One summer when I was in high school, my friends and I created our own bucket lists, borne out of boredom and a desire to get outside of our small town. While most of the items were a bit out of reach for a bunch of teenagers grounded in the Midwest (travel to Iceland, see the Great Barrier Reef, etc.), it was really fun to imagine things we might do someday. Bucket lists are fun to explore in YA fiction because I think they reveal a lot about character, and checking items off a bucket list is a convenient plot device that gets characters outside of their comfort zones. If you’re looking for some fun summer reads or maybe just some inspiration for your own bucket lists, check out these three YA books about completing bucket lists!
The Lucky List by Rachael Lippincott
Emily and her mom were very close…until her mom died three years ago. Now her dad is selling their house and giving away her mom’s things, and Emily feels lost. But when she finds a bucket list her mom made when she was in high school, she decides to take it on with some encouragement from a cute new girl who’s walked into her life. Emily discovers that there are still new things to learn about her mom… and it’s okay if she grows beyond the person she was when her mom died.
Our Way Back to Always by Nina Moreno
Lou and Sam used to be best friends, until middle school disrupted their friendship. Sam became popular, and Lou remained introverted and an overachiever. Now, on the cusp of senior year and overwhelmed by her future, Lou finds the bucket list she and Sam wrote when they were kids, and she decides to complete it. And when Sam discovers that Lou is taking on the list, he joins her on the journey, forcing them to confront their past and their future.
The F-It List by Julie Halpern
Alex and Becca are best friends, until Alex’s dad dies and Becca does something horrible at Alex’s dad’s funeral. It’s easy for Alex to cut her off and try and move on… but when she decides to reach out to Becca after some time has passed, she learns that Becca has cancer. Becca also has a bucket list. She wants to finish the list before she dies, but she might not have enough time, and that’s why she needs Alex’s help.
Want more 3 on a YA Theme? We’ve got you covered!