SUMMER IN WINTER: Love, Life, and the List Review

Summary: Abby Turner’s summer isn’t turning out the way she wanted. Two of her best friends are abroad for summer vacation. Her mother’s anxiety issues are growing more each day. Her not-so secret crush on her best friend, Cooper, is quite unrequited. And she’s just been rejected for a local art show because her artwork has “no heart.” When Abby gets another opportunity to show her work, she isn’t going to take any more chances. Enter the list. From facing a fear to learning a stranger’s story, Abby creates a list in order to gain more life experiences to inspire her art, learning that she can’t change her art if she doesn’t change herself.

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


My Thoughts:

This fangirl is feeling even more like a qualified contemporary YA reads girl. Why? Because I finally read a Kasie West book, Love, Life and the List!

Kasie West has always been on my TBR radar, especially since I own Listen to Your Heart (I’ve been saving it for the summer). However, between my excitement for Maybe This Time, West’s second 2019 release, and my need for a sweet contemporary, it was time to give one of her books a try, choosing Love, Life and the List. You’re not a true summer contemporary fan unless you read them all year long, right?

Love, Life, and the List was the fun and sweet contemporary I needed. I flew through this book in less than a day- it probably took me a total of 4 hours to read it- because I couldn’t leave Abby and Cooper for too long. As much as this book is about Abby’s feelings for Cooper, I couldn’t get over their friendship and humor. I almost always love humor and sarcasm in a protagonist, but Abby is one of the funniest characters I’ve read in a while. Additionally, as much as the book is about Abby getting over Cooper, they have such a great friendship despite those feelings. They spend at least 75% of the book together, but I’ve could’ve honestly read another book filled with their dialogue, sarcasm, and adventures. I do think their romance could have been a bit more fleshed out, but I was happy with their ending (and all of the cheesecake included).

In general, there was such great chemistry between Abby and the other characters, most prominently between her and Cooper and her grandfather. Seriously, we need more witty grandparents like Dave in YA! One refreshing aspect of Love, Life, and the List was Abby’s positive relationship with family, even with her mother’s mental illness. Much of the book is about Abby being an artist, and her artwork inspires the creation of her things ‘she’s never done before’ to-do list. Her family supports her in both her art and this list. I just really loved their comradery (except for a certain family member’s involvement in something they shouldn’t have).

Overall, I really enjoyed Love, Life, and the List for its fluffy contemporary-ness, fun tropes, and great character chemistry. I can’t wait to explore Katie West’s other books!


Have you read Love, Life, and the List? Any other Kasie West books? Share in the comments!

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