review and cover mani: the bucket list

THE BUCKET LIST had a unexpectedly profound effect on me. Because of that, I don’t really have much of a general intro, as I need more space to articulate my thoughts. On that note, let’s just dive right into the review. 

The back jacket, from Goodreads:

From the author of the critically acclaimed “lively and engrossing parable for women of all generations” (Harper’s BazaarThe Regulars­ comes a deeply funny and thoughtful tale of a young woman who, after discovering she has the breast cancer gene, embarks on an unforgettable bucket list adventure.

Twenty-five-old Lacey Whitman is blindsided when she’s diagnosed with the BCRA1 gene mutation: the “breast cancer” gene. Her high hereditary risk forces a decision: increased surveillance or the more radical step of a preventative double mastectomy. Lacey doesn't want to lose her breasts. For one, she’s juggling two career paths; her work with the prestigious New York trend forecaster Hoffman House, and her role on the founding team of a sustainable fashion app with friend/mentor, Vivian Chang. Secondly, small-town Lacey’s not so in touch with her sexuality: she doesn’t want to sacrifice her breasts before she’s had the chance to give them their hey-day. To help her make her choice, she (and her friends) creates a “boob bucket list”: everything she wants do with and for her boobs before a possible surgery.

This kicks off a year of sensual exploration and sexual entertainment for the quick-witted Lacey Whitman. Ultimately, this is a story about Lacey’s relationship to her body and her future. Both are things she thought she could control through hard work and sacrifice. Both are things she will change by choosing to have a major surgery that could save her life, and will give her the future she really wants.

Featuring the pitch-perfect “compulsively delicious” (Redbook) prose of The RegularsThe Bucket List is perfect for fans of Amy Poeppel and Sophie Kinsella.


So look. First things first, I’m mad at Georgia Clark and the Atria publicity department. YES, WE ARE FIGHTING.

If you’ve been reading my reviews for a while, you’re aware that I’m not the sort of reader who gobbles up emotionally dense fiction. In fact, I tend to avoid those stories. Now, in this case it may be my bad because of THE BUCKET LIST’s subject matter, but Clark’s phenomenally witty writing made me forget that Lacey was dealing with a major issue. Lacey’s way of coping with her BCRA1 positive status drew me close, because I handle intense news in a similar way. Namely, by trying to control the situation completely out of my control, and then distracting myself with everything and anything. So that was my frog-boiling-to-death in an oh-my-god-I’m-feeling-so-many-feelings situation. I was lured in with comedy and got majorly attached, which led to my heart being punched, followed by having my heart repaired in such a satisfying way that I literally hugged the book when I finished, which also hurt because I thought my heart would explode. 

Ugh. My black soul really didn’t know what to make of all the feels but instead of putting it down, I kept going, so invested that I didn’t notice my dog boring a hole into the side of my head due to a twenty minute tardiness in feeding him supper. And that’s saying something because Pickle has a laser stare that I can sense through furniture.

Art designer: Matthew Monahan

Emotional resonance aside, let’s talk about how this hilarious (?!) mastectomy book was also…spicy? Like, get a fan. And ice. And a partner of your choice on stand-by, because inspiration. The boob bucket list in THE BUCKET LIST did not come to play, except it actually did and it was amazing. The thoughtful and adventurous way Lacey claimed her sexuality was empowering af, and I’ve got a decade on her. Good decisions and not-awesome decisions had me cheering and cringing, and in the end, Lacey felt more like a friend than a fictional character. I think it’s important to mention the sexuality-positive vibe extended to all characters, regardless of orientation, and I appreciated the no-big-deal attitude, as that’s the way it should be. Love who you love (and fool around with who you fool around with), friends. 

In short, every sensation—every feeling I’m capable of experiencing—happened while reading THE BUCKET LIST. I’m convinced witchcraft played a role during Clark’s writing process because it shouldn’t be possible. I shouldn’t be able to laugh-cry, happy-cry, sad-cry, make sure my husband was within arms reach, repeat the series of cries again, and then do it all a third time while hanging onto the edge of my seat to see what Lacey would do next. To quote The Princess Bride, “INCONCIEVABLE!” And yet, THE BUCKET LIST did just that and more. 

My anger (which has morphed into not-so-secret love) towards THE BUCKET LIST means that I insist you read it. Not in a little while, not next month. Now. It’s just beyond. Five stars, plus a bazillion stars, for a total of one bazillion and five stars. 

Ps. I guess I forgive Georgia Clark and the Atria team. Thanks for tricking me because I will love this book forever. So picture my gratefulness for this unbelievable novel peppered with eye rolling because you made me bawl my face off. Is there an emoji for that?


For this mani, I used:

China Glaze – At Your Athleisure and Pretty Fit

ORLY – Storyteller (custom colour)

OPI – Suzi Has a Swede Tooth, Big Apple Red, and matte topcoat

FingerPaints – Paper Mache

So Nailicious – needle brush

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