Cover Image: The Throwback List

The Throwback List

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Member Reviews

Estranged friends, jealous former classmates, and a bucket list that unites them. (Lol! I like that for a movie teaser don’t you?)

The Throwback List by Lily Anderson is a contemporary novel about three young women in their twenties who working out who they are and what their next step in life will be. The catalyst for The Throwback List adventures is Jo Freeman, who returns home to Sandy Point, Oregon after being laid off from her social media manager position in California. She enlists her former best friend, Autumn and her former enemy/high school competition Bianca along with Bianca’s husband and Autumn’s brother to help her complete her old throwback list while she is in town.

Friendships And Changes
This book touches on how old friendships from one stage of your life either evolve, end or become stagnate. I’m sure many can relate to the transition from high school to college being one of finding new friends, embracing parts of your identity that you had previously shunned and moving onto new interests. And also knowing that the gap left between high school friendships and present-day adulting can be a challenge to repair at times.

Making Lemonade With Lemons
One thing all of the main characters have in common is that they had plans for their life to go in one direction, but in of course goes in another. I think right now especially, we can all relate to that. I like how the characters work through their disappointments. The Throwback List brings them together and centers joy in their lives as they work towards who they want to be as adults.

Fave Moments
I can’t spill on that because it would be a spoiler! But my fave moment is towards the end of the book and it involves two people. The rest is for you to investigate on your own. I will say that I like the banter between the friends, especially between Jo and anyone else.
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Did you have a time capsule growing up?! I definitely did and opened it recently. Wanted to be a teacher growing up and still am now. 👩‍🏫
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The Throwback List is a walk back through time for Jo. Recently laid off from her social media job, Jo ends up where she vowed she'd never be again: her hometown. Yet, it may be a blessing in disguise when she discovers a bucket list of things she wanted to accomplish with her best friend Autumn their senior year. Items such as: TP drama queen house, keg, climb an anchor and oh so much more! All in six weeks... all for a time capsule. 
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Lilly Anderson will charm readers once more with her coming of age story, The Throwback List. The story is told in three points of view and each character's storyline is interwoven. Enemies turned bestfriends and adventure is something that Anderson does best. The story started off with a bang, slowed down a bit, then ended off strong. I would recommend this story to anyone wanting a YA coming of age story or wants to read about teen friends bucket lists.
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*I was given an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.*

I've been reading a lot of non fiction lately, and was starting to get burnt out over occult books and true crime. (I know, I know). The Throwback List was EXACTLY what I needed to get me out of my reading funk. Our main character, Jo, moves back to her small beach hometown after being laid off from her job. There she finds a list she and her childhood best friend made of all the things that they wanted to accomplish. With nothing else to do and a ton of free time, Jo sets out to complete that list. While there was a little romance in this book, it was more of a feel good friend story, and as someone who sorely misses her best friends, it was like a balm to my soul. It was an easy, quick read, and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the characters, and getting to live that small town beach life, if only for a little while.

The Throwback List is set to be published on 10/5/2021.
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Having read Lily Anderson's previous YA offerings and enjoying her blend of pop culture and teen angst, it was interesting to see her foray into the lives of twenty somethings. "The Throwback List" had all of the elements that made "The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You" and "Undead Girl Gang" successful, especially the nerdy friendships with easy banter, On the other hand, the pop culture infused impulsiveness that feels natural for high schoolers didn't always resonate with the over twenty five age of this book's trio of protagonists. 

For example, Autumn, the musical teacher whose main motivation is her two best friends becoming friendly with each other, fits this personality the most naturally. But our introductory character of Jo is initially portrayed as an ambitious social media manager who aspires to be on a "most influential under 30" list. She doesn't feel as vividly characterized when she is fired from her job and then begins to take on "The Thowback List" as a spur of the moment idea to reconnect with her old self, since we weren't given a strong grounding of Jo before her firing. And Jo during her throwback list feels like she a carefree teenager acting out things like musical dance numbers and sleepovers, readers don't get to experience any real tension in her point of view. Setbacks like her job rejections or (not entirely together in the first place) breakup with her ex-girlfriend lack the emotional punch you would normally get. The one character who does manage to put some drama in an otherwise fluffy book is Bianca, whose many deferred dreams meant she probably should have been the main character. Her parts are the ones with stakes and real consequences, and we see the impact her family life has in her personality.

"The Throwback List" is still breezy and fun, an easily recommended read for someone who is looking for escapism in their reading. I would recommend it more to the younger side of twenty-somethings though, and probably offer any teens her YA focused reads, not because the new adult book has any unwanted content, but because they do seem to be a more fully realized story in regards to the characters.
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Throw ack List By Lily Anderson
Thanks to NetGalley and Hyperion Avenue for the advance reader copy of this book. 
Jo Freeman has been the running Q-CO’s social media for the past 2 years. She’s given up time with friends and family and stayed in the crappy college apartment that she’s been in for years while she waited for her promotion to Director of Digital strategy. Much to her shock Q-Co has been acquired by Fitbit and she’s out of a job. 
Forced to move home to Sandy Point, Oregon. She’s very unhappy that she has to go back to her parents house with her younger sister. For years she’s worked very hard and hasn’t been home to her old life. Her two oldest friends are not making it easy for her to become there friend again. After being home for a while she starts to find the things that she’d lost, like her friends, her relationship with her family and an old journal with a bucket list inspired by all the things other people were doing in her hometown. She begins to use her social media skills and filming her adventures and finally gets her friends on board. It was really cute and a great way to remind you not to lose where you come from.
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As someone who spent most of their twenties trying to become the person I thought I would be while in high school, this book hits close to home. While sometimes the plot was a bit predictable, it was still engaging and exciting to read.
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I love a good returning to my hometown trope, and The Throwback List delivers.  This is a pretty fun story of rekindling relationships and realizing that some things stay the same and other things were never meant to be.  It was a good time - the romance aspect is pretty minimal and the main focus is on friendships.
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After reading The Throwback List, I only have one Lily Anderson book left to read and so I am now saving it for a special occasion. As it turns out, I enjoyed The Throwback List just as much as the other books I’ve read by Anderson. It only took me a few pages to be drawn into this new adult/women’s fiction read about three young women coming of age. There are SO many praises to sing about this book.

Jo Freeman basically had her life together. She was living in the silicon valley doing marketing for a fitness app, on her way to achieving all her career goals when she’s suddenly laid off. Running out of money, Jo returns home to Sandy Point, an oceanfront town in Oregon that is on the way to the Goonies house. There she finds a list she made during her senior year of high school of all the things her town had to offer that she wanted to achieve. Turns out, she did nothing on the list. Living next door to Jo’s parents is Bianca Boria-Birdy who was valedictorian and prom queen, but not exactly someone with a lot of friends.

Bianca is running the tattoo parlor that her grandmother opened while her husband is about to open his orthodontist practice up. She is an only child but a classic only daughter. Bianca takes on the family responsibility of running the parlor even though that wasn’t originally what she wanted to do. She  also takes care of her grandmother Lita who has short term memory issues after a fall. This was the character I probably related to most — as she is such an overachiever and has trouble accepting help from others.

Meanwhile, there is Autumn who wanted to be an actress but came home to be the high school drama teacher. Autumn loves musicals and is just a bubbly delight. She would like nothing more than for her two best friends – Jo and Bianca – to also become friends with each other. The Throwback List explores how Autumn and Jo navigate being friends as adults — particularly as they kind of fell apart after Jo left Sandy Point.

There is SO much to love about Lily Anderson’s The Throwback List. I loved the actual list aspect and how Jo went about achieving the different items. The main characters are comprised of a biracial woman, a Puerto Rican woman, and a white woman — also Jo is bisexual. The characters don’t feel like cardboard cutouts but like fully realized people whom I could relate to in different ways. Also, the pacing in this book is really good. I felt like I just ended up speeding through the pages when I finally had time to sit down and read this. Don’t sleep on this book — Lily Anderson simply kills it and I can’t help but recommend it if you are looking to transition into reading books meant for adults from YA.
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The Throwback List is a multiple POV story about friendship and self-discovery. About finding out what's next for us, about questioning all the priorities others have made for us. Or having the strength to define, for ourselves, what our happiness, voice, and influence will be. I deeply empathized with Jo, who's always done things by the book. Who, suddenly, feels stuck and back to where you started again. The Throwback List examines Bianca, Jo, and Autumn's lives. They ways they are intricately intertwined. 

We see the remains of their hopes, even as we wonder if they can find new dreams. Because we can be so preoccupied with what's next, that we forget to find what's in front of us, to find the happiness in the moment. While I loved Jo - and empathized with her journey to find herself - I also enjoyed Autumn and Bianca's stories. However, even though it's multiple POV, I do feel like Jo's story took center stage with Bianca a close second. I think my only complaint with The Throwback List is that I felt like Autumn's story kind of got buried.
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Jo Freeman is awaiting her promotion with baited breath.  She's been working for a start-up in Silicon Valley and can picture her new life as an executive - it will be stellar!  That is until she is fired and must return home to stay with her parents in Sandy Point, Oregon - a place she was eager to leave as soon as she graduated high school. Crammed into her childhood bedroom, she discovers and old bucket list she made when she was a pre-teen.  She has to make amends with her ex-best friend, Autumn and her arch-nemesis Bianca Boria (great name!) before she can move on and find some satisfaction with her new life..  The Throwback List is an excellent novel about three very different women who must overcome past grievances to form new friendships to help Jo finish off her bucket list.  I enjoyed reading it very much.  This would be an excellent book club choice and a great pick for anyone who loves good books about strong women.  Thanks to Net Galley for the chance to read an ARC.
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This was a fun, relaxing book that makes for a perfect summer read or to get you out of a reading slump. There isn't a lot of plot and the characters seemed a little surface level, but it was an enjoyable read nonetheless.
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I'm a sucker for friendship-centered books. And very much enjoyed most aspects of this one. But my positive opinion of the book changed with the last 5-10%. The ending just felt very abrupt, almost like there was a chapter or epilogue missing. Unless this is going to become a series (though I haven't seen any indication that's the case...)?
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I received a complimentary copy of The Throwback List from NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

This was a fun, feel-good, redemption book.  It inspired me to pursue some of my own previous aspirations.   With romance, drama, old flames/enemies, there was definitely something for every reader to enjoy!
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A trio of thirty-somethings doing high school pranks.  Add a bit of character building and emotional bonding as they reconnect after years apart.  a light, quick story to read.
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This is an enjoyable read!  Jo left her hometown in Oregon for college and never looked back as she began to pursue her professional dreams in Northern California.  But then she gets laid off and is forced to move back home and live with her parents.  When back in her childhood bedroom, she discovers a list of goals she and her childhood best friend, Autumn, created.  Jo decides to embark on completing the list and documenting her efforts on her personal Instagram account -- a project she calls The Throwback List.  

This project leads her to reconnect with Autumn, the childhood best friend, and another former classmate, Bianca.  Jo, who never wanted to return to her hometown, is surprised by home much fun she is having with Autumn and Bianca, her family, and others in the town.  When an opportunity to leave arises, Jo must confront whether her previous life plan still applies -- or if she is willing to take another path.

I really liked this book.  It was a terrific combination of an early adulthood coming-of-age tale, a small town story, and a friendship narrative.  Recommended!
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The Throwback List is a cute, quick read about Jo who left her small town for the pull and energy of a big city with a flashy job and excitement around every corner.  But when she is forced to return back to Sandy Point, she discovers that the simplicity of true women friendship intertwined with checking things off her high school "todo" list, might be just what her soul desires. 

Thank you, NetGalley, for an advanced copy of this novel!
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This was a fun little read! It was hard to connect with both Jo and Autumn at first, and I wish Anderson had gone a bit deeper into exploring the experience that minority People of Color have in small, conservative towns (no matter how touristy they seem.) I loved the dynamics of friendship between the three main characters, although I was a little disappointed on how easily Bee folded into the previous dynamic of Autumn and Jo without acknowledging her hurts in the past. The relationship between Florencio and Jo was perfect, though, and he was definitely a character I rooted for the most! I was confused by how Lita seemed to suddenly transform at the end of the book (what, did Bee hit her over the head again to see if that brain damage really stuck?) and while I admire the attempt that was made in portraying how exhausting it is caring for an ill family member, I wish it had gone a little more in-depth. Overall, though, I enjoyed this story and will certainly be purchasing a copy for our library for the contemporary romance/ gentle readers who enjoy stories of good friendship.
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A fun, cute read that I'd recommend as an easy read for students who aren't typically interested in reading.  The social media content is good, although can become dated fast. Still, overwall good book for a new adult audience.
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Fun read of young twenty somethings who reset their lives while completing a list of challenges from their high school selves. Good discussion on perception versus reality on other people's opinions. I also enjoyed the message of posting on social media for the message not the editable content.
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I feel like I have a new group of friends after reading this, what a fun romp with heart and character!
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