Quinn makes lists for everything, from “Things That I Would Never Admit Out Loud” to the boys she thinks are hot, in ascending order. She writes them all down in her journal, her way of not having to deal with these thoughts in real life. Until her journal goes missing and an anonymous blackmailer threatens to make her lists public. To prevent the truth getting out? She needs to complete everything on her to do list and face up to the secrets she’s been keeping.

I’m so mad. And when I get this mad, I cry. And if I let it get too far, I ugly cry. It’s truly, truly unfortunate.

This was an adorable romance with a side helping of serious topics. I guess it’s been compared to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before but I liked this one a lot more. Quinn’s to do list gets leaked, which in itself includes the fact that she lied about getting into Columbia, something she doesn’t want to admit to her parents. The boy who lost her journal offers to help her with her tasks, even though they are hostile to each other at the start.

Quinn attends a school where the majority of students are white, and racism plays a part in several events. Her father has his own issues with race to face, when he first spots Carter in his house he reacts as if he’s a criminal. Quinn never has black friends over, and despite being black himself, he still has underlying prejudices.

She also has to come to terms with disappointing her parents and facing her grandmother’s dementia. She is scared of not being recognised, but is that fear worth missing out the remaining time they have together?

Maybe I would have had the courage to do the list on my own, but I wouldn’t have had nearly as much fun as I did conquering my fears with my friends by my side.

By ticking off her to-do list, Quinn makes new friends, has some fun and learns some life lessons. I felt this had a little bit in common with Ace of Spades which I read immediately before this, but Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry is completely opposite in tone, and I highly recommend for an uplifting read.

20 Books of Summer

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