The Wrap-Up List
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The Wrap-Up List

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3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  340 ratings  ·  109 reviews
In this modern-day suburban town, one percent of all fatalities come about in the most peculiar way. Deaths—eight-foot-tall, silver-gray creatures—send a letter (“Dear So-and-So, your days are numbered”) to whomever is chosen for a departure, telling them to wrap up their lives and do the things they always wanted to do before they have to “depart.” When sixteen-year-old G...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Boundless by Cynthia HandProdigy by Marie LuThrough the Ever Night by Veronica RossiShades of Earth by Beth RevisSplintered by A.G. Howard
January 2013
42nd out of 77 books — 188 voters
Splintered by A.G. HowardTaken by Erin BowmanMILA 2.0 by Debra DrizaThe Madman's Daughter by Megan ShepherdThe Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell
YA Debuts 2013
288th out of 521 books — 2,354 voters


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Sonia
Steven Arntson skillfully manoeuvres the topics of death and friendship in this relatively light-hearted supernatural read.

Gabriela has received notification that she is going to "depart" (die) in one week. Before this happens, she has been generously provided the opportunity to write up a list of the things she hopes to accomplish before her death and hopefully figure out a way to escape it. Gabriela's voice shines in this first-person novel with sharp wit and dark humour.

Despite the morbid con...more
Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
The Wrap-up List features a cast of diverse and fun to read about characters. They feature diversity in their backgrounds, religious preferences, race, and in their sexual identities, but it features a beautiful friendship.
Gabriela is the main character, and she receives a letter from Death, a magical type creature that escorts you basically to the afterlife, telling her that she has a week to live. She can make requests and she can be given a hint about Death's weakness in order to grant a pa...more
Liviania
I loved the premise of THE WRAP-UP LIST, even as I fretted that the novel would leave me in tears. In Gabriela Riviera's world, one percent of all fatalities are due to Departures. You receive a red envelope warning you you're about to depart and you then have a short time to put your affairs in order and try to earn a Pardon. Gabriela just received an envelope and has one week to get a first kiss for herself and her three best friends: Iris, Raahi, and Sarena.

There are other ways Gabriela's wor...more
Brandi Young
Such an amazingly thoughtful and out of the box story about death and departing from this world. The cast of characters are so diverse and well thought out. I love how cunning, caring and selfless Gabby is. A must read.
Stephanie
My Summary: Gabby has always been a good girl. She loves her parents and her friends and she never gets into trouble, spending most of her free time at church or at home doing schoolwork. She is barely sixteen and she knows she has her entire life ahead of her.

Until she receives the letter: a bright red envelope with nothing on it but her name, Gabby knows what this means - she's been chosen for departure.

Now, with only a week left to cross off everything on her 'wrap-up list', Gabby must get he...more
Dora
The book has an interesting premise: set in some futuristic society, perhaps, a certain subset of population has been deemed as "departed" and gets notified that their time in "up" and they have a week left to live. Ergo, each person gets to meet their "grim reaper" and provide a "wrap-up list" (kind of like a bucket list, presumably.)
Instead of what could have been a really interesting look at how people (in this case, a teenage girl) decided to spend their final week and all the emotions and a...more
Jasmine Rose
I never thought I'd find such a wonderful story hidden behind this unassuming cover and strange description, but there it sits, nonetheless.

I would describe Arnston's writing as uncluttered. He doesn't use extravagant descriptions or take more time than necessary to get the point across and it works splendidly. Often times, this kind of approach creates a disjointed story that doesn't pull you in, but that isn't the case with The Wrap-Up List. The writing makes all the emotions more palpable and...more
Jennifer
Summary:
About 1% of all deaths are labeled as departures. A departure is when a Death (supernatural type being) sends you a letter stating that you have been scheduled for departure. We meet Gabby and her group of friends as they rush over to see if The Singing Man is departing. Unfortunately, he is, and this is when we learn about departures. Deaths seem to walk around humans, but they are a little different. They are super tall and silvery with gills. This doesn't stop them from having their o...more
Dodie
I waited until I had extended reading time on a pool/beach vacation, and brought this along. I really enjoyed The Wrap-Up List's snarky, intelligent and quirky story and voice, and the unique storyline. I just got a finished copy today, and when I saw the covers, which feature post office boxes (yes, those old style brass and window and spin lock things), I was reminded all over again how much I loved this book.

Bummer for Gabriela for her Death to visit her and give the one week warning when sh...more
Laura
DEATH is my favorite character in all of Discworld, and the Deaths imagined here by Arnston are pretty great! In this proximate future version of America (well, the world, really) people die, but some "depart" following letters received from a Death. Gabrielle is one such person - Hercule sends her a letter suggesting a week from Wednesday as her departure date. The established protocol is to write a wrap-up list, similar to a bucket list but with a definite time frame in mind. The Death will re...more
Becky
The Wrap-Up List has basically the same premise as Shaun Hutchinson's 2010 novel, The Deathday Letter, which is that sometimes people get letters telling them they are going to die, and the main character is one of those people. Steven Arntson takes this in a completely different direction though, one that is lighter, younger, less serious, and less funny. *not that there's anything wrong with that.*

The Wrap-Up List is a cute story that is easy to recommend to younger YA readers. It dances on th...more
Mara
A unique and original story makes this YA a must read! Some of the description at the beginning felt clunky, but the book gets better and better with each page. Gabriela is a great character, and I loved how her Catholic upbringing was weaved throughout-- you don't see many religious families in YA (and it feels like when you do, the devout are evil, in some way). Faith and religion are presented in a nuanced, realistic way. Hercule was also fascinating as one of the Deaths. Lots of twists that...more
April
Perhaps I am morbid, but I really enjoy reading books that take on the subject matter of death. I especially like it when young adult books talk about that subject matter, as for many young people, death does seem outside the realm of possibility when you have your whole life ahead of you. Thus, The Wrap-Up List by Steven Arntson caught my attention with it’s gritty topics, yet Arntson handles death with a light touch and writes a story that is both touching and funny.
Read the rest of my review...more
Sarah Mae
Gabriela is sweet sixteen and never been kissed but now she only has one week to live. She has been chosen for departure. Her wrap-up list includes first kisses for herself and her three best friends and, most importantly, a pardon. If she finds out her Death's secret weakness, she will be pardoned and allowed to return to her life.

This magical-realistic tale does not really give explanations for why the world is the way that it is. Nor does it really explain Deaths and Departures. I was left wo...more
Pop Bop
A Deeply Cool and Very Entertaining Book

You really don't expect a book to be raucous, funny, thoughtful, touching, fantastic and cleverly plotted, all in equal measure, but this book certainly is.

We start with a great premise. In this slightly alternate world people are selected at random to be visited by death because one per cent of all fatalities must occur as a result of this death process. No one knows why, but everyone accepts this as the natural order of things. (Is this a metaphor for a...more
Ashley
Aug 14, 2014 Ashley added it
Steven Arntson's The Wrap-Up List is a sweet story about a girl whose life is coming to a tragic early end. Set in a world on the verge of war, this is a place where Death selects people at random, accounting for a small percent of fatalities. An interesting concept to say the least, but what I really like about The Wrap-Up List is its diverse cast of characters and inclusion of sensitive subjects into a modern story of friendships, family, kindness, and acceptance.

Although the book is about de...more
Becky
What an enjoyable, quirky read! At first I thought that this book would mainly be about teenagers finding romance but I was wrong. While there was an aspect of the book since that was what she put on her wrap-up list, this book was about so much more. We really get to know Gabriela and watch her grow up and try to figure out what Death's weakness is. I wanted to keep reading to find out what was going to happen to Gabriela on her departure day. There are moments that are laugh out loud funny. Ga...more
Angela C
(Actual rating: 2.5 stars)

The Wrap-Up List is a weird combination of slapstick humor and the weighty subjects of death, war, and racism. Arntson’s endeavor to write a story that’s both funny and touching is an admirable one, but it’s not entirely successful.

I think the story would have been worked better if it committed to being either comedy or drama instead of trying to be both. Individually, the scenes are great – the funny moments literally made me laugh out loud, and the serious parts moved...more
Alissa Bach
This one has been on my to-read list for a while now (it was recommend to me...last Summer, I think) and I just now got around to it. Glad I finally did. A very quick read. Not even 200 pages. But deep despite its brevity. The Wrap-Up List explored such intense topics as friendship, family, morality, life, death, and what happens afterward. It was unique and enjoyable.

There's a war on, and, because deaths are increasing, departures are also increasing. Departures are when a person is selected at...more
Diane Ferbrache
A strange little book -- in Gabriela's world, everyone goes about their lives waiting until they get a letter from a Death (there are apparently several of them). At that point, everyone makes a "wrap-up list" (think - Bucket List) and prays for a 'pardon' until the day they are escorted into the afterlife.

I was a bit confused by this book. Sometimes it's a coming of age story of teens just trying to figure out their purpose in life. Sometimes it's a moral tale about love, wishes and life's purp...more
Shannon Grieshaber
As you can see from my shelves, Steven Arntson touches lots of bases in The Wrap-Up List. In this world, 1% of deaths occur as a result of Departure. A Death (there are several of them with their own personalities, kind of like superheroes - except they do not save you; or do they . . .?) delivers letters to those 1% who have been selected. The selected then have a matter of days to "wrap-up" their lives and prepare for Departure. When Gabriela is selected, she makes her "wrap-up list" (think bu...more
Nrmartini
I read many, many YA books and have been doing so for well over twenty years. It is not often that a story comes along that is actually different from the heaps being produced. The Wrap-up List had me saying "whoa!" as well as "wow" and "brilliant idea!" I lost count of the number of times I had to find someone to talk to as I delved into this fictional, yet realistic world. Guessing the eventual outcome of the novel was not difficult, but this is a story that is definitely about the journey and...more
Phoebe
Gabriela's doom descends upon her the day she receives a departure letter, informing her that she has seven days left to live. She is barely 16, and isn't quite ready to go. Nevertheless, she begins working on her Wrap-Up List. Her friend Iris, who knows more than almost anyone about Deaths and the complex processes of departing, wants Gabriela to ask for a Pardon, a chance to go later instead of now. This is a tricky business and must be handled carefully. While the premise of the book is inter...more
Claudia
Hmmm -- Gabriela lives in a different USA than we do...we are at war with some unnamed African country; we have shut our borders. The draft has been reinstated, and young men are not allowed to even finish high school before leaving.

And then there's the procedure of 'departures' and 'departing.' One percent of the deaths are summons. A letter arrives and one has a week to get affairs in order, write one's wrap-up list, and hope to oursmart one's personal "Death".

Gabriela receives a dreaded lett...more
Shlea Thé
What the heck did I just read.

The summary plot for this novel seemed to have potential and actually interested me! Boy, was I proven wrong. The writing was fine, but the descriptions were HORRENDOUS. Seriously, what.the.heck. The descriptions on EVERYTHING was pathetic! Death is apparently an eight feet tall, silver figure with gills on the side of his/her face? Not only that, Death goes out to get coffee and seems to be floating around everywhere....I am astounded by the stupidity of it. Furthe...more
Annie Oosterwyk
This story was a lot to take in. It follows a group of four friends who are in high school. Set in the near future of the US, we are about to engage in a war against Africa and the draft is active. The main character, Gabriela, receives a letter from her Death, Hercule, (1% of all deaths are pre-planned) and she is given the opportunity to write a "wrap up list" to set her affairs in order.
The plot winds toward the departure date sharing various characters' emotional and philosophical insights...more
Violetinkpen
To me this book was fast paced. Usually this is a good thing; plots with too many slow parts tend to loose interest along the way. But this was too fast. I felt rushed reading it like everything leading up to the climax was just a tiny detail unimportant to the overall story. Characters and concepts weren't introduced to you so much as thrown at you. I was shocked by how fast it all was and thinking back there were so few interesting things to make it a good book. I feel like I went to take a bi...more
Rebecca
Although seeming to lack cell phones and computers, sixteen-year-old Gabriela’s world is just like ours—with one other major exception. One percent of the population does not die, but ‘departs’ when summoned by one of the many supernatural Deaths who walk freely in the world. When summoned, the departee is given a few days to prepare, including the writing of a ‘wrap-up list’ of things they want to achieve before their death. When Gabriela is summoned, the one thing on her wrap-up list that she...more
Alexa
(Originally posted on the blog)

The premise of this story is really a very interesting one - what would you do if you were told Death were going to come for you and that you only had a certain amount of time to do all the things you wanted to do in your life? This state of affairs is precisely what sets the story of The Wrap-Up List into motion, inviting readers to explore this strange notion as it happens to Gabriela.

What really made this story interesting to me is the idea of death by “departur...more
Bookworm1858
Source: Received an ARC through Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.

In a future world, some people receive a letter from a Death, calling them to their death at a predetermined time. That person then gets to write a wrap-up list of what they want to finish before they go to the afterlife as well as try to request a pardon. Gabriela is sixteen when she receives hers and flippantly writes a list that can be seen on the cover as she scrambles with her friends to thwart death. But as the da...more
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