Review: The BFF Bucket List by Dee Romito

The BFF Bucket List by Dee Romito (05/03/16)

Ella and Skyler have been best friends since kindergarten—so close that people smoosh their names together like they’re the same person: EllaandSkyler. SkylerandElla.

But Ella notices the little ways she and Skyler have been slowly drifting apart. And she’s determined to fix things with a fun project she’s sure will bring them closer together—The BFF Bucket List. Skyler is totally on board.

The girls must complete each task on the list together: things like facing their fears, hosting a fancy dinner party, and the biggest of them all—speaking actual words to their respective crushes before the end of summer. But as new friends, epic opportunities, and super-cute boys enter the picture, the challenges on the list aren’t the only ones they face.

And with each girl hiding a big secret that could threaten their entire friendship, will the list–and their BFF status–go bust?

Title: The BFF Bucket List
Author: Dee Romito
Publication date: May 3, 2016

I received The BFF Bucket List from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

In a lot of these middle grade books, one friend outgrows the other one or wants to be more popular and just drops the friendship almost before the other one notices. In The BFF Bucket List, Ella can see it happening and decides to do something about it. Skyler’s started spending more time with Brooke and Quinn and their friends. I do have to give Skyler credit for trying to include Ella right from the very start. It’s Ella who doesn’t want to try new things, to hang out with new people. Skyler makes sure Ella is include in Brooke’s sleepover, but Ella doesn’t want to go because they’re watching a scary movie and that scares her. Skyler invites her to the bowling alley with Brooke, but Ella doesn’t want to go out so she says no.

On one hand, if something like the scary movie doesn’t interest Ella, or even if she just didn’t like Brooke and Quinn, she has the right to say no. (She barely knows them, so that isn’t the case here.) But she also shouldn’t be surprised when, after she constantly turns down invitations, they stop coming as frequently. No one likes to be turned down so often.

With the help of Google and Pinterest, Ella comes up with a best friends summer bucket list for the two of them to complete. The list is filled with fun activities that aren’t too challenging but are a little out of the norm for them for the girls to do together. It sounds like fun and Skyler is totally willing to go along with it. She doesn’t want to lose Ella any more than Ella wants to lose her. I was very happy that this book didn’t take the same direction as so many do. I loved that both both girls recognize that their friendship is changing as they grow up but that they’re both still committed to their friendship. Of course they have a fight, but that’s pretty much required for a book about middle grade friends, right?

This time of year was the perfect time for me to read The BFF Bucket List. It’s not hard to imagine Skyler and Ella living on my own street, spending their school-free days working to complete their list and getting ready to face the uncertainty of starting high school in the next couple of months.

4 stars