When J.M. Miller reached out to me to ask if I would read an ARC of her next book, I was definitely excited. (Needless to say, I received a free ebook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.) Oftentimes I’ll get ARC requests, but the books won’t really pertain to my interests or blog content (if you’d like to know what those are, check out my review policy). However, this one was right up my alley.
Smug. Irritating. Pain in the …
After high school, I was content with the idea of never seeing him again.
But as his sister Merilyn’s best friend, it was bound to happen eventually. I just didn’t expect it to be at her wake, where, following a foolish, naive, and completely ridiculous incident, I’m prepared to return to my perfectly routine life and wash my hands of him forever. Again.
Unfortunately, Merilyn had other plans.
Even though she traveled the world, her final request is for Caleb and me to recreate our senior year bucket list and take her ashes along for one last adventure.
All the foolish, naive, and—you guessed it—completely ridiculous memories return in an instant.
He tormented me, teased me, kissed me like no one ever had, made me fall for him, and broke me like no one else ever would.
Reliving it all might end with a crash worse than the first.
Or maybe not.
Maybe the fall would never end.
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
If you like…
- Dual POV
- Dual Timelines
- Second Chance Romance
- Young Adult books
- New Adult books
…then this book is for you.
The book is told from two points of view, Celia’s, and Calebs, switching between Celia’s senior year of high school/Caleb’s junior year of high school, and I think about five years later.
Both Celia and Caleb felt like well-rounded and fleshed out characters. Celia felt like a relateable character to me, based on her personality and the way she reacted to situations in the book. Caleb was a really great guy (not to mention love interest…at least later on) and I liked how pretty much all of their romantic encounters were left up to Celia’s discretion, and how he almost always asked for her permission to do things, whether it was dating, kissing, etc. Of course, that’s how it should be, but it is something that is not always portrayed in books that much, so that was nice to read.
We don’t get to really know or understand Merilyn that well, even though we get to see her in the flashbacks. Maybe it just felt that way because we get to read the story from Celia and Caleb’s point of views. Regardless, we know enough about her and her personality to get a grasp on who she was, especially as it pertains to Celia and Caleb’s story.
Sometimes I have a love-hate relationship with dual timeline books, especially if one timeline is not as interesting as the other, but this one was executed perfectly. There was enough of a preview in each chapter to lead us into the next one, but the parallels never felt annoying or overly repetative, which is always a concern when dealing with books about reliving experiences.
The book has sort of an influencer aspect, which captured my attention, even though the book itself is not focused on that. Celia is into photography, so filming the remainder of the bucket list allowed her to get back into that.
Another thing that I enjoyed was the mixing of the young adult and new adult ages. I’d probably recommend this book for readers 17+ because of some of the sexual content that happens towards the end of the book, but in general it was a really great read.
Overall, I think that the premise was really intriguing and the book really delievered on my expectations. J.M. Miller’s writing style flows well and is easy to read, and she gives enough description to make picturing the scene easy as a reader without giving too much information that the story slows down. I’d definitely be interested in reading more of her books.
“Senior Year Bucket List” was just released on July 29, available wherever you buy your books!
Here are some places you can buy the book — it’s also available on Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon Universal – https://smarturl.it/SeniorYearBucketList
Goodreads – http://smarturl.it/SYBLgr
GR paperback giveaway – https://smarturl.it/SYBLgrGiveaway
GR Listopia vote – https://smarturl.it/orh0vy
BookBub – https://smarturl.it/SYBLbb