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.
Thank you Macmillan for sending us all advanced reader copies of the book!
For this month’s Selective Collective, we were assigned to host the Book Club-style discussion of “The F-It List” by Julie Halpern. Here are the questions that came to mind when Diana and I read the book, and we hope you’ll consider them as you read Halpern’s tale of unconditional friendship and self discovery.
1. Alex uses horror films as a way to escape. What are some of your favorite ways to get away from it all (aside from reading, of course)?
I’m not a huge TV person, but one thing I LOVE to do is watch old shows like “Bewitched,” “Leave it to Beaver” and “The Twilight Zone.” I can’t explain why…they just make me happy. Another thing I seriously love to do when I’m tired or stressed (or breathing) is take a super-hot bath. It’s even better if I can sneak in a piece of chocolate and a good book while I’m doing it. Last, if all else fails, I love hanging with my family at Disneyland. I know it sounds crazy because it’s wall to wall tourists and strollers and people who cut in line, but oh my goodness, I get so sucked into the magic of it all. I love that place; I love the way it feels when I’m there and the memories we’ve made there as a family and I honestly enjoy so many of the people we meet waiting in line and watching the shows. I’m such a sucker for that whole “Happiest Place on Earth” slogan. –Tammy, YA Crush
This is something I think about all the time. Hopefully it doesn’t come off as the morbid “what if I’m dying?” thought but more as just things that I know I want to see and do. I refuse to believe that what I’ve seen/done is it for me. There is just so much to our world that I want to experience! Randomly, five on my list would be: Go to Europe (EVERYWHERE), learn to speak Italian, cut my hair into a pixie cut, go to cosmetology school, and take a road trip. –Kristina, Gone Pecan
3. Alex forgives Becca for something some readers might find unforgivable. Have you ever personally forgiven a friend (or been forgiven!) after a falling out? Did it make you closer? Did it take a long time to heal from the hurt?Story time: My birthday is in March and my freshman year of high school, my mom and my friend organized a surprise birthday party for me. I actually accidentally saw the initiation at my friend’s house when I was over one day — She was my BEST friend at the time — but I pretended not to notice and just looked away so all that was ruined was that there was going to be a surprise party and I think I saw the day (I can’t remember — this was over 10 years ago, afterall). So the happy day rolled around and I must have known the day because one friend took me out and we went to the mall and all around town so I had expected we’d go back to her house and the party would be there. We came back to my house and I was all disappointed but it turned out all of my friends were in the basement!! Surprise!!!! Except my best friend — and the girl who happened to ruin the surprise for me — never showed up. I’m not sure why to this day… She said family emergency, someone else claimed to have seen her out with her boyfriend and sadly I was more inclined to believe that she was out. I don’t remember all the details now since it was so many years ago, but there must have been some supporting evidence since I was convinced that she ditched my party and that’s the memory I have left now. I had confronted her about it and it got awkward so we were friends for a little while longer and then quickly drifted apart. I was really sad to lose my best friend and feel so betrayed by how it all went down. I didn’t hold a grudge or anything and we didn’t really have any animosity towards each other, but I just felt like if she couldn’t be honest with me about something that was so important to me, then we couldn’t really be best friends anymore. –Brittany, Book Addict’s Guide
I actually really love scary movies. I lean toward the suspenseful ones more than the gory ones ( I am not a fan of Saw and Texas Chainsaw Anything). A few of my favorites are The Others (THE ENDING!!! Oh Em Gee), Pan’s Labyrinth and The Orphanage (that’s probably my favorite). I also still love the original The Shining. I mean, those creepy twins and that awesome moment when Shelly Duvall realizes that her husband has spent weeks trying “All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy”? Classic. –Tammy, YA Crush
To be perfectly honest, I’m terrified of scary movies. Every couple of years I think I’m old enough to try again but I guess being scarred at such a young age by them I’m burned out. (I had an older brother that was a fan of watching and when you are five scary movies are ten times worse IMO.) Scary movies are the reason I can’t be around clowns (IT), I HAVE to sleep with my sheets NOT touching the ground (Cat’s Eye), and why I still can’t hear the Freddy Krueger theme song and not get the chills. Give me a serial killer movie such as Scream and I can handle it. Paranormal Activity? I saw the first one and I’m still creeped out that I couldn’t watch any of the rest. –Kristina, Gone Pecan
Oh dear…there are a couple. I have had that strange twelve year-old girl love for Johnny Depp since I was, well, a twelve year-old girl. Blame it on 21 Jump Street. Funny story: He was at Disneyland one day when I was there with my then two-year old daughter. It was a day or two after the first Pirates movie premiered on the lake by Tom Sawyer’s island. I heard he and his family were there because this starstruck girl walked into the bakery and told me. I wanted to dash out the door and hunt them down and profess my undying fandom, but then I looked over at my kid happily munching her Mickey mouse cookie and decided I should pull it together. Yes, friends. I resisted the urge to stalk Johnny Depp (and only regretted it a tiny bit later).
My other celeb crush is Henry Cavill, whom I’ve loved since the first episode of The Tudors. If you’ve not watched that episode, I highly suggested you do so now. There’s some nudity, that’s all I’m sayin. I’m quite a happily married girl, but whew, I’m not blind. –Tammy, YA Crush
Make sure to check out everyone else in the Selective Collective’s features!