Alexa's Reviews > The Summer of Firsts and Lasts

The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy
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Apr 04, 12

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Read from April 01 to 04, 2012

The book. Was so. GOOD.

And then the last thirty or so pages ruined it all.

It could've been a five-star book, if it had ended properly. If you were to chop off the last thirty pages, it'd be four stars. As it is, three stars will have to do.

The ending of The Summer of Firsts and Lasts was one of those book endings where you keep expecting something to change, some new twist to pop up and make everything okay. And then it just doesn't.

Let's start at the beginning, though. The three girls' stories are each amazing in their own way, though you're left a little lost on Daisy's and Violet's, at first. I wish the book had begun just a little bit earlier in time, so we could see Daisy meet Joel and Violet's initial reaction to James's presence in greater detail.

So, each of the girls in turn:

Calla- I loved Calla. I really did. I expected her to be the stereotypical, responsible older sister and while she is responsible and she did love her sisters with a fierceness that every oldest-of-the-sisters is supposed to have, she's so unique in the way she goes about it. And I love how she was named after the camp. She's just so CAMP. Not sickeningly rah-rah Camp Spirit type CAMP, but she is just CAMP. She loves Camp Callanwolde. And while I really felt sorry for her when you were supposed to be happy for her - she could've been out with Duncan as a counselor instead of stuck in the office - I loved everything she did. Having mentioned Duncan, let's move on to him. DUNCAN. DUNCAN. DUNCAN DUNCAN DUNCAN. I loved him, and I loved how Calla loved him. I did not think it was at all pathetic how she fawned over him summer after summer. I thought it was freakin' ADORABLE. Duncan was what could have made this a five-star book.

Violet- I adored Vivi too, actually. I wish we'd gotten more detail about her writing - is she passionate about it? I got the feeling that she was.. but we never got to see her writing past the initial explanation she writes about the sisters' nicknames for each other. I really liked that bit. It was a painfully obvious, though necessary, author's technique to explain the nicknames the sisters had for each other throughout the book, and Violet addresses the three-flowers-bouquet-blossomed-haha-so-funny-GET-OVER-IT quite nicely. Throughout the book I sensed Violet's need to get out of Calla's shadow of authority, her need to be independent. I didn't really get her attraction to James, though. He never really TALKED. And when he did, he sounded creepy. But she just adores him, and I wish we'd seen why.

Daisy- Yay! While I was initially full-on in love with Calla's story (In love with best friend? Sucks me in, time after time) by the end of the book I was most fascinated by Daisy. She is incredibly strong, both physically and mentally. I can't run for my life - if the time comes where I have to outrun a bear to survive, well then, GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD - but Daisy can run LIKE A BOSS. She made me feel empowered, because SHE was empowered. And I loved how she called things "yes" like it was an adjective. It just made me feel so "yes." Daisy is all about empowerment, and "yes" is empowerment.

In short, the girls were fantastic. The storylines involving the boys were, for the most part, a tragic mess. SO much more could have been done there. Whenever there was a moment where Calla and Duncan were together, I lapped it up like a dog. However, the NUMBER of those moments could have been much greater. There should have been more James, and Joel was just useless. Daisy was awesome enough all by herself.

So, yeah. Fabulous book overall, until, as I said, the last thirty or so pages. A little slow-moving, though. If I were the type of person to just put books down, like they're INANIMATE OBJECTS or something, I probably would not have been able to push through it, but I did. I just wish that it had ended properly, that McVoy had given Cow, Vivi, and Dizzy the ending they really deserved.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Maggie I agree completely!!!! I loved the girls, and they deserved more, I think. The ending was disconcertingly abrupt. I turned the last page thinking/hoping there was more, but, no, there was not.


Amanda I felt the same way. If it were a trilogy, then it would have been great because the next two books could satisfy my need to know more. But instead, there really is no resolution to anything. It just ended.


message 3: by Ilana (new) - added it

Ilana This is so true. I felt like with the boys there was either unnecessary scenes with them or not enough descriptive scenes that made the girls change character. Sorry it's hard to describe. At first I was going to abandon this book, but I sought it through. The ending was funky I didn't really enjoy it nor did I think it was appropriate for the book.


message 4: by Ilana (new) - added it

Ilana This is so true. I felt like with the boys there was either unnecessary scenes with them or not enough descriptive scenes that made the girls change character. Sorry it's hard to describe. At first I was going to abandon this book, but I sought it through. The ending was funky I didn't really enjoy it nor did I think it was appropriate for the book.


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