Publication Date: June 7th, 2016
“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.”
This book broke my heart. Absolutely broke my heart. This was super hard to read for me because it brought back a lot of memories from when I lost a family member. If you recently lost a family member, this book might be triggering, or it might be very peaceful. It really is how you take it. I adored this book because it feels like it helped me heal some from the loss. If you a crier, have tissues ready.
Maddie is a girl who needs a reality check in life. She is living a life with her best friends that could send her in a spiral. She is supposed to be going to a party the night that her grandmother invites her entire family over. She thought it was going to be an engagement to her boyfriend, but she was very wrong. Going on a cruise where she is going to say goodbye to her grandmother forever? That’s not what Maddie planned for her summer.
This story did a wonderful job of showing the stages of grief. The heartbreak, denial, anger, sadness, depression, and hope really was prevalent throughout the entire book. Carrie Firestone made the reader feels like they are going through the same stages that the main character is feeling. I am an emotional reader and there were a few times where I teared up, full on cried, and ended up smiling because she made it hopeful.
I was a little unsure about the romance part of this novel. However, going through and reading this from cover to cover, the romance was absolutely meant to be a part of this book. It made the story that much better. It wouldn’t be thought to have romance in a book where someone is dying, but it was very happy and really makes you think.
If there is a time where I go, I would love to be on this cruise. I wish it was a real thing. I would go and live my days happily and peacefully. This book gave me hope that there are people who live out their final days like that. Carrie Firestone really did a wonderful, wonderful job on this novel. This was probably one of my favorite books of this year.