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The Wrap-Up List

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3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  430 ratings  ·  131 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 — 185 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 523 books — 2,408 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,590)
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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
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 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
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.
Katie H
The book The Wrap Up List by Steven Arntson is about a girl named Gabriela who is 16. Her country is about to go to war, and her friend Raahi has just gotten a draft letter, and all of their friends: Ivy, Sarena, and Gabriela herself, are all upset about it. But when Gabriela receives a letter from a Death, Hercule, she finds she only has a week left to live, and she knows she has to get a pardon. Each Death has a Noble Weakness. If the receiver of the Death letter finds out their Death's Noble ...more
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
Jenna
I read this book in one sitting. It is bright, thoughtful, beautifully distilled and wonderfully compelling.
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
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
Sami C
Interesting plot. Not sure which decade this was set in because it seemed like it was in the 80s, but also not.

Gabriela Rivera receives a letter from a Death, Hercule, informing her she is to depart in a week. Departures make up 1% of fatalities in the world. Yes, this book has a slight fantasy twist to it. She creates a sort of immature wrap up list that consists of her wishing for first kisses for her virginal friends and herself, and a pardon from death.

To be honest, I got a little lost and c
...more
Lex N.
Gabriela receives her departure letter at age sixteen, and she has a week to wrap-up her life goals. But there is one way to cheat death: a pardon. Gabby and her friends will stop at nothing to get one for her.
I personally really enjoyed this book. It made me laugh out load, and it made me cry. It is one of the most powerful books I have ever read. It really touched me. I would recommend this book to any boom lover, as it has little sprinkles of everything.
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
Joseph Sanchez
This was a humorously touching book. The author creates a very different setting in which war is approaching. One percent of the population is ritualistically taken by Death. In this story a sixteen year old is selected to be escorted to her death. However, there is a slight chance that if she can find the specific weakness of her escort, she may be pardoned and return to her life. The plot twists around the last days of life for the protagonist and her close friends and family. The main charact ...more
Sarah
16 year old Gabriela received her Death letter. She has until Wednesday to wrap up her her life goals before her Death arrives to escort her to the afterlife. There is only one way out-a Pardon.
I sort of liked this book. It got kind of boring at times.The end was good, though. I don't recommend this to people who like action packed booKS like me.
Alie M
In concept, The Wrap-Up List is a very nice novel: its cover (from front to back) is absolutely beautiful, and the blurb promises an intriguing coming-of-age story tinged with tragedy and fantasy.

But, when I read it, the magic ended there.

From the first chapter, I couldn't get past something that is also an issue in other books I've read recently ( The Maze Runner , specifically), and it's a nearly unforgivable sin for a published author: a tell-don't-show writing style. I know this book is mean
...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
Saleena Davidson
Wrap-up List is kind of an alternate universe book.....in this universe, you can be randomly contacted by a grim reaper type creature, they call "Deaths" but that each have separate identities. If you are contacted, you get one week to wrap up your earthly concerns, as well as clues to their "fatal weakness" in the hopes of being pardoned. Gabriela is only 16, and stunned to get her letter....so while she is researching how to get a pardon, she is also trying to get her list accomplished...most ...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
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