The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares
Published: June 5, 2007 by Riverhead
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.
This book was so dull and weighed down by wishy-washy characters and their endless deep thoughts. It was hard to care about the characters and what happens to them, because they were shells of characters to me. I bought this book because it was on sale and I was hoping for a good story about twenty-somethings from an author I like...but I think I forgot how long ago I liked the Traveling Pants books, and how I really only cared about 1 or 2 of those girls anyways.
*I didn't actually love anything in this book. These are the things that kept me reading til the end, though I admit there was some skimming.
- Alice + Paul - When they finally get together, Alice and Paul are a couple that seems like they could actually work. They make sense, and it was obviously a long time coming. I wish they were together for more of the book.
- Riley - Riley is the spontaneous and fun sister. It would be great if we got to see her with friends besides her sister and Paul. They spent every single summer on the island, shouldn't at least one of them have other friends? We are constantly told how fun Riley is, but all we see of Riley is when Alice is worrying about her. Even the chapters from Riley's point of view are dull.
- mood - This book's tone takes a lot of getting used to. It feels so contemplative and sad. The word that comes to mind is melancholy. There's so much thinking...deep thinking, introspection, etc. So much thinking and not a lot of anything else.
- characters - It's like they all want to be miserable! They just think and think about doing something they want to do, but they never act on it. It was very frustrating to read.
- plot - Unfortunately, the plot is buried deep under all of the characters' worrying and wondering. And when things do happen, the events are met by even more thinking and worrying. Every character seems so isolated and trapped in their own head, despite the fact that they are presented to us as people that have grown up joined at the hip.
- "Is there really nothing?" she asked. She fixed him with a glare, daring him to ask her what she meant. If he did, honest to God, she would punch him. - Alice pg. 115
- He wasn't actually taking something out of his house that was his, he recognized as he bunched it up in his hand and walked down the stairs and out the back door. He was taking something that he'd stolen. Two wrongs supposedly couldn't make a right, but he felt in his heart that sometimes they could. - Paul pg. 271
Too much thinking, not enough anything else. It was a struggle to care enough to finish.