Book Review–The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares

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This is the forty-first book from my 200 Book Reading Challenge.

Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com


The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares

Published January 1st, 2007

From the author of the multimillion-copy, #1 bestselling series The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants comes a heartbreaking first adult novel.

Ann Brashares’s series, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, has made her one of the most successful contemporary authors, shipping more than 8 million copies over the last five years and winning even more millions of passionate fans. Now, like Judy Blume (Summer Sisters) before her, Brashares turns her spectacular gifts to adult readers. In The Last Summer (of You and Me), Brashares uses her remarkable storytelling, emotional insights, and talent for capturing relationships to weave a rich, textured, mature novel that will resonate as clearly with readers in their forties as in their twenties.

Set on Long Island’s Fire Island, The Last Summer (of You and Me) is an enchanting, heartrending page-turner about sisterhood, friendship, love, loss, and growing up. It is the story of a beach community friendship triangle-Riley and Alice, two sisters in their twenties, and Paul, the young man they’ve grown up with-and what happens one summer when budding love, sexual curiosity, a sudden serious illness, and a deep secret all collide, launching the friends into an adult world from which their summer haven can no longer protect them.

As wise, compelling, and endearing as her Traveling Pants series, and as lyrical, thoughtful, and moving as the best literary women’s fiction, this novel is sure to win an entire new generation of adult fans.

 

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***Review may contain slight spoilers. You’ve been warned***

I really enjoyed Ann Brashares’ “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” series and was intrigued on what her other books would be like. I found this one at the thrift store a few weeks ago and decided it would make a great summer read. It wasn’t for me.

This was a hard book to get into. While the writing could be very poetic and pretty, there were times when I felt the writing just wasn’t very good–repetitious, clunky, boring. It also took me quite a few chapters to be able to like the three main characters, Alice, her older sister, Riley, and Paul, Riley’s friend and Alice’s friend/love interest. I found Riley to be the most interesting character.

I liked the beach setting in this one. There’s also another setting in New York but it doesn’t have the same feel to it as the beach one does. I think the first half of the book is better than the second. I won’t give too much away, but basically The Last Summer is about taking risks. Alice and Paul also take a risk when it comes to their relationship. I was fine with that and in fact I felt it was one of the most interesting parts of the book. What happened after actually really pissed me off.

I guess I just don’t get why someone would use such a flimsy excuse to ruin a good thing. It made me dislike Riley and Alice. Even though things ended up working out okay in the end (for some people, anyway), it still made me not enjoy the story as much as I would have if something different had happened. It just felt like a cop-out to me.

This book had a lot of potential, but it fell short for me. I’d actually give it 2.5 stars instead of just 2, but I’m not feeling generous enough to bump it up to a three. While I did like the characters for the most part, loved the setting, and most of the story (along with some good messages), it’s not a book that I will be reading again.

 

2halfstars

 

jncname

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