This book sounded like it would be heartbreaking, but very beautiful. I was hoping that when I closed this book the main character would have her happily ever after and be more at peace. I can’t imagine losing your husband and then doing all of the things on his birthday list. I was lucky to receive an ARC of this book, thank you for that! If you want to know what I thought of this book, keep on reading!
Happily married to her college sweetheart, Poppy lived a blessed life with the husband of her dreams. Then everything changed. She is no longer a wife. She is no longer the envy of her single friends. Now, people look at her with pity as they whisper a single word behind her back.
Years after her husband’s tragic death, years of pain and sorrow and wishing for the life she’ll never get back, Poppy decides to finish Jamie’s birthday list. She’ll do the things he wanted to most. Because maybe, just maybe, if she can complete his list, she can start to live again.
Poppy expects going through the birthday list will be hard. She expects it to hurt. But what she doesn’t expect is Cole. Could the man who delivered the news of her husband’s death and shattered her heart be the one to help her put it back together again?
Cover The cover is beautiful. It’s simple and nice to see a story like this without a couple on the cover.
The Birthday List is Poppy’s emotional journey going through her husband Jamie’s birthday list. Losing him in a robbery gone wrong, she’s been having a hard time letting go. Poppy hopes by finishing the list she will feel better and be able to move on. Opening up the Maysen Jar was the biggest thing on the list and it’s a dream come true. Cole, a detective, is the man who told Poppy her husband was never coming home, so running in to him years later isn’t something she expected. Cole starts awakening feelings she never expected to have again and this scares her and makes her feel guilty. He is surprised by the feelings he has for Poppy and knows he needs to take it slow. This book is so emotional and had me crying a few times while reading. I loved the idea of The Maysen Jar and it seemed like Poppy fit there perfectly. Her best friend Molly is amazing and some of the customers we read about are really sweet. The idea of the birthday list is pretty creative and I loved the items on the list. Taking a picture everyday, sitting in a pool with green Jell-O, saying nothing but yes and learning to play the ukele are just some of the things on this list. Even though she’s doing this for her husband, it’s nice to see how much it influences Poppy’s life. This gives her a different take on life and she slowly learns that even when life goes a way you never saw coming, it can definitely bring you the things that you need. This book didn’t get five stars, because even though I did love it, a few things towards the end were just a bit too much. I can’t say too much about these things without giving spoilers, but it just felt like these things were a bit not really predictable, but more far-fetched. This book made me cry, laugh and at the end of the book I had a smile on my face.
Characters Poppy goes through something I hope to never go through. Losing someone that way has got to be awful. She does her best to get back on her feet and even though she isn’t completely happy, opening The Maysen Jar has helped her in a lot of ways. Poppy goes through a journey, not only letting go of the man she loved and thought she would have so many more years with, but learning to let new love in without feeling guilty. She struggles with this, but during the book we slowly see her open up. It’s fun to see someone step out of their comfort zone and complete things on this list she never would’ve thought of herself.
Cole is another perfect bookboyfriend. He’s a detective and by the sound of he doesn’t look too bad either, haha. It’s not all about the looks though, he seems like an amazing guy. He took time out of his busy schedule to take time and ride around with a rookie who was still a bit insecure. Cole runs in to Poppy again during a karate class and the connection he feels isn’t what he expected. Especially after the news he had to give her years ago. He’s a hardworking man who loves his family and is willing to do anything in his power to help Poppy find peace and be able to move on. That he is starting to fall in love, does complicate things a bit, but he takes everything as slow as she needs. Cole learns a lot about himself during this journey with Poppy. Even facing his father who has other dreams for Cole than he does for himself.
Molly and Finn are amazing. We don’t see a lot of them, but enough in this book to know that they are amazing people. I wouldn’t mind reading more about them in a book of their own.
Jimmy (Jamie’s grandfather) loves Poppy and sees her as a grandchild. He is a sweet guy and a feisty senior citizen. Jimmy supports Poppy all the way and I think she needed this. In a way, for her, it was like Jamie was supporting her.
Randall was an elderly man who showed up at The Maysen Jar the first day and came back everyday after. He seemed grumpy and mean, but deep down he really cares. Later we find out he’s in the same retirement home as Jimmy and it’s funny to see how they still pull pranks on each other.
Cole’s parents are the sweetest and it’s fun to see that his mother teachers guitar lessons. I think they helpe Poppy in their own way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Devney is the USA Today bestselling author of the Jamison Valley series. She lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories. Devney loves hearing from readers! Connect with her on social media.
After reading this, I definitely want to read more by this author. I love the idea of the birthday list. What would you put on your list? I would love to know.