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A few things about Carrie Firestone: Her favourite things: My husband, my girls and my rescue dogs. Coffee. Travel. Anything urban. Dancing with my friends. Dancing with total strangers. Movie popcorn. Downton Abbey, House of Cards and Game of Thrones. Learning about other cultures. BOOKS. Blues Traveller, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Beastie Boys. Indian Food. Writing about random people doing random things in random places.
July 2016 Debut of the Month | In a Nutshell: Trip of a lifetime • Seize the day • Perfect endings Always heartwarming, often laugh-out-loud hilarious, this is a sublime novel about living, loving and savouring every precious moment. As Maddie plans her pre-college summer vacation, her wealthy, flamboyant grandmother, Gram, drops a bombshell. She doesn't have long to live and she’s taking the whole family on a cruise, but not “one of those tacky, eat-all-you-want buffet ships”, she explains. Rather, this is a voyage for the dying and their loved ones, during which the passenger-patients aboard the good ship Wishwell will choose their time to be sent to sleep. Maddie’s family is reeling with shock when Gram springs another surprise. The love of her life wasn’t the man she spent most of her life married to. That honour goes to Bob Johns, the joyous, dreadlocked jazz-loving Jamaican whom she couldn't marry in the “backwards-ass world of the 1940s”, and he’s coming with them. During the trip of a lifetime, Maddie becomes “ship sisters” with 32-year-old Paige, and falls madly in love, as they travel to places of Gram’s choosing where she ticks off items on her incredible loose ends list before her journey ends. This remarkable debut is abundant in life lessons (live to the full, be fearless, be forgiving) but perhaps the most gorgeous message of all comes from Gram. “Take the pain and grow beauty”, she advises. Every bit as poignant on the subject of popping your clogs as it is on popping your cherry (a summary I reckon straight-talking Gram would approve of), this book will make you laugh, cry and emerge from its pages feeling monumentally uplifted. ~ Joanne Owen
An unlikely clique of teens embark on a summer of twitter fame, rebellious good deeds and desperate love in this thought-provoking second novel by the author of The Loose Ends List. After high school senior Sadie helps a baby in distress, she becomes an internet sensation and is introduced to other 'hometown heroes'. Despite all their differences, the five teens hatch passionate plans to secretly right local wrongs. But when they breach the boundaries of their world, they discover that there might be truth in the saying 'no good deed goes unpunished'. For fans of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and The Boy Most Likely, this novel combines humour, romance and wisdom while taking on timely issues including teen drug abuse, bullying, ethnic discrimination, and the importance of being kind and doing good. Praise for The Loose Ends List: 'A poignant and important story about compassion, love, and the decision to live life on your own terms - right up to the very last minute: all aboard' - Kirkus Reviews 'Fans of Jenny Downham's Before I Die or Jonathan Tropper's This Is Where I Leave You will enjoy this unique story about dying on one's own terms. Mentions of drinking, drugs, and sex make this title appropriate for older readers (...) With its fresh, original plot and thought-provoking themes, this title will have a high teen appeal.' - School Library Journal
. The trip of a lifetime, a summer of love - unputdownable writing, perfect for fans of John Green and E. Lockhart. Maddie O'Neill Levine wants to spend the summer before college tying up loose ends with her best friends - kissing boys and soaking up the last of the summer sun. Then her beloved grandmother drops a bombshell; she has been diagnosed with cancer. To spend quality time with her family, Maddie's grandmother takes the whole family on a round-the-word cruise - but at the end of it, Gram might not return home. Here is a story about love, loss and the power of forgiveness.
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