Abby Turner is an artist. At least, she thinks she is until she tries to enter an art show and Mr. Wallace, the museum curator where she works, tells her that her paintings have no heart in the young adult novel, "Love, Life, and the List."
Abby decides best the way to get more heart into her paintings is to create and carry out a list of tasks that will help her develop traits of people she admires. She calls it The Heart List, and she has one month to do 10 things.
While she's accomplishing the list, she'll also create new paintings with more heart with hopes that she'll have another chance at being entered in the show.
As she starts to do items on her list, her character truly comes to life, and author Kasie West perfectly describes the frustrations and complicated relationships of a teenage girl.
Her mom is dealing with an anxiety disorder, and Abby finds it's easier to ignore the disorder than disrupt the peace, though it's clear this strategy isn't working very well. She also has a military father who she doesn't see very often. And she's in love with her best friend, Cooper, who continues to do so many confusing things, though she's quite certain her love is unrequited since she tried to tell him she loved him last year and it didn't go very well.
West creates an excellent teenage girl protagonist, making sure they are full of endearing faults and just the right amount of sass. Readers will find themselves drawn to all of Abby's relationships, cheering for different people at different times, all the while hoping Abby accomplishes her list and her dreams.
This book has no foul language, violence or inappropriate sexual material.
This book is a 2017 Whitney Awards finalistin the young adult general category. These awards recognize novels written by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.