Reeling from her mother's death, Georgia has a choice: become lost in her own pain, or enjoy life right now, while she still can. She decides to start really living for the first time and makes a list of fifteen ways to be brave - all the things she's wanted to do but never had the courage to try. As she begins doing the things she's always been afraid to do - including pursuing her secret crush, she discovers that life doesn't always go according to plan. Sometimes friendships fall apart and love breaks your heart. But once in a while, the right person shows up just when you need them most - and you learn that you're stronger and braver than you ever imagined.
I am so glad this was once again a case of the story being way better than the boring cover. But my first complaint is about the cover. In the book. Georgia describes herself as overweight. She says she is a size 16. I don't know who the girl on the cover is, but she is no size 16.
So Georgia is still grieving for her mother. Her mother was very overweight and had heart problems and diabetes, which both led to her death. Before she died, Georgia's mother gave her a letter in which she told her to be brave and live her life. So Georgia decides to create a list, kind of a bucket list. It has things on it like tribal dancing, learn how to flambé, go skinny dipping, and try pot, among others. She does these things with her best friend Liss, who is kind of awesome. A big portion of this book was kind of refreshing in a way, just because it was so positive. It was light and funny and you wouldn't expect that from a book about a girl whose mother just died. Georgia had this wonderful attitude where she tried to think positive thoughts every day. And they were little ones, like when a bus driver told her she had a nice smile. And it was funny when she was doing all these things she never did, like when she cut class and tried pot in the same day. Or when they went skinny dipping in a pool at an apartment building and got caught by a security guard. There was a little romance, but it wasn't a main plot of the book. Georgia has a major crush on a guy in her art class, Daniel. Two of the items on her bucket list do involve him: asking him out and kissing him. The relationship part was kind of sweet. It takes guts to ask a guy out and I admire her for doing it.
It isn't all fun and games though. Georgia is still grieving and soon uses pot as a way to avoid dealing with her grief. And she starts cutting class a lot. But she's a senior so apparently none of her teacher really noticed that she was skipping class at least once a week. No one except her art teacher anyway. And her father is pretty absent, which I hated. He is very conservative and he's Greek and he pretty much spends all his time at the restaurant he owns. Then when she does need him or he FINALLY realizes how much school she has cut, he just yells at her and tells her she needs to be more aware of what people think. Umm, okay.
One thing I didn't like about this book was that there was a lot of body shaming from Georgia herself. As far as I could see, no one really made her feel bad about her weight. As someone who has struggled with weight, I understand that those mean girl voices in your head can be way worse than what people say in person. But Georgia did talk a LOT about other people's weights. She did a lot of skinny shaming and she even criticized an overweight girl who tried out on the cheerleading squad. Georgia tried out too, but this other girl made it and she didn't. Georgia actually said that she doesn't understand "because she is fatter than me." I hated that statement so, so much.
Overall, this is a very sweet book about positivity and grief and living the best life you can even when you do get hurt.
Buy/Borrow/Skip: Buy this one!