The F- It List by Julie Halpern

The F- It List by Julie Halpern

The F- It List by Julie Halpern

Published by Feiwel & Friends on November 12th 2013
ARC from Netgalley
256 pages
Purchase on AmazonThe Book Depository


With her signature heart and humor, Julie Halpern explores a strained friendship strengthened by one girl’s battle with cancer.

Alex’s father recently died in a car accident. And on the night of his funeral, her best friend Becca slept with Alex’s boyfriend. So things aren’t great. Alex steps away from her friendship with Becca and focuses on her family.

But when Alex finally decides to forgive Becca, she finds out something that will change her world again—Becca has cancer.

So what do you do when your best friend has cancer? You help her shave her head. And then you take her bucket list and try to fulfill it on her behalf. Because if that’s all you can do to help your ailing friend—you do it.

Life is a series of unfortunate events. I learned that from one of my favorite books when I was younger. The saying could not have been more suitable to describe Alex’s life. After her dad dies from a car accident, she finds out that her best friend, Becca, banged her boyfriend during the funeral. Just when she’s about to let that go, she finds out Becca has cancer. What can a girl do when life seems to beat her down at every turn? Just F- IT!

Alex helps Becca accomplish her bucket list, or as they like to call it, F- It list. The said list was actually what made me want to read this book. I love making lists myself, so naturally, I liked anything that involves them. Especially when they’re filled with crazy, funny stunts to accomplish. And that was exactly what Becca’s F- It list consisted of! Flashing the neighbour, touching celebrity asses, eating chilis- craziness, I tell you!

I can’t even begin to explain how hilarious this book was. The dialogues were just so fun that I lost some serious poise what with the snorty laughter that occurred while I was reading. The characters were truly piquant and entertaining! Humor is something I always love in a book so I’m giving this book one big check in that department. I really did not expect it to be so amusing, comical and sarcastic since I assumed that it was rather going to be more tragic what with the depressing things that keep happening to Alex and the people around her.

Nonetheless, the author was still able to instill heaviness and emotion. There’s grief and denial and I absolutely admired the way they were handled. I wish the author elaborated on them a bit more though. Nonetheless, they allowed me to connect with Alex and see her more than just a girl with a surly personality and a sharp wit.

“If we don’t reach for things, think of how much we’ll miss.”

The F- It List touched so many aspects of life- friendship, family, love and I really think that each portrayal was very honest and genuine. Alex and Becca were great characters and I loved their friendship. Aside from the early predicament (Becca sleeping with Alex’s boyfriend), their friendship was steady. I also liked Alex’s relationship with Leo, although I was very wary of it at first. I had a hard time discerning what exactly was between them and I think the sex could have been toned down a little. In the end, I found their romance (if you could call it that) sweet, flawed as it was.

Julie Halpern’s writing flows well and engages the reader to flip pages. Filled with humor and composed of vivid characters, I recommend The F- It List to those who are looking for fun yet equally heartening contemporaries.


Hazel @ Stay Bookish

Hazel Ureta is an advocate of stories. She is the blogger and Editor-In-Chief of Stay Bookish because she loves talking about books. She enjoys reading Young Adult novels the most and writes them too.
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  1. Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide on November 8, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    I’m glad you really liked it! I think I was hoping to enjoy it juuust a bit more than I did, and considering the age, I had wished the sex was toned down just a bit too. But I loved the humor and totally related to some of the relationships in the book. I really liked the friendship between Alex and Becca!

  2. Stephanie @ The Novlist on November 9, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    I’ve been dying to get my hands on this one for so long. I’ve been seeing so many awesome reviews about this one, including yours, and now I want it even more! It sounds right up my alley and I’m so excited to finally be able to read it in a few days. Great review, Hazel! :)

  3. Miranda @ Tempest Books on November 10, 2013 at 5:52 am

    I can’t wait to read this one! I’ve been wanting it ever since I heard about it months and months ago. Great review!

  4. Kezia on November 10, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Another positive review for this book…now I’ll have to include The F- It List in my wishlist :3 Even though I don’t usually like bucket list kind of books, I’d love a read that can make me laugh and cry so this one sounds peeeeerfect! I’m so glad you loved it, Hazel!

  5. Leigh @ Little Book Star on November 10, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more! This book was hilarious and sad at the same time. I really love their bucket list; it was so daring! The characters and writing style were spectacular. This one will definitely be a re-read.

  6. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads) on November 10, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Eee, I really do want to read this one. It sounds wonderfully fun and touching all at once.

    Fab review, Hazel! <33

  7. Francoise on November 11, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    I really want to read this book. It sounds so funny and I also saw another positive review for it as well so I’m pretty sure I’ll love it. Great review!

  8. The F- It List by Julie Halpern - HOBBITSIES on November 15, 2013 at 8:47 pm

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  9. Fatma Shahin on February 19, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    ive heard such good things about this book! It hasn’t been hyped up as much though.

  10. mai on April 3, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I loved the notion of this book, though I dont like the relationship between Alex and his boyfriend that much.

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