“The Wrap-up List” Steven Arntson

ARC (Advance Reading Copy). To be published January 8, 2013. Houghton Mifflin. 236 pp.

It’s perfectly normal for individuals of all ages in sixteen-year-old Gabriela’s town to receive Death letters. Nobody likes it, but there’s nothing you can do. When your letter comes, Death tells you how much time you have left and gives you a few last requests. You are expected to leave when Death calls, unless you can figure out his/her Mortal Weakness. If you do, you receive a Pardon and can live your life in full.

When Gabriela receives her own Death letter giving her one week before Hercule, her Death, comes everyone is shocked. Her life goal had been to get her first kiss from long-time crush Sylvester. Since Sylvester is the high school football star, the kiss wasn’t going to happen anytime soon but Gabriela had longterm plans. She decides her list should include first kisses for herself, as well as her three best friends. It’s only a matter of time before they are all plotting and scheming to discover Hercule’s Weakness. In the process, she finds herself hanging out with Hercule and learning more about herself and her family than she would have ever learned if she hadn’t received her letter.

I found “The Wrap-up List” to be a bit on the strange side. The idea of hanging out with Death, as well as it being commonplace to receive Death Letters, was too high on the Unbelievable Scale for me. Therefore, I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether you want to Read it or Not.

Geared to readers age 12 and up.

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