A bingeworthy, bittersweet, sisterly P.S. I Love You for the digital age, Someone Else’s Bucket List follows shy Jodie Boyd after the untimely death of her outgoing, hugely successful Instagram influencer sister, Bree—and Bree’s last wish: that Jodie complete her bucket list. Instructed by a series of videos left by Bree, Jodie takes on the terrifying challenge as the world watches. The venture will not only change Jodie’s life, but save the family—and possibly others—from staggering medical debt. Perfect for fans of Josie Silver and Rebecca Serle.
My dying wish is for you to finish my bucket list. I refuse to die without knowing this list will be completed. And I refuse to die without knowing my family will be okay . . .
Jodie Boyd is a shy and anxious twenty-something, completely unsure what to do with her life. Her older sister, Bree, is an adventurous, globe-trotting, hugely successful Instagram influencer with more than a million followers. She’s the most alive person Jodie knows—up until Bree’s unfathomable, untimely death from Leukemia. The Boyds are devastated, not to mention overwhelmed with medical debt. But Bree thought of everything—and soon, Jodie is shocked by a new post on her sister’s Instagram feed.
The first of many Bree recorded in secret, the post foretells a jaw-dropping challenge for Jodie: to complete Bree’s very public bucket list. From “Fly over Antarctica,” to “Perform a walk-on cameo in a Broadway musical,” if Jodie does it—and keeps all Bree’s followers—a corporate sponsor will pay off the staggering medical debt. If she gains followers, the Boyds won’t be the only ones to benefit. It’s crazy. It’s terrifying. It’s impossible, immoral even, to refuse. So, despite the whole world watching, Jodie plunges in, never imagining that in death, her sister will teach her how to live, and that the last item on the list—“Fall in love”—may just prove to be the easiest.
Bree had her life all figured out. She had prepared a bucket list of 100 things she wanted to do before she died. Climb Mount Everest, run with the bulls, learn martial arts in Brazil; yes, it was all planned out. Then, she went into the hospital with a mild case of pneumonia! What did the doctor mean, she had leukemia?! She still had too much to do on her list!
Jodie is living a predictable life until her sister’s diagnosis. She and both of her parents are working two or three jobs each to pay off the medical bills. Ryan Air steps in and offers to not only pay off the bills but help Jodie complete her sister’s bucket list. Jodie agrees to complete the list and embarks on a planned promotional trip to help rid the family of the massive debt. Jodie is less than thrilled with her commitment.
The author skillfully works through the minefield that is the endeavor to complete Bree’s bucket list. Jodie ruefully approaches each task with cameras and cell phones recording her every move. The entire task becomes morbid at times and the people tasked with recording the saga are relentless. I applaud Ms. Matthews and her rendering of this experience. It is a unique contemporary tale, gripping and entertaining, easy to become engaged. 4.5 stars – CE Williams
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book. Currently on pre-order.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars
Genre: Sibling Fiction, Women’s Friendship Fiction, Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication Date: May 23, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Someone Else’s Bucket List [Amazon]
The Author: Amy T. Matthews is a novelist and an academic. Her new book Someone Else’s Bucket List will be out May 2023 – it’s a tear-jerking, heartwarming story of sisterly love. Amy’s first novel, End of the Night Girl, won the Adelaide Festival Unpublished Manuscript Award and was long-listed for The Australian/Vogel literary award, and short-listed for the Nita B Kibble Dobbie Award and the Colin Roderick Award. She has published short stories in collections including Best Australian Stories and co-edited three collections of short stories and poetry. Amy is Senior Lecturer and Discipline Lead in Creative Writing at Flinders University, Deputy Director of Assemblage Centre for Creative Arts, and a former Chair and long serving board member of Writers SA; she is also an Associate Member of the JM Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice.
©CE Williams – V Williams
2 thoughts on “Someone Else’s Bucket List by Amy T Matthews – #BookReview – #siblingfiction”
What an interesting idea. I like the sound of this story. Great review C.E.
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Thank you–it is a unique idea I think.
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