simpler things in life which will bring the greatest happiness She left her daughter a final lesson a lesson on how to follow her own dreams and not to compromise This novel makes me want to tackle something I'm afraid of and reflect back on abandoned dreams It reminds me that even if you've traveled a long way down road 30 years down that road that if you realize it's going in the wrong direction you can always turn around or forge a new path somewhere else It is not to late to live the life you were meant to live The life that feels real and brings inspiration and passion It shows us that we have the strength all along to do what brings us the greatest joy It's a testimony not to compromise on love friendship and family and that if you find that you're lonely despite being surrounded by others then maybe it's the wrong people you are surrounded by The book is about first impressions and lasting impressions It's about forgiveness choices love and taking the leap of faith even if you can't yet see where you'll land It's an amazing book that I would love to see turned into a movie and a book that I think everyone who enjoy's women's literature should readUpdate I also listened to the audio versionThe narration on this book was enjoyable and I loved hearing this story for a second time Rebecca Gibel does an excellent job portraying Brett I would definitely recommend this novel both in paper back and audio

  4. says:

    insert big sigh What to write about this book? I wanted to like it I did I was curious enough to finish it but barely If I had been reading instead of listening I know I would have turned to the back and read the last chapter when I was about a 14 of the way in What's wrong with this book? The idea of a life list is fun and very current just search it on Pinterest but certainly not very original Spielman's similes are pretty good but are so freuent that they become annoying Brett is such a ninny and so freuently ridiculous that I found myself muttering Idiot an awful lot Apparently I need a narrator who is admirable and at least a little spunky A 34 year old woman allows her dead mother to make her choices and direct her life from beyond the grave The book is just so darn predictable I knew after their first glimpse of each other exactly who Brett would end up with The real uestion is Why did I waste so much time reading this book when I already knew the ending? Perhaps worst of all and that's saying a lot when you consider the ridiculous things we are supposed to just take for granted Brett never really changed Yes I know you are supposed to feel like she has changed because she became a mother But really she was as much a ninny at the end of the book as she was at the startIf it were a movie I'd leave 20 minutes in and ask for my money back The Life List was slightly better written but just as formulaic as the teen romance books I read when I was about 13 UGH

  5. says:

    Ahh this book was so adorable I was very emotional throughout the book I cried and laughed I felt just about every emotion there was to feel with this book A must read

  6. says:

    A really cute loveable read if you want a sincere life goal like this womenNo matter how we plan things you never know what’s around the corner

  7. says:

    I just read a column in the Sunday NYT by Charles McGrath that completely explains why I finished this book despite the fact that the whole time I couldn't believe how bad the writing was That's the problem with fiction or the charm if you want Even mediocre plots have a way of sinking their hooks into you until you find yourself concerned for the fates of characters who aren't even fully convincing As a real person Brett Bohlinger made a lot of mistaken assumptions about people and behaviour She acted like a child I'm not sure we saw any growth in her I wanted to know what happened but thought if you knew Brett in person she would just be irritating

  8. says:

    Brett a woman with a male name she constantly finds herself explaining is devastated when her mother passes away However the real shock comes for her with the reading of her mother's will She is to complete a list of tasks in order to be eligible for her inheritanceThis book was uite heart warming while Brett struggles with grief and coming to terms with the conditions in her mother's will But will the tasks force Brett to actually start to live her own life?This was heading for 4 stars from me but the way the end of the book wrapped up was disappointing and very uick so only 3 stars now

  9. says:

    I truly loved this book From the first page to the last page It was like a breath of fresh air Didn't want it to end and I kept reading and reading not wanting to put it down Hard to believe this is the authors debut book I will definitely be waiting patiently for her next book Highly recommend Loved it

  10. says:

    Fiction This book doesn’t come out until summer 2013 but I was lucky enough to get an early copy Chick Lit at it’s best I devoured this one A great heroine a strange will a seemingly impossible uest The book has real heart