Love, Life, and the List

Book review by
Rachel Sarah, Common Sense Media
Love, Life, and the List Book Poster Image
Sweet contemporary romance about finding yourself.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows some basics about studying art, applying to be in an art show. Some information about mental illness, specifically agoraphobia, or fear of going outside. 

Positive Messages

Be true to yourself and focus on what makes you feel happy and fulfilled, even when you're facing so many setbacks. It's challenging to pick yourself up after a big disappointment, but if you're determined to turn your life around, you can make it happen. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Abby's grandfather, who lives with her, is a loving and supportive character. Although he and Abby bicker throughout the story, his love for her comes through.  

Violence
Sex

One juicy kissing scene. 

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Love, Life, and the List, by Kasie West (P.S. I Like You, The Fill-In Boyfriend), is a light, fun, contemporary high school romance. The tone is quite young, although it does touch on issues such as a mother's mental illness and a father's deployment overseas. This story has important messages about how to lift yourself back up after hitting a roadblock and discovering what you're passionate about in life. The characters are white, except for Elliot Garcia, a boy who likes Abby and has dark, curly hair. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 15 years old Written bySofia_Marie09 April 28, 2018

One of my favs!!!

I am fifteen and loved this book!! I coudn't put it down and I finished it in a day!! It's a completely descent book only one passionate kiss and a fe... Continue reading

What's the story?

LOVE, LIFE, AND THE LIST opens with 17-year-old Abby Turner in the middle of a disappointing summer. She's in love with her best friend, Cooper, who apparently doesn't feel the same way. Abby and Cooper's two best friends are away for the summer, so they're spending a lot of time alone together, while Abby's feelings grow stronger. In the meantime, her mother's anxiety is getting worse (it appears to be agoraphobia, or fear of going outside), and her father's in the Middle East stationed with the military. When Abby gets rejected from an art show because her work "has no heart," she's devastated. Along the way, she realizes that she can't change her art if she's not willing to change herself first.

Is it any good?

Some parents will like how tame this story is (no swearing, no sex), and teens will like the protagonist's quick self-deprecation. The scenes are quite light at times with low stakes, so this is definitely a fast and fun read. The best part is seeing Abby's growth as an artist and her process of working through her creative blocks. The love interest, Cooper, sometimes comes across as clueless, but in the end, Abby's sense of humor carries the novel. 
 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the romance is portrayed in Love, Life, and the List. Does it seem realistic and relatable? Do young adult romance novels help readers sort out their feelings and learn how to communicate, or do they create false expectations about teen relationships?

  • What would it be like to grow up with a parent who's mostly absent, like Abby's father who's in the military and stationed in the Middle East?

  • Have you ever wanted something badly but didn't get it? How did you handle the disappointment?

Book details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love romance

Our editors recommend

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate