Welcome to The Selective Collective. Together with our friends at The Book Addict’s Guide, Gone Pecan, The Grown Up YA and Teen Lit Rocks, we’ll be exploring a new release in its entirety, from review to author spotlight, to a roundtable chat, among other fun things.
This week we’re discussing The F It List by Julie Halpern
Alex’s father recently died in a car accident. And on the night of his funeral, her best friend Becca slept with Alex’s boyfriend. So things aren’t great. Alex steps away from her friendship with Becca and focuses on her family. But when Alex finally decides to forgive Becca, she finds out something that will change her world again–Becca has cancer. So what do you do when your best friend has cancer? You help her shave her head. And then you take her bucket list and try to fulfill it on her behalf. Because if that’s all you can do to help your ailing friend–you do it. (Goodreads)
This week I get to discuss elements relating to The F It List becoming a film. For me, that translates into one of my favorite things, a Casting Call. Let me also add that I could not have done this without my dear friend Sandie at Teen Lit Rocks. Sandie is a fountain of knowledge regarding film and television (among other things) and she always has amazing casting suggestions when I’m stumped.
Alex is a bit of a tough nut to crack. She’s struggling with the loss of her father and now with her best friend’s illness. But she’s not the girl who hides in her room and cries at night. She acts out bravely (even when she doesn’t feel brave) and walks a line where she refuses to be too needy, too willing to accept help or compassion, fiercely devoted to helping Becca live out her F-it List. This girl, though she’s clearly afraid, reacts with ferocity. She’s pretty foul-mouthed too, but even that part of her grew on me.
Leo. What is it about that name? Is it because I sort of grew up crushing on Leonardo DiCaprio? I have no idea. But Leo is a sort of hot guy name, isn’t it? And Leo from The F-it List is pretty hot. He’s a selfless guy, sweet but not overbearing or phony, direct and certain about what he wants. That is what I appreciated about him. He wasn’t too perfect or emotional and yet he came across as willing to be vulnerable, willing to be open and straightforward with Alex. I instantly liked him. Leo is actually a ginger, but it’s tough to find good red-headed actors without using the same ones over and over again so this time, we went with someone who seem to have the intensity that Leo did. Look at him. He can dye his hair. Or not. Either way we’re good.
Becca is the best friend who gets a bit of a bad rap in the first pages of the book because she does the unthinkable: she sleeps with her bestie’s boyfriend. But we quickly learn that said boyfriend is not even worth the tissue Alex used to wipe her eyes after they broke up, and Becca, while not perfect, is a best friend worth hanging onto. Alex loves her like she loves no one else and despite the fact that Becca has done something truly suckworthy, she’s a girl you’ll quickly fall in love with. She’s mildly obsessed with sex–which is a whole separate issue–but she and Alex have a deep bond. Something that stands out about Becca to me is her gorgeous, long blonde hair, which is why Emily Bett Rickards seemed to be perfect.
Caleb isn’t a huge character, but he’s the boy who lives next door to Becca and ends up helping her during her treatment, sending her love notes, flirting with her, smiling when she flashes him through their bedroom windows (hello, seriously). He’s a sweet, all-American boy, home-schooled and innocent and for some reason that is sort of how I picture Zach Roerig. Maybe it’s because on TVD, Matt gets the shaft sometimes, but I really have a soft spot for him.
Be sure to check out my blogging partners as they further explore The F-It List:
The Book Addict’s Guide- Review
Gone Pecan- Author Q&A and Giveaway
The Grown Up YA-Freebie
Teen Lit Rocks-Roundtable
Sincere thanks to Macmillan for sending review copies of The F It List to all of The Selective Collective.