FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Kensington Books (via NetGalley).
Series: The College of Charleston #1
Publisher: Lyrical Press on May 26, 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (NA)
The List. Twenty things every girl must do before she turns twenty. . .
But thanks to her crazy, over-protective father, Annie Roth is way behind schedule. Good thing it’s her first semester of college, because Annie is more than ready to start checking off items. . .
Where it gets complicated? Ryan and Chris. Best friends. Both sweet, funny, totally hot, and totally into Annie.
But there are some things on The List that Annie only wants to do with Ryan. . .
Get Heart Broken
Fall in love
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
The List by Kate L. Mary
Annie has been sheltered and in many ways controlled her whole life, so the freedom she finds at college is like an entirely different world for her. Away from her father and five brothers, she finally has a chance to find herself, take some risks, and live life out from under the overprotective and often stifling love of her family. Determined to make the most of all the opportunities she now has, Annie makes something of a bucket list, a plan to accomplish the rights of passage that most other girls her age have already experienced. And that’s when life and love really begin for her.
The Verdict: I expected The List to be something more of a typical new adult romance, but there was a lot more depth to Annie’s story than I anticipated. A truly horrific event during her childhood changed her family forever, and Annie was pretty much denied the opportunity to be a “normal” girl. Instead, all things feminine were tamped down, and Annie was left with an incredibly distant yet protective father and a bunch of brothers who stifled any normal kind of social life.
In college, Annie finds the freedom she’s yearned for, and it’s overwhelming. She comes up with a list of everything she wants to experience and sets out to accomplish it with the guidance of her wild roommate Cami. Of course, all that independence so suddenly gained comes with a cost, and Annie is ill-equipped to handle it all at once. In that way, The List is something of a coming-of-age story, with Annie stumbling through all those typical teenage experiences at warp speed now that she finally has the chance to live a little. But despite all the changes she institutes in her life — allowing herself to simply experience being a college student away from the watchful eyes of her family — she manages to retain her sense of self and doesn’t change at the core.
As mentioned in the synopsis, Annie finds herself in the middle of a love triangle, which — if I’m being honest — was pretty frustrating from a reader’s perspective. After all, it was quickly clear which boy she should and would ultimately choose, so Annie’s vacillation and conflicting emotions became rather furstrating . And it didn’t help that Ryan often behaved like an indecisive ass. I suppose that’s not altogether unrealistic for that age group in that situation, but it quickly grated my nerves, and I found myself skipping ahead to find a place in their story where I could finally stand to watch them together.
I’m generally one who loves new adult books, and the immaturity of the characters is something I actually look forward to, that fresh and idealistic perspective coupled with uncontrolled emotions. Unfortunately for me, The List by Kate L. Mary didn’t really inspire that nostalgia, and while it certainly had a number of fun, sweet, and cute moments, I never fully warmed to the characters the way I’d hoped to. I suspect that the problem isn’t so much the writing as it is my own personal preferences, so while I would not recommend this to everyone, I think it’s probably perfect for younger romance novel addicts.
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