Posts tagged ‘the list’

November 2nd, 2011

The List by Melanie Jacobson; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: The List

Author: Melanie Jacobson

Published: March 1st, 2011

Number of Pages: 304

Rating: 3/5


Ashley Barrett doesn’t want to get married. At least, not anytime soon. She doesn’t care how many of her friends and family members and fellow churchgoers had weddings before they finished college — the last thing she needs in her fun-loving twenties is the dead-weight of some guy. And that’s why she created The List. By the time she completes all twenty-five goals — from learning a language to skydiving to perfecting the art of making sushi — she’ll be more ready to settle down. Maybe.

This summer in California is a prime time for Ashley to cross two items off the list: learn to surf (#13) and have a summer romance (#17). And Matt Gibson, the best surf instructor in Huntington Beach and the most wanted guy in the singles ward, is the perfect man for the job. Ashley hatches a plan to love him and leave him before heading off to grad school in the fall (#4, get a master’s degree). But when Matt decides he doesn’t like the “leaving” part, Ashley’s carefully laid plans are turned sideways. Now Ashley faces an unexpected dilemma: should she stick to the safety of The List, or risk everything for a love that may tie her down — or might set her free? [From Goodreads]


I needed the sensei of surf, the Obi-wan Kenobi of boards, the . . .oh, whatever. I needed Matt Gibson.


This the first LDS fiction I’ve read. And before you non-LDS people run away, let me tell you that the religion in this book would be very unlikely to make you uncomfortable. A non-LDS friend of mine is reading it as I write this and keeps laughing hysterically.

This book is not about religion – it’s about a girl who’s so set in her ways that she’s blind to the fact that there’s something better out there. Most noticeably, this book is funny. Hilarious. Period. I would be reading this during lunch and stop every three minutes to read something out loud to the other people at my table. The humor is the sort of witty, often sarcastic kind that I like. If you’re looking for a quick weekend read that will keep you grinning to yourself, this is it.

Ashley Barrett, the main character, is smart and, as I said, very funny, but I found some quirks in her personality that were slightly annoying. For example, she seems far too aware that she’s good looking, and I repeatedly found that she (as well as some other characters) seemed more like a seventeen year old than a twenty-four year old. However, the fact that she seems young makes her more appealing to the young adult audience, and I think it was a mistake to target this toward adults. Though adults can enjoy it just as they can other YA literature, there’s something very, very teen-ish about it.

The romance in the novel is totally delicious. Though it dominates the plot a little too much for my taste, I was glued to the pages when Matt showed up. They had so many moments when their dialogue (particularly the funny parts) was entirely synced and flowed from paragraph to paragraph. I’ll admit that it was a little over-the-top, but it certainly made me laugh.

Another aspect of the romance that was particularly novel to me and very enjoyable was the cleanliness of the romance. (I would expect no less from an LDS author, but Stephenie Meyer proved that expectation unfounded…) My friends with similar standards, though not members of the church, appreciated this as well. The romance is far more endearing when it relies less on a physical relationship. Not to mention the fact that this book is appropriate for teens of any age.

Over all, The List is cute but simple. The plot and characters have little depth (Matt was the deeper of the two main characters), but this book is perfect for a fun, easy read that will entertain you without causing you to passionately pull at your hair during exasperating moments. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a funny, chick-flicky book that is wonderfully clean and even uplifting at times.