Laurel Osterkamp's Reviews > The Last Summer

The Last Summer by Ann Brashares
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Nov 04, 07


The Last Summer (of You & Me), by Ann Brashares (the author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series) is an adult novel which tells the story of three friends/siblings: Paul, Riley, and Alice. Each is in their early twenties, and like the generation they belong to, they’re still on the cusp between childhood and adulthood, trying to figure out who they are and their relationships with each other and the rest of the world.
Riley is especially immature; at twenty-five she still makes a career out of being a lifeguard and has yet to enter into any sort of romantic relationship. But she’s always been the leader, encouraging her sister Alice and her best friend Paul to cling to childhood traditions and to reject the pretentiousness of adult pleasures. Because they love her they agree, but everything becomes more complicated when Paul and Alice fall in love. Guilt compels them to keep their relationship hidden from Riley. However, when Riley becomes seriously ill the strength of their love is tested, and the bonds both of family and friendship are put into question.
“The idea of love is always easier than the practice of it.’ Brashares states this towards the end of her story, and by the time she does so, it’s almost unnecessary. The entire novel is a beautiful, lyrical testament to the complexities of all sorts of love, yet never is the reader made to feel manipulated nor pandered to. Instead, the characters, their thoughts, and their relationships are built up and described so lovingly, that the book and its subject matter become one and the same: like the summer it describes, this novel is at once beautiful and fleeting. It’s impossible to put down, but at the same time you’ll want to cling to it, to draw it out and not let it end. After you do, you’ll promise yourself you won’t forget the way it made you feel, even though you know that (unfortunately) you will, all too soon.
That’s okay. Unlike summers, books can be relived, over and over and over.
This is one you’ll want to visit again for sure.
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Patricia I haven't read all of the book yet but i was hoping that you or someone could feel me in and tell me about what happens after chapter 10 . I am in high school and need to write an essay by tomorrow . HELP !


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