Ellis only has four days of her sophomore year left, and summer is so close that she can almost taste it. But even with vacation just within reach, Ellis isn’t exactly relaxed. Her father has been in a coma for years, the result of a construction accident, and her already-fragile relationship with her mother is strained over whether or not to remove him from life support. Her best friend fails even to notice that anything is wrong and Ellis feels like her world is falling apart. But when all seems bleak, Ellis finds comfort in the most unexpected places.
Life goes on, but in
those four fleeting days friends are lost and found, promises are made,
and Ellis realizes that nothing will ever quite be the same.
37 Things I Love is a heartwarming and sweet contemporary YA book. There are some scenes that are sad, and these scenes are done very well. Overall, the book is a cute and enjoyable read.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
Ellis is a well-developed main character. She is struggling because her dad has been in a coma for two years, and her mom wants to take him off life support. Ellis still holds onto the hope that he could someday wake up. She thinks taking him off life support would be like killing him. She is also struggling with her friendships. She wants more than her friendship with Abby, and she is finding a better friendship with her old friend Cara. She is unsure of how to proceed in these friendships.
Ellis' mom is also a good character. She wants to take her husband off life support because she realizes he's not going to wake up. She thinks she's let Ellis hold onto hope of him waking up for way too long. She knows she needs to talk to Ellis about this. Ellis and her mom don't talk to each other very much. They have a fairly distant relationship. Despite this, there are a few good scenes between the two.
All the friend characters in this story are well-developed. Abby is boy-crazy, and she expects Ellis to watch her at parties and keep her from getting too drunk. She is not a very good friend to Ellis. She is emotionally distant, and she doesn't know about the struggles Ellis is facing. Colin is a good character too. Ellis is able to tell him her problems, but he is too focused on Abby. He clearly has a crush on Abby, and he lets Abby walk all over him. Cara used to be friends with Abby and Ellis until they stopped being friends before high school. Ellis reconnects with Cara, and the two become friends again. Cara misreads Ellis' signals, and she thinks their friendship may be more than a friendship. After the two of them fight about it, Ellis realizes that she may be okay with their friendship being more. There are many good scenes between the two girls reconnecting. It is obvious that Cara really cares about Ellis.
If you like lighter YA contemporary with some heavier parts, read this book.