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The Last True Poets of the Sea

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,015 ratings  ·  300 reviews
From a stunning new voice in YA literature comes an epic, utterly unforgettable contemporary novel about a lost shipwreck, a missing piece of family history, and weathering the storms of life.

"Profound and page-turning."
--Madeline Miller, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Circe

The Larkin family isn't just lucky-they persevere. At least that's what Violet and her
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Disney-Hyperion
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mj There are romantic relationships (it's a central theme to Twelfth Night) and anything more than kissing isn't explicitly described.…moreThere are romantic relationships (it's a central theme to Twelfth Night) and anything more than kissing isn't explicitly described. (less)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,015 ratings  ·  300 reviews

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Chaima ✨ شيماء
Reading The Last Poets of the Sea felt comforting in a way that defies words. It felt like a hug, if a hug were a book. It lingered in the air, like summer thunder, long after I turned the last page, beaming calmly into all my darkest corners, and the thought of it still warms me, like a candle flame held safe against the whipping sea wind.

You don’t want to miss this book!

So, what’s it about?

Violet Larkin’s family lived in a state where the ground always seemed to be slipping from beneath
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
I'm gonna sound so cheesy, but this book rooted itself into my heart and I will never, ever let it go. From the friendships to the sibling bonds to the queerness, this was just everything I've ever wanted in a book and more. It’s set in a small seaside town in Maine and was like a mix of Summer of Salt, Wild Blue Wonder, and everything Ashley Herring Blake has ever written and I JUST LOVED IT SO MUCH AND MY HEART IS SO FUCKING FULL. Brb while I go pre-order my brother a copy and cry bc FEELINGS ...more
Larry H
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy hell, I loved this book so much.

Violet and Sam Larkin’s great-great-great-grandmother Fidelia survived a shipwreck off the coast of Maine. Her arrival in the town of Lyric, and her subsequent marriage, are the stuff of legend. And Fidelia’s story has always made the family believe they’re survivors.

"I didn't even have a driver's license, but I was an expert in the art of catastrophe."

Yet as Violet becomes wilder, experimenting with drugs and sex, Sam’s emotional problems become more
Madeline Miller
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book--beautiful, smart, witty, with a deeply thoughtful heart. And inspired by Twelfth Night! Love it.
Amy Imogene Reads
This was one of the most amazing YA contemporary novels that I have ever read.


The Last True Poets of the Sea hit me hard, knocked me out, and left me in the dust of its emotional magnificence. Like the coastal Maine, aquatic version of Jandy Nelson's The Sky is Everywhere, I couldn't stop the feelings. Talk about an unputdownable one-day read.

Violet Larkin grew up in a family of shipwrecks. Her great-great grandmother Fidelia was the sole survivor of a shipwreck

Many thanks to Disney Hyperion for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

[10/01/2019] - DNF at pg. 127. I am temporarily DNF-ing this. When the audio comes out, I'll try that and see if it snags my attention more than the physical copy. I chose to rate this four stars because I want to convey that this book is not bad. I'm just not feeling it right now. I'll try again later.


profound a
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profound and pa
3.5 stars.

Character-driven stories are tricky. It may take time to recognize them for what they are. In the beginning, we all expect some kind of plotline to unfurl. But slowly we realize that the story is the protagonists and that we better love them, otherwise we might just put the book down right away.

Thankfully, I enjoyed Violet’s voice. She is a three-dimensional character through and through. She’s not easy to understand at times, but she does try to open up to the new friends she makes on
Elise (TheBookishActress)
releases: 01 Oct 2019 This is a sapphic retelling of Twelfth Night. Also Madeline Miller loved it. Personally I think all Twelfth Night retellings should and must deal with gender confusion and I see absolutely no evidence this one does. However. the fucking gay rights of it all ...more
Elyse  Walters
Characters are so wonderful- you’ll wish to share a slice of blackberry pie with them!

“One puzzle piece actually has ‘four’ different ways to connect, not just two”.

Gorgeously written...with love, humor, intelligence, and humanity.
This is such a lovely, and rather hard-hitting, story (and from a debut no less!) that it feels a little strange to not rave about it and slap it with a high rating. But while there was so much good, so much of it moving, some of it also left me a little unmoved, too.

I became a bad sister and a bad daughter in an hour; an exile in just under two. By comparison, the Titanic sunk in two hours, forty minutes. Pretty impressive, to have sunk to the bottom even faster than the twentieth century's
This book is freaking stunning in the most swallow-you-whole kind of way. In comp terms, I'd say it's The Weight of the Stars meets How to Make a Wish, so you know it's got complicated family, gorgeous Sapphic romance, deep secrets, a brilliant mind's obsession, a well-drawn coastal setting, grieving themes, and found family on lock, and it also weaves in backstory in all these surprising little glimpses. So good.
Thank you, Disney Book Group!
You are too sweet to me.

I am so excited to get to this.
You had me at, Sea.

Neville Longbottom
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqia, 2019
I don’t know if I’ll go as far to say that this is a perfect book overall, but it definitely was a perfect book for me. Complicated family relationships, mental illness, queer girls, and a summer spent at a seaside town. There are loving friendships, a wonderful f/f relationship, and a main character who doesn’t always say or do the right thing.

This just checked so many boxes for things I enjoy in books. The writing was beautiful, the relationships felt authentic, and the plot was interesting.
Dec 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5/5 Stars

In that moment, we were the last true poets of the sea, and what mattered more than anything else was our quest.

I went into this book with very high expectations and even though I was not disappointed, I wasn't blown away either. I don't know why, but I expected a lot more than what I found. This doesn't absolutely mean that this is a bad book,I just didn't click with it as much as I was hoping to.

What I liked the most about this story is how the author managed all the relationships
Ashley Blake
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqiap, young-adult
Absolutely perfect.
Arielle Walker
Utterly delightful.

(Should I just stick to two word reviews? It's all my brain seems to be doing at the moment...)

But: super relatable/wonderful characters, gorgeously complex-but-wonderful relationships (romantic, platonic, familial - each are given equal priority), important things around mental health and sexuality and distance are dealt with in a super non-preachy, natural way - one of the nicest reads I've had in a while.

Also that title is glorious, and you know I'll read any reworking of a
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
I received an ARC through my job as a librarian

Okay, so I'm floored. This is a slow paced contemporary where nothing much happens plot wise. That sentence sounds like my own personal hell if I'm being honest. But the author came with some solid ass writing, strong characters, a bit of family mystery and lots of family drama. The star, strength and focus of this book is the characters. In addition, there is some wonderful queer rep. Our main character (Violet) identifies as bisexual. One of the
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

3.5 Stars

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake is an interesting retelling of Twelfth Night. There are strong themes of family and friendship in the story. However, there is more focus on romance in the novel than I would have preferred.

It has been a while since I have read Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, but the connections that Drake makes in The Last True Poets of the Sea are intriguing. The characters are loosely similar, and the plot line of Viola
Anna Luce
DNF 10%

Reasons I did not finish this book:

1) Slut shaming ahoy!

2) Eyeliner, shorts, and long hair: bad. No makeup, dad's jeans, big shirts, shaved head: good.

3) Our protagonist is one TALL girl, so yes, a lot of tallgirlproblems (*ahem* she is not like other girls)

4) Her parents...? Laughably unbelievable.

5) Hot guy alert within pages of our character swearing off love
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book, and I know it'll hit favorites of the year. To be honest, it's an emotional roller coaster and there were times I had to set it down and sit in my feelings.

I will say I wish with the inclusion of having a character in a mental health facility, I wish that had been considered more important. There's a moment where it was kind of washed away and never dealt with again and I wish there had been a bit more emphasis on that.

Overall, I highly recommend.

Trigger warnings:
Sep 07, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Sounds like this is going to destroy my entire soul, and honestly? Bring it on

(also, I heard this compared to Summer of Salt and Wild Blue Wonder, two books I absolutely ADORED, so, like... where is my copy??? Ya girl needs one)
3.5 Stars

I get why people loved this book. For a majority of it, I was right there with them. The beginning and middle of this book were fantastic - mostly. We meet Violet, a very lost girl who's been shipped off to live with her uncle in a very small town. Going from the wild nightlife of New York City to the quiet boring nights of Lyric have a very jarring affect on Violet and she doesn't quite know how to deal with being alone with her feelings.

I loved the location of this book. Lyric sounds
Irene exquisitepages
3,5 stars
Writing a dutch review soon
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yabc-reviews
Find my full review here:

THE LAST TRUE POETS OF THE SEA is a beautiful coming-of-age story. After her brother attempts suicide, he is sent to an in-patient treatment in Vermont and Violet is sent to Lyric, Maine, a town founded by their ancestors where her uncle owns a bakery and where she spent summer vacations growing up. Violet has decided that she needs big changes- she is determined to cast-off her party girl ways and disappear, shaving off all her
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqia
A little bit angsty YA, a little bit wholesome, and a whole lot of lyrical writing made a damn fine book to read when I wasn't feeling the best. As a retelling of The Twelfth Night, I don't know how successful it was, but as an exploration into a blossoming queer and a look into the mental health of teens these days it surpassed the small amount of YA I've read these days.

Mirroring the nautical themed story, the narrative sometimes got lost in eddies, taking too long to move forward to the next
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt
This is, without a doubt, my favorite queer girls book ever. It’s beautiful.
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
First of all, thank you Netgalley and Disney books for an eARC!
I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy this one, but I think I did! It's such an interesting, quirky book.
I actually didn't know this until a bit later, but it's a Twelfth Night retelling, which is profoundly interesting to me, because Shakespeare retellings are so limited, and almost always it's Romeo and Juliet!!
Anywho, this was a really sweet, beautifully written book! I highly recommend it! Even if you're not sure, just pick it up and
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adored this lyrical play on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night about a lost girl researching a shipwreck to find herself. After Violet's brother tries to commit suicide, the former party girl shaves her head and heads to a summer in Maine with her uncle. She's soon caught in a compelling love triangle with dreamboat Orion and historian Liv, and unearths a mystery about the founder of the town, Violet's own shipwrecked ancestor.
Sep 27, 2019 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-releases
I received this as an ARC from NetGalley. I did not finish this book nor did I get very far into it before I abandoned it.

I found something very juvenile about the writing even though I know it is a YA novel. I also found the storyline jumped back and forth too much without any real context or depth to these backstories. It very much skimmed the surface of these events and could have dived deeper.

My ARC also had a random emoji representing a certain letter grouping in the middle of words which
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-book
I came across this on my public library's website and thought I would give it a go. I'm glad I did, because I really enjoyed it. Violet is so wonderfully imperfect and trying to figure out who she wants to be. The new friends she makes in her summer in Maine are great, and I loved their adventures. Violet's brother was honestly a drag. I know he struggled with all the mental illnesses, but the small part of the book he was in made me understand why she wanted to escape the way she did. I think ...more
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