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The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls

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One summer will challenge everything the Garrett sisters thought they knew about themselves—and each other.

Kat lands the lead in the community theater’s summer play, but the drama spills offstage when her ex and his new girlfriend are cast too. Can she get revenge by staging a new romance of her own?

Bea and her boyfriend are heading off to college together in the fall, just like they planned when they started dating. But Bea isn’t sure she wants the same things as when she was thirteen…

Vi has a crush on the girl next door. It makes her happy and nervous, but Cece has a boyfriend…so it’s not like her feelings could ever be reciprocated, right?

As the oldest, Des shoulders a lot of responsibility for her family and their independent bookstore. Except it’s hard to dream big when she’s so busy taking care of everyone else.

356 pages, Paperback

First published June 1, 2018

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About the author

Jessica Spotswood

16 books1,656 followers
Jess is the author of the historical fantasy trilogy The Cahill Witch Chronicles and the contemporary novels Wild Swans and The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls. She is the editor of the anthologies A Tyranny of Petticoats and The Radical Element, and co-editor (with Tess Sharpe) of Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft. Jess lives in Washington, DC, where she works for the DC Public Library as a children’s library associate. Her newest book is Great or Nothing, a World War II-era retelling of Little Women in which each March sister is written by a different author.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 230 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Joint.
445 reviews984 followers
June 3, 2018
This was just a joy to read. A perfect summer book! I'd describe it as Gilmore Girls meets Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants meets modern Little Women! I thought getting perspectives from four sisters would get confusing, but they're all so different and have their own unique voice. I feel like I got to know each one very well, and fell in love with each of them in different ways. This book is also way more diverse than some of the stories it can be compared to. The girls are all proud to be considered feminists, even if they're still learning exactly what that means to them. Plus not everyone is straight here and not everyone is white, hallelujah! Overall, a simply lovely read I got a lot of enjoyment out of. I read a lot of darker books, and this was just a welcome breath of fresh air. It has a great balance of funny and sweet moments.

Des has taken up the majority of caring for the family since her grandmother had knee surgery. She has no plans to leave town, even though she watched most of her classmates take off when they graduated. With her best friend experiencing new things without her at college, she's a little lonely. She spends all of her time at home or at the family bookstore, working her butt off but feeling a little unappreciated.

Bea has had the same boyfriend for five years, and they have a five year plan... and a ten year plan. She's on the verge of getting everything she ever wanted when she heads off to college, but she's starting to feel like she might not want the same things as she did years ago... and might not want them with her devoted boyfriend, either.

Kat has a flair for the dramatic, and lands a starring role in a play put on by the community theater. Unfortunately, her ex-boyfriend did as well... and his new girlfriend. She doesn't actually want a new romance, but maybe she could put on a personal play of her own to make her ex jealous and want her back.

Vi is out and proud of it, and is harboring a crush on the pretty girl next door... who has a boyfriend. She's convinced she's not only straight, but completely out of her league. She wants to be her friend if nothing else, and it looks like that can happen... or will it be more?

I received a copy of this book from Net Galley and Sourcebooks Fire, thank you! My review is honest and unbiased.
Profile Image for Dahlia.
Author 19 books2,393 followers
April 29, 2018
Very sweet and cute and totally see lots of Gilmore Girls parallels, if Stars Hollow had queer people and more than one person of color and everyone talked at normal speed.
Profile Image for Kristy.
1,026 reviews141 followers
June 7, 2018
The Garrett sisters are pretty used to the routine of their lives in their small town. Des, 19, is caretaker of her sisters and Arden, the bookstore left behind by their late parents. Their seventy-year-old Gram counts on her to take care of things--even more so since her knee surgery. Bea, 18, is smart, ambitious, and heading to Georgetown in the fall, along with her longtime boyfriend, Erik. Kat, 16, is their theatrical diva, whom no one really takes seriously; she recently broke up with her boyfriend, and she'd do just about anything to get him back. At fifteen, Vi is the "baby" of the family. She's quiet, sensitive, and gay. It's all worked pretty well for a while, but little do they all know: things are about to change for the Garrett girls this summer.

Jessica Spotswood said that she pitched this novel as "Little Women meets Gilmore Girls by way of Sarah Dessen," and I couldn't agree more. I didn't read this until her epilogue, and both the Little Women and Gilmore Girls pieces had already crossed my mind. This is such a lovely, charming, and touching book--I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Garrett sisters were so wonderful and engaging that as the book ended, I immediately found myself wishing there was a sequel, because I was completely immersed in their lives.

Spotswood creates some excellent, different, and completely captivating characters in these sisters. Each is unique in their own way--their own person. I loved the wonderful diverse representation in this one: "there aren't many YA books about girls falling in love," Vi says. It's so true, and how nice it is to have a well-written book where that storyline is just one of the many plots. There are some absolutely beautiful exchanges, as Vi has a crush on the girl who works at the restaurant next door, Cece. It was easily my favorite part of the book--I adored sweet Vi. I also loved how books played a such a strong role in the story--between the girls' family owning a bookstore and all of them loving books and stories in some way.

The novel itself is really about the universal themes of growing up, finding your way, and friendship and sisterhood. And love. It's so well-done and really sweet and fun. The girls seem so real, and it was quite easy to get caught up in their lives and problems. I found it quite enjoyable, even if I could guess how most things would resolve themselves.

Overall, this was a delightful novel about sisterhood and growing up. I truly wish I could have spent more time with the Garrett sisters. 4+ stars.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Netgalley in return for an unbiased review (thank you!).

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Profile Image for Stacee.
2,709 reviews703 followers
June 11, 2018
DNF at 35%

This is a case of my seeing Jessica’s name and not reading the synopsis before requesting. If I would have done that, I would have known it wasn’t for me.

What I liked: that the girls were named after Shakespeare characters, that there was a bookstore in the family, that there was a lot of diversity and representation.

What I didn’t like: 4 POVs that all sounded the same to me, that the current topics and pop culture references felt really forced.

I’m choosing not to rate this because it’s 100000% me and not the book.

**Huge thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Lauren.
1,020 reviews102 followers
June 23, 2018
The one word that perfectly sums up The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls?


Honestly, if this isn't the perfect start of summer read, I don't know what is!

My favorite thing about this book? The Garrett Girls of course! I'm always a little leery of books with multiple POVs; however, Jessica did a fantastic job of not only alternating between the girls but also making their voice's sound distinctive and completely originally. I loved that each sister was so different.

Des, the oldest, holds the "mom" role in the family. Ever since the sisters lost their mom, Des has tried her best to step into her role. She cooks, she cleans, she keeps track - it's not an easy job but she loves her sisters. Des is strong, resourceful, and hardworking. I admired what she did for her family; however, there were so many times I wished she would start living her own life a little more, stepping out of her comfort zone. The introduction of a new, potentially wild friend pushes this into play, and I enjoyed seeing the outcome.

Next up: Bea. To the outside world, she has the perfect life: a long-term boyfriend she'll most likely marry and acceptance to one of the best colleges in the country. The only problem? She's tired of it all. She doesn't want any of it anymore. She wants adventure, to find her true purpose, not to live up to everyone else's expectations of what she should be doing. I found Bea to be the most relatable out of all the girls. I think everyone's reached that point in their lives where they stop and think "wait, why am I doing this? And this really what I want?" I know I have. Over the course of the story, Bea takes some risks, makes some bold choices, and while they aren't always ideal, I gave her props. She started to take control again, no matter how messy everything became. My only compliant? I wish she would've been a bit more straightforward with her boyfriend. I felt bad for the poor guy.

Kat is the wild child. Dramatic and sassy...it's no surprise that Kat is an actress. After landing the lead role in her town's play this summer, Kat knows she should be excited, but she's letting her boy troubles get in the way. She wants revenge against her ex, but for some reason it's getting harder and harder to achieve it...At first, I wasn't the biggest fan of Kat. She seemed immature, and I wish she would let the whole ex-boyfriend thing go. He seemed like a jerk, definitely not someone to waste time thinking about. As the book continued, however, I started to like Kat more and more. She became more "human." She got involved in a "fake" relationship that became more and more real by the second, and she was scared and confused. Could she let someone back in her life in that kind of way? Also, more was revealed about her past. She's struggled with an eating disorder most of her life, and she's tired of her sisters always focusing on it.

Last but not least: Vi. Vi's the youngest. She's bookish and quiet, preferring her favorite books to the company of other's more times than none. But there's one person she'd put down her book for: CeCe. I couldn't help but root for Vi the whole way through, especially when it came to her getting the girl. Cece and Vi were adorable together. I loved how they bonded over their love of books. I also liked that Jessica spent a good amount of time developing their relationship. It started as unrequited love turned into friends and then maybe into something more. Honestly, out of all the girls, Vi was probably the strongest sister. She knew what she wanted, and even though she was used to letting her fears get in the way of her wants, she wasn't letting that get her this time. She was a cool girl, and I wanted nothing more than for her to have a happy ending.

As can be expected, the plot mainly focuses on the girls's summers. The drama, the romance, the adventure, the risks....It's what moved this book forward, but as I alluded to above, the girls are what made this book so special. I also enjoyed the shore setting. It added such a wonderful summer vibe to the story.

Overall, The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls is must read in my opinion! Funny and emotional, The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls will have a little something for everyone. My only compliant? I wish it was longer! I needed more of the Garrett's, that's for sure!

*ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Profile Image for Madalyn (Novel Ink).
495 reviews824 followers
May 28, 2018
This review originally appeared on Novel Ink.

*3.5 stars*

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls is a lovely, summery contemporary that follows a family of four sisters navigating their last summer together in their small, coastal town. Since the book features four perspectives, it feels like you’re reading four companion novels that involve the same setting and same characters, which made for a fun reading experience.

Each of the Garrett sisters brought a different vibe to this story. There’s Des, the oldest, who struggles with feeling inadequate and boring because she decided to stay in her small hometown and work in her family’s bookshop after graduation, rather than attend college. Then, there’s Bea, who realizes that the plan she made years ago– attend Georgetown with her boyfriend– now that it’s within reach, is no longer what she wants. Kat, the second-youngest sister, hatches a plan to get back at her ex-boyfriend through the community theater production they’re both involved in this summer. And finally, we have Vi, the youngest (my precious child), who harbors a not-so-secret crush on the cute girl who works next door– the only problem is, she doesn’t know whether said cute girl actually likes girls.

I related to each sister in different ways. I empathized a lot with Des, as she’s the closest to my age; Bea reminded me of my high school self; Kat shared my love of the arts; and Vi is dealing with one of the quintessential #QueerGirlProblems. That being said, I definitely enjoyed reading some stories more than others. I think Kat’s perspective was my favorite to read from, because I adored the romance she develops with one of her castmates (who, I should mention, is bisexual and Korean-American! more bi boy love interests, please!). It involves the fake dating trope, a personal fave of mine, so obviously I was hooked from the beginning. Plus, Kat works in a cat cafe, which I loved reading about. I also loved Vi’s storyline, because her romance was really, really sweet. Plus, she’s such a cinnamon roll. I just wanna protect her. Like I said, I related to Des quite a lot, but she made some pretty poor decisions that were kinda frustrating as a reader. Bea’s storyline was by far my least favorite, because 1.) I feel like, out of all the main characters, she had the least-developed personality, and 2.) it involved cheating.

The setting of The Summer of the Garrett Girls added so much charm and personality to this book! It takes place in a tiny riverside town in Maryland. The small-town vibes were strong, and they added lots of atmosphere to the story. The Garrett family owns an independent bookstore, and all the sisters work there periodically. I of course enjoyed all the scenes that took place in the book shop! I think book lovers will all appreciate the myriad literary references in Garrett Girls: first off, all the sisters are named after Shakespeare characters (Desdemona, Beatrice, Katharina, and Viola). Plus, all of the sisters love to read, and titles from across multiple genres are frequently name-dropped. I especially appreciated the A+ queer girl YA recs. Jessica Spotswood did an excellent job of giving this town unique personality while keeping a cozy feel that anyone who grew up in small-town America will find familiar.

I’ve heard this book pitched as Gilmore Girls meets Sarah Dessen, and I think that’s a great comp. The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls tackles some heavy issues, but it still reads easily and makes for a perfect summery contemporary. I’d highly recommend any contemporary lover to pick this one up!
Profile Image for dezzy.
162 reviews
November 19, 2018
5 stars.

Oh my gosh!! I don't even know how to articulate how much I enjoyed this book. It's one of the cutest and sweetest contemporaries I've ever read. 💓

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls is such an adorable, heartwarming book about sisters, family, friends, change, and stepping out of one's comfort zone. It's told in the POVs of the four Garrett sisters, and each sister has such a unique & distinct voice. (Oh, and they were all fiercely feminist & had feminist shirts. I LOVED THAT, and how diverse this book is.) I enjoyed reading Bea and Vi's points of view the most, because they were the most relatable to me.

Bea, the second oldest sister, is about to head off to college, but starts questioning about the future she's planned with her boyfriend since she was thirteen. She isn't sure she actually wants to go to Georgetown University anymore and is worried about letting her family, friends, and boyfriend (as well as herself) down. Bea's very hardworking and perfectionistic, and cares a lot about what other people think of her, to the extent that it causes her anxiety and harms her mental health. (I could relate a lot to that.) And Vi, the youngest sister (at fifteen), is socially awkward, introverted, and loves YA books. (Hello? That's basically me.) She has the most adorable crush on her friend Cece, and the way their friendship blossomed into romance was just THE CUTEST. I love them so much. 💞

I can write so much more about my love for this book, but that'll happen on another day. For now, I just want to say: please read this book if you want to smile and fall in love with real & relatable characters!! I adore this book so much.

Full review to come!!
Profile Image for Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd).
1,171 reviews251 followers
May 19, 2018
This honestly has SO MANY elements that I look for in a contemporary, so I was kinda super excited. I’m a sucker for family stories - especially sibling relationships!!! So a story about 4 sisters last summer all together at home before they start moving on with their own futures had my name written all over it. Unfortunately, the story didn’t really wow me - I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it. Though I do think it’s a perfect “between book” to read, especially in the summer.

Things I Liked
Guess who will always love a fake-dating trope! MEEEEE!!! So I was super excited to see one here. Honestly, I’d probably just read the book for Kat and Mase because they were both super cute and both great in their own ways.

There was a lot of great diversity in this story too! Mase, is a bisexual Asian American character. Vi, the youngest Garrett sister is an out and proud lesbian. Vi’s love interest, Cece is a queer latinx character. There’s also a lot of talk about feminism and Vi’s feminist screen tees are always good for a laugh. Kat also discusses her issues with her eating disorder, and while she’s in recovery the topic isn’t ignored.

Things I Didn’t Like
I think that the 3rd person POV kept me a bit removed from the story. I just didn’t connect to the characters at all and I felt off to me.

I found Des to be uber naive given that she’s the oldest and has the most responsibility. I guess I just found her to be too trusting, and if your going to have a character flaw, that’s not a bad one to have even if it can read frustratingly.

Bea was definitely my least favorite sister and since her whole storyline revolved around cheater, she never really stood a chance with me.

There were so many pop culture references and everyone of them drew me right out of the story. I also found a majority of them to feel forced and kinda try-hard.

This wasn’t the best book I’ve read recently, but I did still enjoy it. It’s like junk food in a book form - not because the quality isn’t there or it lack substance, but because it makes you feel good, you have a great time with it, and it makes you want to read more. The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls is a solid summer read about family and self discovery.

I received a copy of the book from Sourcebooks FIRE via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 7 books1,211 followers
April 2, 2018
All the heart eyes for this one!

A lovely story about four sisters in the summer before everything in their life in a small coastal town changes for them. The four girls are very distinct, with great character arcs. The writing is evocative, and the world-building and character development is very Sarah Dessen like.

There are tons of cats, dogs, and BOOK REFERENCES GALORE because one of the settings is a bookstore. There are all kinds of pop culture references, a fan fiction writer, an actress, and a badass grandma character.

Just delightful.
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,433 reviews234 followers
June 22, 2018
My love for family stories is endless, and The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls was one that combine so many wonderful elements to yield a thoughtful, fun, and heartwarming story of four sisters, who experience cataclysmic changes over the course of a summer.

• Pro: Sister stories are always so wonderful, and these sisters are closer than close due to losing their parents when they were younger. The bond between them was unquestionable, and there were some fabulous scenes where that sisterly love just burst from the page.

• Pro: I like multi-POV books. This one has four - one for each sister, and I thought Spotswood did a great job keeping each voice distinct. I had no problem telling them apart.

• Pro: Each character was dealing with her own issues, some bigger than others, and I think there is a little something there for everyone to relate to.

• Con: I love popular culture, but for some reason, I don't like too much of it in the books I read. I do understand that this story revolves around four teenaged girls, but there were a lot of references.

• Pro: There is lots of feminism celebrated here.

• Pro: I am giving a shout out to the grandmother, because I love them, and the Grarrett Girls' grandmother was really special. She didn't get a ton of page time, but the time she did get was quality time, and I really liked the way she interacted with the girls and helped guide them along the way.

• Pro: I kept finding myself smiling and laughing, because this book was a lot of fun. It was also all sorts of cute and adorable with just a touch of drama to keep us on our toes.

• Pro: Books set in small towns are always winners for me, and this one had all the charm you expect form a coastal little town. I loved meeting all the business women, touring the shops, attending a field party, and celebrating Fourth of July with the Garretts and their neighbors.

• Pro: Each character experienced some growth during the book, but the one who changed the most was Kat, and her story was probably my favorite as well. Kat was not the most likable in the beginning of the book. However, after entering into a fauxmance as a revenge plot against her ex-boyfriend, she undergoes a lot of personal changes, and I really liked late-summer Kat a lot.

• Pro: There's romance, and you know I can never get enough of that. Kat had her fauxmance storyline, and Vi had a really special first romance, which was terribly sweet. I shipped both couples, and it was delightful seeing how their relationships developed.

Overall: A delightful, which thoughtfully explored the dynamics of sisterhood and growing up.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Megan  (thebookishtwins).
527 reviews171 followers
June 9, 2018
Disclaimer: I received this free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls follows four sisters for their last summer together as a family before Bea goes off to college. I enjoyed The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls. It is the perfect summer read full of romance, self-discovery, and family. I’ve seen a lot of people say it’s Little Women meets Gilmore Girls and yeah that pretty much sums this one up. It follows four sisters – Des, Bea, Vi, and Kat – through the summer as they meet new people, try new things, discovers new things about themselves, and fall for people they didn’t expect.

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls was a joy to read and it was fun and heartfelt. I loved the bookish references during Vi’s chapters as their family owns a bookstore. We saw mentions of Nina LaCour’s books, Robin Talley’s books, and Reign of the Fallen! I loved that. The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls is a very character driven book with each sister going on her own journey and discovers something about themselves. But at the heart of the story, it is about sisterhood, family, and friendship and I really loved that.

Each sister had a very distinct personality and each one went on their own personal journeys and they were definitely a highlight of the book. Des learns that sometimes she needs to put herself first sometimes and learns to stand up for herself. As the oldest, she has always felt like she needs to be the responsible one, the one to pick up everyone’s slack. She’s naive but she learns and she grows and I liked that.

Bea, the second oldest, has been with Erik since she was thirteen and they have had their whole life planned out. They’ve just graduated and are heading off to Georgetown but Bea isn’t sure that is what she wants anymore. She isn’t sure what she wants or who she wants, she doesn’t even know who she is without Erik by her side. Bea was… a complicated and messy character who I liked as a person. She was selfish, impatient, ambitious and very very anxious so I related to that (I personally thought it was good anxiety rep). BUT her storylines also features cheating which is always a big no for me.

Vi is the youngest sister and a lesbian and she is out and proud. She has a crush on the girl next door called Cece (who is queer & latina) but she isn’t sure if Cece is straight or not, she knows she likes lgbtqia+ lit but she isn’t out. I really adored their relationship and especially their love for YA lit and their love for dogs! Kat kind of a favourite of mine she is such a drama queen and I loved every second of it. Also, her storyline featured fake dating which is a favourite of mine. Her relationship with Mase (who is Bisexual & Asian-American) was super cute and I loved it.

Overall, The Last Summer of Garrett Girls is a solid summer read with cute romances, family bonds, and a book about self-discovery.

Profile Image for Melissa.
749 reviews134 followers
October 14, 2018
I really liked this book about four sisters who are all one year apart and who in the midst of great change in their lives and told from four separate POVs. About ten years before, both of their parents died in a car crash, so they’re being raised by their grandmother, and each of them have secrets that they’re keeping from all of the others. Secrets that will lead to a lot of drama.

Beyond the sisters, one of whom at 15 is an out lesbian who reads tons of queer YA novels, there is a pretty diverse cast of characters, including a few Bi characters (even a male Bi guy), several people of colour, including both of the Bi characters, and several other gay characters, including two married moms of one of the other kids. I did wonder if one of the main characters might later identify as asexual, but she didn’t express that...at least not yet.

Lots of tropes but also a lot of awesome literary references and super feminist T-shirts give it a lot to love. Beyond this, the quirky town has a Gilmore Girls feel to it, so it will appeal to fans of that show.
Profile Image for Lelia Nebeker.
125 reviews23 followers
April 24, 2018
Alright, it's time to fangirl. I LOVE Jessica Spotswood's books, and this one is just...everything. Each sister is so wonderful and unique--and sure maybe I love them all because they're all feminist book girls, but I think it's a testament to Jessica Spotswood's writing that they're all relatable in various ways, even though they're so different. The friendships and relationships are so well written, too. I loved all of their storylines, whether they were about first love, that friend who changes the way you look at yourself, finding the courage to break away from the path that everyone assumes you're going to take, or my favorite plot ever: pretending-to-be-dating-and-then-actually-falling-for-each-other. This book is so powerful because the women in it are powerful. We should all aspire to be as strong and proud and smart as these teenage sisters.
Profile Image for Joleen (starlightbooktales).
346 reviews308 followers
March 14, 2018
This arc was provided to me for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls was a light summer read that provides a tale of 4 sisters trying to navigate their last summer together. Each sister is going through something different and the story follows each one of them as they let go of the past and find themselves and new love.

I would definitely recommend this book if you are looking for a nice summer read. The Garrett girls will keep you on your toes!
Profile Image for Gray Cox.
Author 4 books164 followers
October 11, 2018
I'm torn between rating this two or three stars.

It was an okay read, I would have rated it higher but Bea was just too annoying. I don't stan cheaters.
Profile Image for charlotte,.
3,125 reviews816 followers
September 25, 2019
Rep: bi side character, lesbian mc

uh i feel like i need a little rant over this book so if this review makes no sense, sorry, it's essentially a list of all the times i got irritated over this book

- four povs is honestly way too much for a book this short there's not enough time to actually develop any of the storylines properly so everything feels rushed and a few times i lost track of when things were supposed to be happening

- afaik, the author is straight so i really wasn't comfortable with her using the word "qu**r", especially as a blanket term

- also there was a point where she basically implied that "geek" and "loser" were, firstly, slurs (since when?), and secondly, that they're on the same level as "d*ke" thanks so much for that, i'll remember it next time i feel the need to use the first two

- tbh i also just felt really uncomfortable that she went and typed that word out so

- she later does the same with "f*ggot" and like, it's a dude saying it who's known already to be a dickhead and misogynist, is it really necessary that he also says this homophobic slur, is there not some other way you can show him to be an arsehole (he's already a cheater so)

- can straight authors stop including homophobic characters explicitly as an excuse to be able to use those slurs that'd be nice

- it felt so much like the author had taken all the tumblr discourse she could find and shoved it into the book i was cringing so much

- vi's chapters in particular were so cringey and that was partly because it's straight author writing lesbian character thing, but also because there was so much fandom stuff shoved in there and that's something that always makes me cringe in books

- when will ya authors stop giving their 18 year old characters 21 year old love interests i know it's only 3 years difference but you're hardly an adult at age 18 so it really fucking creepy on the 21 year olds part please can they stop

- so many cheating storylines i'm tired!!!

- love to see a 15 year old just coming to terms with their sexuality who might have a homophobic family get outed by a spiteful 18 year old who wants to get at someone else please can straight authors stop doing this just for the angst it's not cool even if you are condemning it in the narrative

- homophobic latinx family? um

- bi character apparently cheating and everyone believes it and no one calls it out!!! LOVE IT!!! (turns out he wasn't cheating and yet everyone is perfectly prepared to believe that of him!)
Profile Image for Meghan.
561 reviews66 followers
January 7, 2021
When I picked up this book, I was in a Barnes & Noble where it was recommended to me by a bookseller, claiming this book was like a modern day Little Women. I wish I still lived where I used to because I have a thousand questions for that bookseller now, after having read this book. The main one though would be HOW COULD YOU COMPARE THIS BOOK TO A MODERN DAY LITTLE WOMEN?!? I really do not see where she got that connection from. But regardless, I had plenty of other issues when it came to this book.

I hated how for the first 2/3rds of this book nothing happened. The characters were blah. The story was blah. Their problems were blah. The problems these girls had were the typical teenager/ young adult problems with no new twists to them. I had read those problems before, I am over those problems, I don't care to read about those problems anymore. I am almost 30 and sometimes reading books like this one, I enjoy thinking back on my own young adulthood while reading it and remembering how I was handling these situations in my own life at the time. That did not happen with this book.

I also hated how much the author referenced TV shows, books, movies, and things of that nature that were popular in 2018 when this book came out but had nothing to do with the plot whatsoever. It makes this book dated when it doesn't need to be. The author, by doing this, is giving this book a shelf life. In 2030 no one is going to remember specific details about TV shows or books that came out in 2018, it will just confuse future readers who have no idea what the author is talking about.

The ending was every cliché that I expected it to be and that's all I'm going to say about the ending of this book. Overall, this book really turned me off to this author. I had her book series Born Wicked on my TBR but I quickly took it off when I finished this book because I truly do not think this author is for me. I'm sure there are people out there who loved this book and I'm happy they had that experience, sadly I didn't have that experience when it came to this book and this author.
Profile Image for Cait.
2,248 reviews4 followers
June 25, 2018
This might be one of the best books I've read this year? a LOT of reviews have said this is Little Women meets Gilmore Girls, which it sounds like was actually the author's concept and you know what, it is DELIGHTFUL.

In another world this might have been a series: four books, one for each sister, but I really enjoyed all the stories being intertwined and happening at the same time. You get Des worrying about Bea, and Kat worrying about Des, and all of them seeing Vi's crush and it's just woven together very neatly.

I found Des's story the most frustrating, and I identified the most with Bea. Everyone know's a Kat, and Vi is perhaps the best version of a 2018 fandom teen I've read. This book is a delight, and there's something for everyone here.
Profile Image for Jess.
2,859 reviews5 followers
September 14, 2021
Basically, my only note on this book is that I wish it had been a bit longer so that I could have gotten even more time with each of the sisters. They all felt like such distinct, whole characters, I really loved spending time with each of them and learning and sympathizing with their troubles. This hold popped out of nowhere, but I'm so glad that I got to read it at last.
Profile Image for Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?).
709 reviews173 followers
November 24, 2021
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

This was the perfect summer read! Jessica Spotswood has successfully made me want to buy a boat and live near a marina. Just the idea of laying on the deck and watching fireworks makes me smile! It sounds so relaxing and fun. One of the sisters, Bea, makes a comment about it being like a tiny house on the water, which would definitely force me to be a minimalist.

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls had a very Gilmore Girls vibe that I enjoyed. They live in a small town where it's impossible to keep secrets, and the townspeople live for the gossip. There are also no strangers except for the tourists they occasionally see throughout the year. There's an old bookstore, a Tabby Cat Café that has literal cats (they can also be adopted from there!), and even a yearly reenactment that people get really excited about.

I loved their Gram and how accepting she was of her grandchildren. They were all so very different, and she treasured them like they were her own. The girls also appreciated their Gram and how much she's done for them over the years. She trusts them to do what is right, and is there for them when they make a mistake.

I feel like there was a lot that could have been elaborated on, but I understand that can be difficult when you're telling a story through five different perspectives. There is a lot going on in each of their lives, and unfortunately some of the details were left out. They were small threads that I was following in the background, but most of them are never mentioned again. An example would be Bea's movie date with Erik and how Savannah taunted her with bringing Gabe. Bea gets ready for her date, but we have now idea how it went or if Savannah followed through with her threat. Bea was also really nervous about the date, and I was curious about how it ended.

The bookstore belongs to the Garrett family, and the author references a lot of YA authors and titles. She specifically mentions Nina LaCour and a variety of LGBTQ books. One of the characters is openly gay, another is bisexual, and one is still figuring things out. I thought Jessica Spotswood did a wonderful job of creating characters that a lot of people will be able to relate to.

There are a lot of Harry Potter references. Pets were named Remus, Sirius and Crookshanks, but there were also a lot of shirts and sayings that related to the books. It felt a little forced at times, but it wasn't too over-the-top. I was also happy about the X-Men shout out! Three of the horses were named Storm, Gambit and Rogue.

I think there were a lot of good points made about women's rights, equality and acceptance.

The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls touches on family, friendships and how those two things can change over time. It was a fun story that I really enjoyed reading and had a hard time putting down. Every chapter was about a different sister, and I was quickly caught up in each of their stories. There were a few times when I cringed internally at someone's behavior or actions, but that's life. People make mistakes, but it's how they learn and grow from them that matters. I think each individual sister did a lot of growing over the summer, and I thought their story ended in a really great place.
Profile Image for Annie.
104 reviews47 followers
June 14, 2018
My full review for this book (along with character aesthetics) can be found on my blog, here.

I absolutely loved this book! What a perfect summer contemporary.

Things I liked

+ The characters! You have Des, the oldest who's super organized and keeps a bullet journal (!!) and feels like she needs to do something for herself for once. There's Bea, who's about to leave for college with her boyfriend but is second-guessing their relationship. Next is Kat, who's into acting and recovering from an eating disorder. And last is Vi, who reads YA and writes fanfiction and is openly gay. They all have beautiful character arcs and I love them so much!
+ The references—bullet journaling, various YA books, Hamilton, the list goes on...
+ Feminism!!
+ One of my favorite things about the book was that the Garrett family owned a book store. All of the sisters really enjoyed reading and there was lots of booknerd stuff, which I loved! For me, this really added to the relatability of the story.
+ Diversity—there are a ton of different identities included in this book: mc with an anxiety disorder/panic attacks, lesbian mc, three Asian-American characters, two bisexual characters, a Latinx love interest, a character with two moms and a Black adoptive sister, and a Black ex-boyfriend
+ Lots of great friendship dynamics
+ The writing was super addictive.
+ The ships!!
+ Each chapter is from the perspective of a different sister, and it felt like their personalities and voices were distinct enough that I wasn't getting confused about who was narrating when.

Very small list of things I didn't like

+ The only little thing that bothered me was that a main character smokes weed at one point in the book but it's never really addressed? I mean, drugs are bad for you and also illegal, so I felt like that maybe should've been a bigger deal.

Anyway, I really liked this one, so definitely pick it up if you're in the mood for a nice summer contemporary. 4.5 stars

Content warnings: cheating, marijuana use

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book! This is no way affected my review.

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Profile Image for Gabrielle.
254 reviews12 followers
July 24, 2018
I went into this book hoping for a cute and fun summer contemporary, and what I got out of it was a lot of drama and poorly written characters.

I don't even know where to begin with this review, so if there's a lot of hoping back and forth, I apologize. In all honesty, there are about four plots happening in this novel because there are four sisters and a perspective for each one. The problem when doing a short book with 3+ perspectives is that there is a chance that one may not be fully fleshed out. Or all four of them. Everything seemed so weak and shallow, and we got no depth into the characters and their thought process about a lot of things. Yes, we got what they were doing, but there wasn't a lot of why and hows.

I didn't like any of the sisters either. I thought each of them were bratty and self-centered and not characters I normally like to read about. My least favorite definitely goes to Bea since there was a cheating plot involved with her. I don't care how long you've been with someone, when you know that you don't love them anymore, break up with them. It can't possibly be harder than cheating on them and knowing you're hurting them. What do I know, though? Kat comes in second with just being an all around dramatic character and never doing anything all that interesting. Also, she was in a play and then half way through the book that just drops out of the story entirely. (??????) Then there's Des who I shouldn't say I dislike, but I also didn't necessarily like. There's just not much to say about her. (You're not a rebel if you dye your hair and get a tattoo. You're just someone who likes to express yourself.) I really liked Vi at first, but then she made someone's coming out all about her and I kind of wasn't into it anymore.

The amount of random feminist quotes that were dropped in this novel was weird. I'm all for standing up for women's rights, but there were some moments that they would say things to each other that I was kind of like.......this situation didn't warrant this type of reaction with this quote. It made the writing feel so terrible awkward and stilted. There were also a lot of YA name dropping, and maybe that was the author's way of saying hey read these books, or these books had an influence on me, but it got incredibly annoying. Stop naming every YA book in existence, please. Thanks :)

And of course, what would any YA book be without having dead parents? This one was probably the weirdest thing of the book because it's brought up several times, but it's just this brief thing and then it's gone again. I don't know why YA books feel this need to have no parents, but it truly is alright if you have two amazing parents (or even shitty parents) in your story.

This book was a mess and maybe I am too.
Profile Image for Amie.
694 reviews31 followers
June 19, 2018
3.5 stars

I received a Netgalley of The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls. I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting myself into with this one. It was enjoyable. I laughed out loud a few times, found myself on the verge of crying a few times. It was heartfelt, all-encompassing, and fun to read. There's plenty of pop culture and YA shoutouts (Riverdale and Reign of the Fallen, what up?!) which when done in the right way, can be a lot of fun. TLSOTGG bordered on reference overkill, but it wasn't so much that it became annoying.

I love a book based in MD, especially when they mention things near and dear to my heart - Jessica hit both MICA (where I graduated college) and Fells Point (where I've spent more time drinking than I'd like to admit). Plus, anyone who's ever been to those small Bay towns knows the type of charm they hold, and she did a good job painting the picture for those who haven't experienced them.

The story follows four sisters, all different ages, living with their grandmother, and all going through big changes. All four girls tell their story as well as their sisters through alternating perspectives, which is something I LOVE. Four seems like a lot, and I was worried at first that the actual story would become murky in the midst of trying to keep everyone straight, but it was very easy to follow. And also easy to be invested in and care about each girl's story.

Lots of romance, lots of friendships, lots of mischief, lots of secrets, lots of LGBTQIA, lots of puppies and kittens!
Profile Image for Cassie (Star-Crossed Book Blog).
107 reviews31 followers
December 7, 2022
Thank you NetGalley, the author and the publisher for my free ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Maybe this is the way things are now. Forever. Dread washes over her at the thought.

Meet the Garrett girls: Kat, Bea, Vi and Des. The four girls lost their parents to a tragic accident and now live with their grandmother in a Stars Hollow-esque town. The book shifts between the four characters' POV over the course of a few weeks.

TW: eating disorder, drug use, cheating

I enjoyed getting to know each of these four girls as they dealt with their own unique set of challenges. I probably enjoyed Bea's story the most, as I could relate to her the most. But I honestly enjoyed each Garrett girl.

It was clear the author made a point to focus on intersectionality in this small sea-side town, which was great to see. A lot of issues were brought to the fore-front, but never in an after-school special kind of way.

If you're looking for a cute summer read, with a special emphasis on diversity and intersectionality, look no further than this book.

"But that's-it's not what I want. It hasn't been since before I met you. I know I haven't been honest with you. But being here, with you-it's the only time I don't feel like I'm falling apart. I am such a damn mess right now. I don't know how you can like me. I don't like myself very much, honestly."

He rubs a hand over his stubbly chin. His shoulders relax a little. "You're not so bad."
Profile Image for Jennifer.
217 reviews3 followers
April 25, 2018
Full review is up on From Jen's Bookshelf!

I recieved an advanced copy of this book from Net Galley. While this is going to be a brief review there will be a longer one posted on my blog soon!

I was drawn in by the plot of this book right. Especially as someone who has a sister. I understood the complicated relationships that sisters often have. But I think even people who do not have sisters will still be able to relate to the characters because they were all so unique. I was able to see a part of myself in each character and I think that is important when you have multiple main characters because you want readers to be able to relate to each of them.

A few other things I liked were the setting, the quirky attributes of the town, and that it was a feel good story that I needed. A few things I didn't like were there were a few too many pop culture references, it almost felt like it was trying too hard to be relevant when the plot itself was covering so many relevant topics on its own, and that so many characters had shortened versions of their names! But I think that one is just a personal preference.

Overall, I am glad I found this book and I think it is going to be a good read for any young adult out there!
Profile Image for Trisha.
4,637 reviews161 followers
July 23, 2019
This was cute - a very adorable story with the perfectly imperfect sisters who learn things over the span of a summer. It's very after-school-special but it's YA and this isn't always bad in a book. Sometimes it's nice to be pretty sure the story is going to end with smiles and sweet moments. And there are sweet moments and very realistic situations.

My only complaint would be about there being so many popculture references. There are book and author and tv show references. Already, just a few after publication, they already feel a little dated. I don't know how this one will hold up well.
Profile Image for Sam Chase.
687 reviews115 followers
June 24, 2018
Rating: 4 stars

"Little Women meets Gilmore Girls by way of Sarah Dessen" is the perfect way to describe this book. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the girls' voices and stories, unique as they were. There was a ton of diversity in this book, as well as tons of figuring out who you are. Each character basically went through a metamorphosis throughout the course of the novel, and I loved it!

This was such a fun, sweet book to read. I highly recommend it as a summery beach read :)
Profile Image for ♠ TABI⁷ ♠.
Author 15 books485 followers
Want to read
September 4, 2018
I heard "asexual rep" and "family bookstore"

and I have also found a new favorite GIF . . . xD
Profile Image for Andi (Andi's ABCs).
1,546 reviews189 followers
April 27, 2020
This review was originally posted on Andi's ABCs

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. I added The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls to my TBR about 2 years ago and then promptly forgot all about it. But then I decided to scroll my TBR list for a challenge I gave myself in 2020 and I came across it again and back on the radar it went. And in the end it was really good. I know 3.5 stars doesn’t look like a rave review, but it really was a good story. The only reason I didn’t rate it higher is I think because it was 4 POVs and not a focus on 1 or 2, some of the stories felt a little rushed. Don;t get me wrong, I was mostly satisfied, but I think each girl would have benefitted from having their own book, their own stories apart from their sisters. For example I didn’t love Des. She was the only Garrett girl I was not a fan of and I think that is because I didn’t really get to know her. She was a girl I got a to learn about every 4th chapter. If she had her own book I think I would have understood and liked her more. But that aside, The Last Summer of the Garret Girls was a quick read and at its core about growing up and moving on. I think this deserves a spot on your TBR.
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