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The Last Forever

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  839 ratings  ·  154 reviews
Endings and beginnings sit so close to each other that it’s sometimes impossible to tell which is which.

Nothing lasts forever, and no one gets that more than Tessa. After her mother died, it’s all she can do to keep her friends, her boyfriend, her happiness from slipping away. And then there’s her dad. He’s stuck in his own daze, and it’s so hard to feel like a family when
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Simon Pulse
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This book was sort of all over the place for me. I couldn't really connect with the MC because her narrative was such a jumble.

I was hoping for some serious swoons, Henry seemed to have so much promise. Alas, I was a bit disappointed in that aspect. In fact, it all of the relationships just didn't really make sense to me. I feel like we didn't get enough of a meeting between anyone before they were all BFFs.

I can definitely see the appeal, I'm sure a lot of people will enjoy the journey that T
Jenni Arndt
I really don’t even feel like I can effectively review this book because all I want to do is flail all over the place and shove it in people’s faces so they read it too. This book was absolutely perfect for me, I picked it up on a Saturday morning and before I knew it I was halfway through and dreading the book ending. This book is emotional, this book is funny and this book is engrossing.

We meet our MC Tess as she is grieving the recent loss of her mother to cancer. She is living with her fath
Jamie-leigh Haughn
I was sent this book by Simon and Schuster for review a few months ago and I finally got to it!

I went in to this book not knowing what to expect and I really enjoyed it! I was expecting the story to be an epic love story, but it wasn't at all. It really focuses more on family and personal growth. This is something that I usually don't enjoy but I really like the way this one was handled. The book had a bit of a slower start and parts of the beginning were a bit hard to follow, but once you get u
Check out more of my reviews at Singing and Reading in the Rain!

When I found this on my Kindle library, possessing no previous knowledge of where or when I downloaded it, I decided to start reading, even though it seemed like a long shot after the first few chapters. However, still I journeyed on, and still found nothing too special about this book.

Tess was way too focused on the romance, overall. The book centered around two things: the romance and her efforts to try to keep a pixieball alive.
Ladybug Lynn
One of the best books about grief and loss and recovery. Tessa's grief over her mother's death is raw and real. As someone who also lost her mother after a long illness, I can testify that the book is true to life. At times, gut wrenching difficult to read but beautifully written and ultimately hopeful. The love story is not what you would expect and the book was so much richer for that aspect of it. Loved ever page even as cried through most of it.
Actual rating: 3 stars.

Tessa is a teenager dealing with the recent death of her mother from cancer. She's depressed. She doesn't know what to do. Her father is addicted to weed and alcohol. He isn't coping well at all, and he isn't being a father figure for Tessa. All Tessa wants to do is just get through each day, and taking care of Pix, her mother's plant that her mother took care of her entire life. And then one day her father says they're going on a trip: an epic road trip that should be ev
Lory Blanco
This book was magical. There were so many elements to this book that I just loved so much. We have the main character Tess, who has recently lost her mother and she is trying to deal with the grief and guilt of it. One day her father decides he wants to go on a road trip and they leave their lives behind and embark on this journey. But soon she finds herself on this tiny island where her father grew up. Here she meets Henry Lark. And she immediately feels a connection to him. I loved their rela ...more
Leah Wolff
I have absolutely fallen in love with this book. Deb Caletti is a wonderful author, but sometimes her books can be a little hit or miss. This one is a definite hit and has quite possibly taken the spot of my favorite Caletti book. Yeah, it's that good. I read it in about 6 hours just because I couldn't put it down.

I think I loved it so much because Tessa was so relatable, at least to me. It's like I was reading about myself. She could be really sensitive and then sarcastic, but all around just r
"My home is yours for as long as you want it to be. But are you running, Tess?"
"Running away can also be running to."

What a great great story. I found Tess to be quirky but hilarious. I thought she was snarky but WOW, the life she was handed was tough so I think she earned her sass. I loved her humor and her thoughts, her pain and her need to hold on to her mom and the memory.

But I also understood her anger. Her dad abandoning her (even though I saw his reasons too.) This was so well done. I nev
Savannah (Books With Bite)
Given the chance I read Deb Caletti books all day. Her books are so well written and have so much in store for the reader! I just love them.

Plot: This is about a girl who’s life is changed in an instance. Nothing seems the same so her dad drives her across country on a whim. I can tell you that this story pulls you in immediately. You feel the plot so sad, so wanting to break out of the mold. The plot moves at a steady pace allowing the reader the right moments to immerse themselves in the story
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Simon Pulse and Edelweiss.)
17-year-old Tessa lives with her father after her mother died of cancer, and they still haven’t really learned how to live with just the two of them.
When her father than wants to go on a crazy road-trip to the Grand Canyon, Tessa has to go, and takes with her ‘Pixiebell’, a plant that was her grandfathers, which her mum looked after. Unfortunately though, Pixiebell starts to l
I liked Tess. I liked her dad and the fact that he was allowed to have a total crisis while still very clearly loving his daughter. I liked the complicated journey their grief took them on. I liked the fact that her mother's death lived in her heart and in the heart of this book without everything becoming maudlin. It felt like a very real grief, one that will always ache when you poke at it, but not always in a bad way.

Really, I was with this book up until the reveal. Not that it was a surpris
3.5 stars

The motif of motherless daughters has been well mined by YA authors over the years. Whether dead mothers or absent, either physically or emotionally, we have seen this thread before.

But perhaps we have not seen it quite as it is presented here.

Tessa's mother died of cancer about a year ago, and during those intervening months, she has realized that there is no such thing as "forever." Everything changes. Her relationship with her boyfriend isn't what it once was - not that it ever was a
Trish at Between My Lines
The Last Forever is a book about the grief and the endless, never-ending journey you go through after the loss of a parent. However while the subject was intense, I never fully connected with the characters and just didn’t feel it.

First line of The Last Forever:

“In those early months, when the beautiful and mysterious Henry Lark and I began to do all that reading, I often skimmed over the name. “

My Thoughts on The Last Forever:

I didn’t hate this book, I just didn’t enjoy it. If I have to sum up
Unexpectedly fresh characters and situations make The Last Forever stand out from the pack. This story is about life after losing a parent, the nature of love and the beauty of the everyday people in our lives. So often realistic reads are grim. The Last Forever is believable because it also includes the moments of hope and even fun that can coexist with hardship. It is both realistic and uplifting.
Kirsten Bloomberg Feldman
The Last Forever in three lines. Deb Caletti did it, after a slow start: she made me love Tess and the "pixiebell." Tess has a heavy load, what with the dead mother, the AWOL father, the sneak transplantation, the ailing responsibility, and behold, the puzzling boy, but the journey is sweet and wise. After more switchbacks than a mountain road, Caletti also pulled off an ending that both surprised and pleased me.
Following the loss of her mother, Tessa and her father take off on a spontaneous road trip that leads to unexpected places and people. Both are struggling to cope with their loss and with each other. When Tessa is left at her grandmother’s house on a small island in the Northwest, she meets Henry Lark. Tessa has a rare plant left to her by her mother that she is determined to keep alive. With the help of Henry, Tessa makes it her mission to save the plant, but they have to find out what it is fi ...more
I really liked this one. It's a great summer read--I read a Caletti book every summer, and they're always a perfect mix of light breezy plots and cute characters mixed with actual substance. Like all of Caletti's books, this one is a bit cheesy and hokey, and the characters all have kind of a lame try-hardy sense of humor, but it somehow works and seems mostly genuine.

I guessed the twist with Henry about halfway through the book (after Henry was clearly not that into Tes
I enjoyed this story but didn't love it.

In Deb Caletti's The Last Forever, Tessa is dealing with the grief of loosing her mother when her quirky but lost father decides they need to go on an impromptu road trip. Her father ends up abandoning her at Tessa's estranged grandmother's house. Both Tessa and her father have to go on a journey to absolve their guilt and grief and to mend their broken relationship.

I had a couple issues with this story. I became very annoyed with the childish behavior of
Liza Wiemer
This was a very interesting book on loss and grief and relationships. Tessa lost her mother and her father goes a little crazy - okay maybe a lot, pulling her out of school a week before it ends, dragging her 1/2 way across the country and smoking pot. He was a bit of a loser who ended up getting his act together.
Caletti integrates facts on plants for each chapter. This is because Tessa possesses a special plant—a Pixiebell—that her mother got from her father. How he obtained the plant was enlig
Well here I am, just staring at this book, kind of in shock and I kind of want to just lay down and contemplate what I've read. Maybe I'll do that for about five hours before I decide what to rate this book. That's too long, so I won't.

Okay, well I thought the beginning was kind of...I don't know...boring? Like there wasn't going to be a plot, that maybe this would be one of those feel good about love kind of books? I mean, the inside flap said "Henry may just be her one chance at forever", so I
AHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was the FIRST, that's right numero uno, to read this at my library! I got all shiny brand new and it had the new book smell. (if that's even a thing). But, Ahhhhhhh! *squeals* Deb Caletti's books are soooooooooo amazing! I haven't been disappointed yet! This was noe exception!

Although, some things weren't quite as expected...

The plot:

Beautiful, amazing, lovely, however, it was kind of like The Nature of Jade. That was fine and dandy with me however because The Natur
As always, I really enjoyed Deb Caletti's writing. Tessa was a wonderful narrator. I really was able to get into her shoes to feel her loss and guilt over the death of her mother. The supporting characters were great, too. Tessa's relationship with her father changes with her mother gone, and at first she isn't able to wrap her mind around that. She believes in the black and white "a parent takes care of the child" thought, and when this is shattered, she has a hard time coming to terms with it. ...more
Taylor Knight
I'd read one of Deb Caletti's other books, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, three months ago and I really enjoyed it. I was doubtful but I thought it was really funny and I loved the characters.
I'd actually forgotten how much I liked Honey, Baby, Sweetheart so when I started The Last Forever, I was once again doubtful. I'll never doubt Deb again!

The Last Forever is witty, emotional, and deals with some important things. The main character and her dad are working though the death of her mom and I feel
Krista Stevens
After Tessa's mom dies, her dad loses it for a while (seems to a common theme in Caletti's books - parents who cannot care for their teenage daughters in the way they should - sigh) - and dumps her at her grandmother's house three states away or so from home. Dad smokes a lot of pot and swears and is completely unaware of his daughter's own pain. Grandma, who had some falling out with Tessa's mom and dad - though the real reason doesn't seem to justify the years of silence between them all, does ...more
I’m pretty sure it means an author has a knack for characterization when she has me misty over a plant’s fate.

Tessa and her hippie dad basically run away from home, away from their grief and guilt over her mom’s death. They end up at her estranged grandma’s house in the San Juan Islands in Washington state.

The quirky small town vibe wasn’t something I’ve encountered a lot in YA, so I really enjoyed that, and I’m glad I met one of my favorite fictional librarians in Sasha, who was bossy on the ou
One of the joys of reading, for me anyway, is discovering a new character who I would like to meet in person. Tessa Sedgewick is one of those characters.

In Deb Caleltti’s The Last Forever Tessa is still dealing with the loss of her mother when her pot-smoking, pony tail-wearing, goofy father decides they should blow off work and school and go on a road trip from their home in San Bernadino, California, to the Grand Canyon. It’s only supposed to last a few days but, two months later Tess is still
Pamela Hubbard
I love Deb Caletti books...and this one was no different. The writing was poignant, the setting acted as a character, and the characters were deep and well-written. Tessa and her pot-smoking, irresponsible father embark on a spontaneous road trip as a way to deal with Tess's mothers tragic death from cancer. Tess and her father both have their demons to exorcise and their relationship to mend as they head out and end up on Parrish Island (in the San Juan's). As Tess forms a relationship with the ...more
I liked this book overall, though it disappointed some of my expectations as I was reading.

I'm not sure I was crazy about the plant descriptions at the beginning of each chapter, though it was a creative way to give snippets about each chapter--overall, I think I got used to it, but in the beginning, it just made me reluctant to start the chapter. I also wasn't a big fan of Tess self-narrating and telling you when things were going to be bad, and saying "we're not at that part yet"... although I
Christy (TheReaderBee)

The Last Forever is the very first novel that I’ve read by Deb Caletti. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this author, so I was super excited to get started on this book.

After being forced to go on a spontaneous road trip by her grieving father, Tess ends up in her grandmothers small town of Parrish Island. Even though she feels lost and alone, especially after her dad deserts her, she starts to feel welcome in this small town. With the help of the people she meets along the way, she lear
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Henry and Elijah 4 15 Jun 11, 2014 10:22PM  
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Deb Caletti is an award winning author and National Book Award finalist. Her many books for young adults include “The Nature of Jade,” “Stay,” “The Story of Us,” and "Honey, Baby Sweetheart," winner of the Washington State Book award, the PNBA Best Book Award, and a finalist for the PEN USA Award. Her tenth book with Simon & Schuster, “The Last Forever,” released in April 2014. Her first book ...more
More about Deb Caletti...
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“Usually, I set one foot in a library and I feel my own internal volume lower. A library is a physical equivalent of a sigh. It’s the silence, sure, but it’s also the certainty of all those books, the way they stand side by side with their still, calm conviction. It’s the reassurance of knowledge in the face of confusion.” 4 likes
“True love, the good, beautiful, one-and-only kind, the kind between loving friends and family and partners who are mostly just trying hard to do their best, it manages to overlook some pieces of its story. It overlooks what he can’t give you or how she failed you or what mistakes he made when he was struggling. It stays steady at its center. It evolves, through drought and storm. It grows. It survives.” 4 likes
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