September 26, 2013

The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman (audiobook)

Narrated by Rebecca Gibel
Published by AudioGO (2013)
Length: 11 hours, 33 minutes (Unabridged)
I received a review copy from the publisher via Audiobook Jukebox. 

Description: Brett Bohlinger seems to have it all: a plum job, a spacious loft, an irresistibly handsome boyfriend. All in all, a charmed life. That is, until her beloved mother passes away, leaving behind a will with one big stipulation: In order to receive her inheritance, Brett must first complete the life list of goals she’d written when she was a na├»ve girl of fourteen. Grief-stricken, Brett can barely make sense of her mother’s decision—her childhood dreams don’t resemble her ambitions at age thirty-four in the slightest. Some seem impossible. How can she possibly have a relationship with a father who died seven years ago? Other goals (Be an awesome teacher!) would require her to reinvent her entire future. As Brett reluctantly embarks on a perplexing journey in search of her adolescent dreams, one thing becomes clear. Sometimes life’s sweetest gifts can be found in the most unexpected places.

My Review: I was intrigued the premise of this novel--the description sounded a little similar to the story in P.S. I Love You, a book and movie adaptation that I really enjoyed. (Side note--I think The Life List would make a great movie, too!) While I enjoyed the plot, I found it to be pretty predictable. Plus some of the goals were accomplished by convenient coincidences, so it wasn't totally believable to me that everything would fall in to place so easily by the end. But if you are looking for a comforting, inspiring read, this one will do the trick. It will make you think about your childhood dreams that you've abandoned and remind you never to settle.

The audiobook narrator does a great job of portraying Brett's emotional journey, and I felt a deeper connection to the character while listening than I would have if I was reading the print book. She does distinguish between characters' voices as well, which is helpful. The production was crisp and clear, and it made for an enjoyable commute while I listened to this story.

Give The Life List a try if you like stories about family relationships, love, and going after your dreams.

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