I received this book for free from requested from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on June 7th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Romance, Young Adult
Source: requested from publisher
It’s a summer for first love, last wishes, and letting go.
Maddie has big plans to spend the last months before college tying up high school “loose ends” alongside her best friends. Then her beloved grandmother drops two bombshells: (1) Gram is dying. (2) She’s taking her entire family on a round-the-world cruise of dreams come true—but at the end, Gram won’t be returning home.
With a promise to live in the now without regrets, Maddie boards the Wishwell determined to make every moment count. She finds new friends in her fellow Wishwellians, takes advantage of the trip’s many luxuries, gets even closer to her quirky family, and falls for painfully gorgeous Enzo. But despite the copious laughter, headiness of first love, and wonder of the glamorous destinations, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram, and she struggles to find the strength to let go in a whirlwind summer shaped by love, grief, and laughter.
Maddie’s grandmother has a deadly cancer, so her last wish is to take the entire family on a cruise ship where she can celebrate her life. Maddie’s family is living life to the fullest. Jet setting around the world, travelling from the ship to different countries, hiking in volcanoes, swimming in hot springs, eating gelato in Rome, the adventures are endless. But we all know there’s going to be an ending, and Maddie herself isn’t prepared to say good-bye to her beloved grandmother.
Why would you say this to someone? WHY? *head desk*
I had a bit of a problem with Maddie’s bratty personality that I thought would change. What really bothered me was her view on other cultures foods. I don’t like how condescending she is when she turns her nose at the Taiwan night market. Just because it’s not food she likes doesn’t mean it’s not good. She clearly has something against Asian food.. “…pastries stuffed with bean paste (the worst dessert ever).” They use the word Oriental which is not politically correct. I wished the author would do a little bit more research and be more accountable and respectful to other cultures.
Her family isn’t like any family I’ve read before. They swear at each other, talk openly about their private lives and know everything about their business. But I guess that’s what makes them different. It was funny at times, but honestly I don’t think the humour needed to be there since the drama was all there. I also had no idea why all these side characters were thrown in.. I liked that they had a bit of exposure, but I also thought it detracted attention from Maddie’s story. Unless you count Maddie learning form every single one of these new people. I also thought that their romance was quick.. Two months and it’s already I love yous? But okay I went with it.. I loved her family for they’re a little kooky in their own way. I don’t know how others will find the controversial method of having a cruise ship where people go to end their life, but if there was a thing, I’m sure there will be backlash.
Don’t be fooled by the cutesy cover for there are some heavy and depressing scenes to read. The writing is decent, but I found myself growing bored because some scenes would drag on and on and there was too many characters, I kept forgetting who was who and who was sick etc. I did love reading about the families adventures all over the world, and wished they did more. Travelling is a dream!
Pick this one if you’re looking for a huge focus on family relationships.. I did grow teary-eyes at certain parts, but that’s because I love that her grandmother was just so positive.