"The Next Thing On My List" by Jill Smolinski. New York : Shaye Areheart Books, 2007.
I just finished this charming novel and found it grew on me slowly, but touchingly. The premise was very different: June feels responsible for the accidental death of her passenger, Marissa, and decides to complete the "20 things to do before my 25th birthday" list Marissa leaves behind. However, as the plot and characters developed, I grew genuinely fond of them all, and found myself relating to them as real people.
The unexpected aspect, for me, was the thoughtfulness June evokes in the reader as she works hard to complete the list before Marissa's birthday. That thoughtfulness spilled out of the pages and into my life, as I reflected on some of the questions June raises about the meaning of life, of death, of family, of friends, - and most importantly, of self.
Sacramento Public has only a few copies of this title, but it is also available through our Link+ partner libraries, should ours be all checked out. Jill Smolinski is also the author of a previous novel, "Flip flopped".