|The Last Summer BOOK SYNOPSIS|
Paul, Riley, and Alice grew up together through summers spent at Fire Island. While Riley and Alice's family seems perfectly happy, Paul's dad died of a drug overdose and his mom is just absent. All he has is a huge fortune left to him by his father which his Grandparents are constantly fretting over.
Enter Riley and Alice. The pair of sisters that are as different as night and day. Riley is a tomboy and only wants to spend her time outside and never grow up. Alice is the younger, beautiful, but always tag-along sister. She spends her life trying to keep up with Riley and Paul and never feeling like she's quite doing it.
The secret is - Alice loves Paul. And Paul loves Alice. But it's not until this summer that they finally admit, and act, on it. Unfortunately right at this time, Riley is diagnosed with a serious heart condition which causes Alice to feel inordinately guilty for having kept the secret of her and Paul's love from her sister.
And so the three lives converge and then break apart until things finally come crashing down around them.
|QUEENIE D SAYS|
Brashares is the author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants which is a delightful young adult series about four friends and a unique pair of pants. I loved it so I began The Last Summer with great anticipation.
And that is something I should never do. I know better than to be so excited about a book that even if it was truly the best book I'd ever read, I'd feel let down. That said, I wouldn't go as far as to describe my feelings for Last Summer as total letdown, but more, just disappointment that I didn't LOVE it the way I loved Pants.
The problem was that the plot was very serious and melodramatic but happening to a group of friends in their early twenties. I'm not so far off from that phase that I don't remember what it was like and I know for a fact that very few men or women in their early twenties think, feel, and act as gravely and grown up as Paul and Alice do. It felt out of place to me that they were so young but so old at the same time. But perhaps that was the point?
The main saving grace of this book was Riley. She is one of those perfectly rare characters whom you just can't help but love. I thought of her as Peter Pan because she never wanted anyone to grow up. While all the kids in her age group grew and matured, including Paul and Alice, Riley stays true to herself. She loves the Dolphins, plays cards instead of spin the bottle, and never wears a dress. It's only fitting that life doesn't allow her to move into true adulthood.
Overall, Brashares does an excellent job of writing the very small details about these characters and their everyday lives. I really felt I knew them when The Last Summer was finished and I definitely shed a tear for their sorrows. But I still had the nagging feeling that the story, the ages, the characters - didn't quite fit together.
|The Last Summer DISCUSSION QUESTIONS|
- Are Paul and Alice believable characters or do they seem too old for their age?
- Riley was the eternal child. Did it seem fitting to you that she died in the end giving her no chance to physically grow up?
- What did you think of Ethan? Is he a good dad? A good man?
More Queenie D Book ReviewsBurning Bright, The Choice, City of Falling Angels, Comfort Food, Devil in the White City, The Friday Night Knitting Club, The Glass Castle, Gods in Alabama, House of Sand and Fog, The Last Summer (of You & Me), The Lovely Bones, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Thief Taker, Who Killed My Daughter, The Woods.
AUTHOR(S): Ann Brashares
TYPE OF BOOK: Fiction
NUMBER OF PAGES: 306
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2007
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