Publisher's Note:  

Can eighteen things save a life?
Olga Gay Worontzoff thinks her biggest problems are an awful name (after her grandmothers of course) and not attending prom with Conner, her best friend and secret crush since kindergarten.
Then Conner is killed in a freak boating accident and Olga feels responsible. When she downs an entire bottle of pills to deal with the emotional pain, her parents force her into counseling. There, her therapist writes a prescription in the form of a life list titled 18 Things. Eighteen quests to complete the year of her eighteenth birthday.
All she has to do is fire-walk, try out for the cheerleading squad, break a world record, and err . . . go on her first date. Good thing Nate, a new hottie in town, enters her life with perfect timing. He brings the fun factor to her list and helps her discover the beauty and strength inside herself, then complicates things by falling in love with her.
Just as she's finally embracing the joys of living life for the moment, her therapist reveals a terrifying secret and Olga's world is shaken. In the past year it took eighteen remarkable things to change a life, but nothing she believed about her mission is true.            

There's only one thing she knows for certain: her choices won't just affect her future, but all eternity.

18 Things (My So-Called Afterlife)

by Jamie Ayres

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Overall Review:  

In the book 18 Things, the characters were admirable in many ways. These young adults went through a lot of development, which is something most readers want to see. Also, the difficulties the characters go through are deep ones. While the teenagers still live in ways characteristic of the teens in movies (partying, underage drinking, making out), they also try to cope with the death of a friend.

18 Things was definitely a unique book. It is a story with a great message to it--about life and truly living it to the fullest. But there are also some twists to the end of the book that many readers might have difficulty coming to terms with. 18 Things is the first book of a trilogy, however, and perhaps the second and third books of the trilogy will explain the twists better and bring the reader to a more complete place. Just the shock of the ending might discourage some readers of wanting to read more, while other readers might be propelled to find a more comfortable ending by reading the rest of the series. Fortunately, at the end of the Kindle book, a first taste of the second book is included, so the reader can see how deep they want to get into the series.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  5 religious exclamations; 3 mild obscenities; 1 derogatory name; 1 scatological word; 9 anatomical terms.

Violence/Gore:  A teen is killed by lightning (long frightening scene, but not graphic); a nurse describes a patient's injuries and the procedures used to save him, slightly graphic; a teen threatens another teen; a character slaps another character; a character teasingly pinches another character really hard; a character has three violent and disturbing dreams; a teen boy tries to sexually assault a teen girl in a slightly extended, but not graphic scene; a character slaps someone in the face; a teen boy forces a teen girl into an unwanted kiss; a character punches another character in the face, and it is a bit bloody; a character briefly describes a graphically violent hypothetical scenario; a character accidentally cuts her finger; a character considers suicide; three characters accidentally kill themselves.

Sex/Nudity:  Teens flirt a few times throughout the book; teens make sexual references eight times throughout the book; teens hug a few times; a teen girl's body parts (normally covered by a bathing suit) are described a few times, though not very graphic; a shirtless teen boy in swim trunks is described; a teen boy wears a speedo; two teen girls discuss getting tattoos on their chests; a girl teen tells a story of how someone tried to kiss her; a teen girl is told by her friend that she looks sexy; two teen pregnant girls are seen; two pairs of teens are seen making out, not descriptive; teens kiss a few times throughout the book; a teen girl adjusts her undergarments; a teen boy touches a teen girl's hair flirtatiously; a teen boy gives a backrub to a teen girl; a teen boy caresses a teen girl's arms and face; a teen boy puts his arm around a teen girl's shoulders; a character mentions strip clubs; a teen character wears revealing clothing a few times; a teen accidentally falls on another teen, and there is some sexual tension;  there is a long scene with a lot of sexual tension; there is a scene where the garter tradition at a wedding is followed; a teen boy tries to sexually assault a teen girl in a slightly extended, but not graphic scene.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Unique religious ideas described, death of friends, accidental suicide, teen pregnancy, sexual assault, addictions, underage drinking and smoking.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

A teen purposely overdoses on pain medication; an adult almost dies from drinking too much alcohol; a teen girl smokes cigarettes five times in the book; a bunch of teens are drunk at a party and there is a big keg of beer; a drunk teen boy is described in detail; a teen talks about why she smokes; teens drink alcohol at a wedding.

Reviewed By Amber
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