Thirty to Sixty Days / Alikay Wood / Book Review

Hattie Larken is a girl who doesn't like to face the truth. She's a compulsive liar, after all, ready and willing to spin ridiculous stories to get what she needs -- and to make her life much more exciting in the process. Her actual life is just a waiting game. She can't wait to get out in the real world, launch her art career, and repay her mother for everything.

But then Hattie finds out she's dying. Imminently. With a prognosis of thirty to sixty days left in her life, Hattie decides not to wallow in a hospital wing, no matter what the quarantine mandate would prefer. If she's going out of this world, she's going out in her own way. And she's taking her hospital mates with her. They've got nothing to lose.

Steal a boat and head to Miami? No problem. Sneak into a concert and meet a pop legend? Absolutely. Acquire an endangered turtle -- why not? And if they happen to become Internet sensations -- and raise a fair bit of money for Hattie's mom -- in the meantime, well, there's no problem with that. 


This book was unexpectedly fun! It's not a book meant to be taken seriously, and that's part of what makes it great. We're here for a good time, not a long time, and every turn this book takes is more ridiculous than the last.


  • Confidence: There's something about a character who is extremely self-confident that just helps a book stand out. Hattie doesn't really have any reason to believe in herself, but if nobody else is going to believe in her, she might as well be the one! She takes charge from the beginning, from ridiculous lies she tells about herself to even more ridiculous schemes she concocts. Everything about her is over-the-top in a great way. 
  • Bioweapons: I know this book is marketed as a "madcap" adventure, but for some reason, I wasn't really expecting biological weapons to be a part of this whole scenario. It was an unexpected surprise... and also a welcome one. What's more horrifying than flesh-eating-amoeba-infested Floridian swamps? Those same swamps full of the worst bioweapons humanity can create. If there's one thing that will really let you let loose in your end days, I guess it's that, right? 
  • Troubled Trio: These kids come together because they have to. They're in quarantine together. They're the only ones who know what they're going through. But that doesn't mean they have to get along right off the bat. They're vastly different as individuals. They clash a lot and for very good reason. Though they have an unsteady sort of truce as things go on, that doesn't keep them tension-free. And I like that. Even if you're all facing down your last days on earth, you don't have to be stuck liking each other, too!


  • Colloquial: This wasn't a constant problem, but it was nonetheless something that would strike me (often at the worst of times). Every once in a while, it felt like the author was, perhaps, trying a touch too hard to be relevant to the youths. The phrasing was too colloquial, too "youthful" (in a way that doesn't, exactly, seem youthful). It was a breaking of the fourth wall that wasn't intentional at all, and it definitely disrupted the story from time to time. 
  • Logistics: This is a book that requires a lot of suspension of disbelief. It's very fun. Don't get me wrong. But it doesn't hold up under any sort of scrutiny. This isn't something that you could casually think, as the story goes along, "oh, yeah, that could happen!" This definitely couldn't happen. These kids are runaways, but they've got phones with them. Their phones can't be pinged? Their card purchases can't be tracked? They can steal a ship and just automatically know how to navigate to where they want to go? It's a wild romp, and it's a fun one if that's your thing. If you like logical consistency, this might not be the book for you. 
  • Land of Invaders: I was in it for the ride, alright? Viral social media posts, a rare turtle, getting held hostage in the backroom of a thrift store: I was fine with it all. It was ridiculous, sure, but I didn't mind. The one thing I just couldn't wrap my head around was this game. There's a lot of money in this TTRPG, it seems, and trying to wrap my head around how, why... It was the straw that broke the camel's back, okay? A tabletop game gambling ring was too far. It felt stupid, but then again, I don't think I'm the primary audience for this book. That audience might think this is the cherry on top. 



Fans of Wendy Heard's Dead End Girls will enjoy this madcap, ride-or-literally-die adventure. Those who loved John Green's Paper Towns will love the ridiculous twists and turns of this end-of-the-line trip. 


Publisher: Amulet Books
Date: June 20, 2023
Series: N/A
Add to Goodreads

Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.


  1. This sounds so creative! I'm a sucker for sick lit and this seems like a fun twist on the genre - something that'll make you laugh rather than just cry haha. Great review!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your book review! It sounds like a good one!

  3. This sounds like such a fun read! Wonderful review!

  4. Oh wow, this sounds like a lot of fun - The Bucket List film was good but it starred older people, this is a great twist with some more relatable characters.

  5. Oh what a fun (but also sad!) concept. Very interesting!

    Corinne x

  6. This definitely sounds like a fun read, despite the topic!

  7. Great review. I love a confident main character, I can see why it stood out!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Sky's End / Marc J. Gregson / Book Review

Most Ardently: A Pride & Prejudice Remix / Gabe Cole Novoa / Book Review

Best and Worst of 2023