Book Review: Lily Bennett’s Bucket List by Katherine Dyson

Posted September 9, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 46 Comments

Lily Bennett’s Bucket List
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

by Katherine Dyson
Publication Date September 9, 2022
Published by HarperCollins UK
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Genres: Fiction / Family Life / General, Fiction / Friendship, Fiction / General, Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / General, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy, Fiction / Women
Pages: 384
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

The most life-affirming and uplifting debut you will read this year. Perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Fiona Gibson and Clare Pooley.

What would Lily Bennett do?

This is the question Lydia Grey finds herself repeatedly asking ever since she discovers Lily’s bucket list at the bottom of her shopping trolley. Lily clearly knows how to live life and it’s about time Lydia started to live hers. And what better start than to tick off all Lily’s life-long dreams . . .

1. Ride a horse
2. Jump off the 10m diving board
3. Climb a mountain
4. Go camping
5. Ride a rollercoaster
6. Learn to surf
7. Go stargazing
8. Get a tattoo
9. Do the scariest thing you can think of

After all, how hard can it be to complete the list?Except number nine means that Lydia must open herself up to her past to move on with her future . . .

Lily Bennett’s Bucket List by Katherine Dyson is a fun romantic comedy with a friends-to-lovers trope that I enjoyed very much.  This uplifting and heartwarming story is sure to steal your heart. 

When Lydia Grey meets her ex-husband and his new girlfriend in the shopping center, her heart is once again shattered.  Ex husband, Adam was the love of her life, and she never saw the end coming.  Now, back single again, every date she’s been on has been a disaster.  When she spies Adam and his new girlfriend in the store she ducks out but finds a “bucket list” at the bottom of a shopping trolley.  Determined to change the trajectory of her life, she vows to complete Lily’s bucket list.  

After meeting Jake on a dating app, they decide to meet in person at a pub, the first thing he notices is the bright pink bucket list that Lydia has been studying.  He immediately assumes that Lydia is the Lily of the bucket list, and Lydia doesn’t correct him.  They decide the stay friends only, and he agrees to help her complete the bucket list.  But as they complete each item on the list, they grow closer and closer together.  

I enjoyed the bucket list tasks very much.  Since it wasn’t Lydia’s list to begin with, she wasn’t fully attached to the tasks on the list, so it was hilarious to see her trying to do things she didn’t really want to do in the first place.  Jake was a wonderful partner for her tasks.  Jake is also hiding something and he’s reluctant to start a relationship.  This is a slow-burn romance, with two reluctant participants, who become friends long before they become lovers.  

I have mixed feelings about the actual premise of the book.  Lydia doesn’t tell Jake that she isn’t Lily Bennett until much later in the book.  I’m not a fan of relationships that start out with deception, and I thought that she didn’t have a great reason for not telling Jake who she really was early on in the book.  I also wondered how she was able to keep her real identity secret from Jake for such a long time.  

However, deception aside, I really liked Lily and just adored Jake.  Together they made a believable and lovely couple and I was rooting for them throughout the book.  

I recommend Lily Bennett’s Bucket List to anyone who enjoys romance and women’s fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Katherine Dyson

Katherine Dyson studied Creative Writing at the University of Leeds and worked as a marketing copywriter and a greeting card verse writer for over fifteen years before finding her way back to fiction. These days she works as a teaching assistant in a reception class by day, and by night she writes uplifting stories about love, everyday heartbreak, and the common joys and fragilities which make us human.

Katherine lives on the outskirts of Barnsley with her husband, two children and two belligerent cats. When she's not writing you'll find her merrily eating cake, swearing at her sewing machine or taking eight million photos of a really good sky out of her bathroom window.

Have you read Lily Bennett’s Bucket List? Do you want to?

46 responses to “Book Review: Lily Bennett’s Bucket List by Katherine Dyson

  1. I have Austen on the brain or I’m more tired then I thought as I read this as Lizzie Bennett multiple times! I love a friends to lovers book!

  2. This sounds interesting. Love that bucket list. I think I wouldn’t have issue in completing at least half of the things on that list. Great review!

  3. This sounds like a wonderful story, Wendy. The friends to lovers trope is one I enjoy and having a bucket list myself, that is also intriguing. Interesting that the author chose deception as an aspect of the story though. Great review.

  4. This sounds exactly like my kind of book (except the deception part), I love bucket list fiction books. Going to add to my list and see if it’s at my library 🙂

  5. It always seems unnecessarily risky to me to begin a relationship without being honest – especially about the most basic of facts such as your name. I’d probably have a little niggle about that but otherwise it does sound like a lot of fun. Excellent review!

  6. This books sounds like a ton of fun. I love the idea of tackling a bucket list. I agree with the deception part but I’m glad you were able to root for them at the end. Great review Wendy!

  7. Jenny+McClinton

    There is no need to lie, but the bucket list sounds fun, and nice it leads to romance, great review 😊

  8. That is a little weird that she didn’t tell him who she really was earlier. I mean, why did she feel a need to lie in the first place? But the whole bucket list adventure sounds like fun.

  9. Wendy your reviews are not good for my bulging TBR list! Wonderful review on a book with such an intriguing premise. I will try and find a copy at the my library. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Joanna @ TheGeekishBrunette

    Great review! I don’t like when relationships start off with deception either. It usually ends up being nonsense drama lol.