Saturday, May 5, 2018

Timmy's Review of Mia Kerick's "The Weekend Bucket List"!

I want to thank everyone who reads this review. I pride myself on always giving an honest review no matter who the author is, even if s/he is my friend. It’s important to me that I give people my honest thoughts because, as a teen, other teens look to my reviews to see if it’s a book they might like to read; and parents look to see if it is a good book for their kids to read. I want there never to be any surprises. Also, I work hard on not giving spoilers away. But this review may have a few spoilers because I feel it’s necessary to explain my feelings on the book.

Mia is one of my favorite people, both as an author and as a person, so this was a hard review for me to write. As always, the writing was great! I love the many ways in which she pulls her readers in with the stories she creates. Mia has a way of telling a story so you feel you are in the book with the characters.

This book was not really for me, but that doesn’t mean others won’t love it. I will explain my concerns in this review and the things I liked, and then you can decide for yourself if you feel the book is for you.

First, let me say I love the concept behind the book. A book about deep friendship and not romance is new to me. I like that this book was about three older kids learning about themselves and what their friendship means to them. That is an important life skill that even I am still working on!

My concerns about this book has to do with recommending it to teens and preteens who are still in school. I feel like the bucket list that they follow would cause kids to believe they need to do these things to be “normal.” If they never did anything on the list, they would still be normal. If I was to follow the logic of the characters from this book, I would not be considered normal. That is hard for me because it has taken me YEARS to believe I am normal. I don’t want any kid who reads this book to believe they are abnormal because they haven’t done any of these things.

Next, I’m a good student. I spend all my time either in school, at track practice, or doing homework. I know there are things I’m missing out on by doing this, but it’s worth it to me for the future I hope to have. I want to be someone important in the future and help people in some way. Again, if I follow the logic in this book, I would not be a good student because I would be concentrating on doing other things—like things on this bucket list. You can still do all the things on this bucket list AND be a good student.

Finally, about half the list contains good things to do, but the other half worries me. I cannot recommend things like getting drunk, or getting naked in public. To me, those decisions not only should wait until I’m older, but they are things that could get me into trouble!

I understand that it is a work of fiction and not a life manual, but I read books to learn, gain knowledge, and hope. I read this hoping to identify with the kids in the story and for them to help me understand that I’m normal (even if it is fiction).

Here’s the bucket list with my comments in parentheses.

          1. Go skinny-dipping (Illegal).
          2. Stay out all night (Not safe and can really worry people if they don’t know where you are).
          3. Face a fear (This is a great goal!).
          4. Sleep under the stars (I would love to do this in a safe environment).
          5. Take a road trip (This sounds like fun!).
          6. Get drunk (Not only is this illegal but not a good idea. I grew up with a father who drank a lot and it was always hard to feel safe around him. Alcohol dependency comes with stress, and it is always stressful in school no matter who you are). 
          7. Have a first kiss (This is a great goal if you feel ready and safe with the person).
          8. Run naked on the beach (Illegal).
          9. Sneak into a movie (Illegal and can leave you with a record if caught and prosecuted). 
        10. Spend twenty-four hours with no electronics (Wow! This is a good one but would be hard to do if you are still in school—almost all homework requires internet in some way). 
        11. Get pierced and tattooed (Never get a piercing by someone who is not a professional. It can be dangerous. And being tattooed before 18 is not legal for the person doing the tattoo).
        12. Say thank you to someone (Well this is something everyone should always do, especially to people who have made a positive difference in our lives in any way). 

So, you can see why I have a few concerns. I do not want to recommend to any kid that they need to do these things to be normal. However, if that person can read this and KNOW it is fiction and not take it as a life guide to be normal in HS, then I think they will like the book.

The deep friendship angle of the book is really an awesome concept except in parts where it feels like a love triangle that isn’t complete. There is tension between the characters, which is normal when trying to figure out your feelings, but I felt like it was a lead up to a romance but then it just wasn’t. I understand what Mia was trying to show, but I’m not sure it worked so well on the written page.

Overall, I give this book 3 Marbles. I would not recommend it to kids who use books to learn about life, or who have trouble finding a balance between real life and fiction. Though I don’t feel this book was for me, the writing was great, and I feel that college-aged peeps and adults might like it!

Please understand that not every book is for every person and what I got from this book may not be what you get from it. Also, if this is not the book for you, don’t let that turn you off from a really great author! I can recommend many books from this author that you may really like!~Timmy

The Weekend Bucket List is available 
in eBook and Print at Duet BooksAmazon,

About The Weekend Bucket List

High school seniors Cady LaBrie and Cooper Murphy have yet to set one toe out of line they've never stayed out all night or snuck into a movie, never gotten drunk or gone skinny-dipping. But they have each other, forty-eight hours before graduation, and a Weekend Bucket List.

There's a lot riding on this one weekend, especially since Cady and Cooper have yet to admit, much less resolve, their confounding feelings for one another feelings that prove even more difficult to discern when genial high school dropout Eli Stanley joins their epic adventure. But as the trio ticks through their bucket list, the questions they face shift toward something new: Must friendship play second fiddle to romance? Or can it be the ultimate prize?

The Weekend Bucket List is available 
in eBook and Print at Duet BooksAmazon,
About Mia Kerick

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—a daughter in law school, another in dance school, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school.  She writes LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-four years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on emotional growth in turbulent relationships. As she has a great affinity for the tortured hero, there is, at minimum, one in each book. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of said tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press and Harmony Ink Press for providing alternate places to stash her stories.

Her books have won a Best YA Lesbian Rainbow Award, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, among other awards.

Find Mia on Goodreads, her website
on Facebook, on Twitter @MiaKerick, and on her Amazon page.


  1. I appreciate the review, Timmy, and I'm glad to hear your concerns. I guess I didn't make it clear enough that the real reason that Cooper and Cady completed their bucket list was to find out how they truly felt about each other. And I will try harder in future books to be sure that I'm clear that there is no single definition of "normal." I truly believe that normal is what feels right to each individual.

    Criticism can be constructive and I have always, and will always, embrace it. How else can I learn? Thank you for offering your honest opinion, Timmy.

  2. Nice review, Timmy! You did a great job explaining what didn't work for you without putting off other readers from wanting to give this a chance.

    I hope you're doing well- sounds like you are and seems like you're keeping yourself super busy. I think it's awesome that you're planning ahead for your future.



  3. This is a great review. Fair, balanced, and very well written. Great job!! :)