Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Wrap-Up List

The Wrap-Up List by Steven Arntson
4/5 stars
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2013
236 pages
YA Paranormal

Source: Received an ARC through Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.

In a future world, some people receive a letter from a Death, calling them to their death at a predetermined time. That person then gets to write a wrap-up list of what they want to finish before they go to the afterlife as well as try to request a pardon. Gabriela is sixteen when she receives hers and flippantly writes a list that can be seen on the cover as she scrambles with her friends to thwart death. But as the day approaches, she faces it more seriously hoping to gain a pardon.

Honestly this book is a little hard for me to describe. There were a lot of themes in this book, most notably about a society preparing for war and religious background as Gabriela has a lot of questions. I was very intrigued by the questions it raised although it did seem a little overpacked for such a short book. Although Gabriela is our first-person narrator, we get to meet a lot of other people including especially her friend Iris, who has a long-time fascination with the deaths and is instrumental in helping Gabriela on her quest.

I'm not going to share too much about the ending but I found it just perfect with everything wrapping up the way you wanted it to after investing the time into this book. That does not mean that everyone is alive but that I felt very satisfied with how Arntson chose to end the story.

Overall, I really liked this book and found it to be a fun fast read with a lot to think about. It has not earned the best ratings on goodreads and I'm not really sure why as I think it's certainly better than that. I think it would definitely be worth checking out at the library.

Other Opinions:
Alexa Loves Books was kept entertained.
Blkosiner's Book Blog was satisfied with how everything resolved when she put the book down
In Bed With Books highly recommends this!
Should I Read It Or Not found this book on the strange side.


  1. This book reminds me of The Deathday Letter, which was a really good book. I'll definitely give this one a shot!

  2. Not sure if this one is for me, but I enjoyed reading your review. I think there was another YA contemporary with a similar list -- the Jenny Downham book, I think?

  3. I hadn't heard of this one before but it sounds super great!

  4. Glad you enjoyed. It was quick and fun.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  5. I haven't heard anything about this book but it sounds fascinating! I'm definitely going to look into it some more. I love books that are a little bit different, very refreshing. :D

    April @ My Shelf Confessions

  6. this sounds like a really interesting premise for a book. i've never heard of this one but i am kind of intrigued. i will have to keep an eye out for it at the library. thanks for the review!

  7. I'm happy that you enjoyed this one. It sounds like a fun read. Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  8. I haven't heard of this one, but I'll be interested to check it out. I agree with some of the above comments...quite a cool concept. I wish the author hadn't jam-packed it with themes, but I think I will still try it. Thanks for the review!


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