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My Last Summer with Cass

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A coming-of-age YA graphic novel about two childhood friends at a crossroads in their lives and art.

Megan and Cass have been joined at the brush for as long as they can remember. For years, while spending summers together at a lakeside cabin, they created art together, from sand to scribbles . . . to anything available. Then Cass moved away to New York.

When Megan finally convinces her parents to let her spend a week in the city, too, it seems like Cass has completely changed. She has tattoos, every artist in the city knows her. She even eats chicken feet now! At least one thing has stayed the same: They still make their best art together.

But when one girl betrays the other's trust on the eve of what is supposed to be their greatest artistic feat yet, can their friendship survive? Can their art?

256 pages, Paperback

First published March 16, 2021

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About the author

Mark Crilley

118 books342 followers
Mark Crilley is an American comic book creator and children's book author/illustrator. He is the creator of Miki Falls, Akiko, and Brody's Ghost. He is also noted for his instructional videos for drawing in the manga-style. Crilley distributes drawing advice to artists via YouTube videos and his DeviantArt account. In August 2010, he starred in some how to draw videos for Funimation on demand. Mark Crilley's wife is Miki Crilley who he named Miki Falls after. The two have a daughter, Mio, and a son, Matthew.

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5 stars
327 (22%)
4 stars
641 (43%)
3 stars
401 (27%)
2 stars
82 (5%)
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19 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 314 reviews
April 6, 2021

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This is one of the best graphic novels I've read in a while. The whole time I was reading, I kept thinking about how much it felt like a movie, envisioning the soundtrack, mentally casting my favorite actors for the roles. The emotions, the story, the characters-- it was all so vivid and well done. Also, I loved the way the author wrote and drew the two female characters. Dude authors get a lot of criticism for the way they write women-- sometimes justifiably so-- but this was just a beautiful portrayal of two artists' coming of age and I loved it.

Told in three parts, it's about the friendship between Megan and Cass. Megan is kind of an obedient girly-girl and Cass is more of a rebellious tomboy but they are both aspiring artists who come from small Midwestern towns, reuniting every summer at a shared cabin in the woods because their parents are friends. In part two, they are both teens going off to college but Megan has the opportunity to stay with Cass in New York.

New York is a swoop of color and culture for Megan, who gets to experience art and life in a totally new way. This portion felt like a love letter to big cities, and to art, and how sometimes defining who we are as people means chipping away at uncomfortable boundaries and experiencing growing pains we might not be ready for. This proves to be the case for Megan, who ends up pushing herself too far and freaks out, resulting in a calamitous incident that might just be the end of her friendship with Cass forever. ...Or is it?

Seriously, this was such a beautiful graphic-novel and so life-affirming. It captures how I felt as a teen so well, and I think the author did a really fantastic job just letting his characters speak for themselves without any kind of authorly agenda. I hope this does end up as a movie one day because I would totally watch it. The ending moved me to tears because of how it brought everything back full circle. Anyone who loves art, big city life, and female friendships should read this book. It was so, so good.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!

5 stars
December 30, 2022

Megan y Cass son dos chicas que se conocen desde pequeñas y a quienes une el arte. A medida que crecen, sin embargo, sus caminos se separan y sus personalidades se hacen más fuertes durante la adolescencia. Mientras que una es bastante liberal, alocada y amante de tomar riesgos, la otra se ha quedado siempre de los límites y siguiendo lo que sus padres le dicen. Cuando sus caminos se cruzan de nuevo, esas dos nuevas personalidades van a recordar los buenos momentos del pasado, pero también se van a enfrentar a fuertes choques en el presente.

La verdad es que me pareció una novela gráfica muy realista sobre las dificultades de las amistades, de cómo se evoluciona en una y otra dirección y cómo, a medida que pasan los años, quizás ya no congeniamos con quienes fueron nuestros grandes amigos de la infancia. Yo, personalmente, habría preferido un final diferente, pero creo que eso tiene que ver con mi manera de ser, jajaja.
Profile Image for Jessica.
569 reviews778 followers
May 10, 2021
I received an ARC of this book for free from The Novl in exchange for an honest review.

I give this book 3.5 stars which rounds up to 4.

The strongest part of this book was how it portrayed a complicated friend dynamic. It explored their past as childhood friends, then their last summer together in New York, and then finally revisited them a few years later. It really highlighted the highs and the lows of their friendship well.

Since this is a graphic novel, I have to talk about the artwork. I had an ARC so the art was not in full color. But I did look through the book preview on Amazon and saw it in full color and the coloring was amazing!

However, I wanted a little bit more from the story. The plot is incredibly basic and I would have liked for it to have been more nuanced. It’s also very fast paced and would have benefited from a slower pace, especially after the main conflict happened. It jumped from the main conflict to three years later so fast. I would have liked to seen the aftermath of it play out more (most of it happened off page), especially in regards to Megan and her parents.

Overall, I enjoyed this graphic novel, but ultimately was left wanting more. If you like art or are an artist yourself, you may like this one!
Profile Image for Rod Brown.
5,300 reviews173 followers
April 15, 2021
A mild but pleasant story about a friendship between two artists -- one a strait-laced rule follower under her father's thumb and the other a more daring rule breaker pushing her friend to fully express herself. It's a bit too angsty, dramatic, and simplistic, but I like Crilley's art and muted colors.
Profile Image for Skye Kilaen.
Author 15 books304 followers
August 19, 2021
This graphic novel about two teenage girl artists is SUCH a good portrayal of that time in young adult lives when every problem seems so black-and-white, and so big and emotional, and the only solutions that seem to be available are extremely dramatic.

It's true that the characters in this best-friends-until-they-weren’t story do face some very real issues, but it did really take me back to my own teenager-hood and how I see those situations now with different eyes.

I especially appreciated how much care and attention Crilley gave to the enormous weight and importance of close friendships; how they can be so nurturing and help you develop, and how conflicts within them can feel so painful as a result.

The main characters do find their way back to each other in the end, when they’ve grown into different places and have more perspective, and that was enormously satisfying as well. It’s a good read, and I rec it as a YA graphic novel but also for adults who might find meaning in those themes.
Profile Image for Cami L. González.
1,116 reviews350 followers
December 31, 2021
Una novela gráfica bonita sobre la importancia de las amistades y que, aunque sea difícil, hay algunas por las que vale la pena luchar.

Megan y Cass se conocen desde niñas y pasan todos los veranos juntas, a medida que crecen descubren que lo que las une también es la pasión por el arte así que pintan y dibujan juntas. Sin embargo, al pasar los años ambas se distancian y también cambian, después de un terrible error, ¿serán capaces de perdonarse?

Es una historia muy linda que nos muestra a Cass y Megan de niñas y cómo su amistad fue dándose, luego, el momento en el que descubrieron que eran buenas para el arte. Para terminar centrándose en el verano en que Megan fue a pasar tres semanas junto a Cass en Nueva York, ahí Cass le presentó todo un mundo nuevo a su amiga y sus diferencias las terminan poniendo a prueba.

Cass y Megan son esas amigas que son muy distintas, pero a la vez logran funcionar bien, porque se complementan y respetan. Claro que en este libro vemos el momento en el que no se complementan tanto, sino que intentan influir una en la otra. Cass intenta ser esa amiga genial que ya solucionó toda su vida y quiere que Megan siga sus pasos, sin dejar a esta que viva el proceso por su cuenta.

Las ilustraciones son preciosas, siempre mantienen el tono de que son dibujos, sin intentar ser realistas. Además, la paleta de colores juega con tonos cálidos en los recuerdos y momentos felices, más otros fríos en los momentos tristes y dramáticos. Por lo que complementa muy bien la historia que están contando.

Finalmente, Mi último verano con Cass es una historia muy bella sobre la amistad de dos chicas a lo largo de los años y esos momentos claves que permiten que sean un recuerdo o una amistad de por vida.

"Una buena amistad es como una obra de arte. Cuando la has estropeado toda... quizá te preguntes si vale la pena salvarla. Bueno, te lo digo yo: a veces una amistad no es solo como una obra de arte. Es una obra de arte y si vale la pena salvarla. Siempre vale la pena salvarla."

Profile Image for Catherine Campos.
628 reviews331 followers
January 6, 2022
Honestamente me gusta la idea de esta novela gráfica, había un mensaje acerca de la amistad, los errores y el perdón bastante interesante, pero el desarrollo me dio una sensación totalmente diferente. La novela tiene como protagonistas a Cass y a Meghan, se conocen desde pequeñas y comparten su amor por el arte, pero cuando ambas se separan en la adolescencia toman rumbos diferentes.

Mientras Cass es la amiga de New York revolucionaria, rebelde y liberada, Meghan es la mojigata amiga del campo a la que hay que 'soltar' para que empiece a vivir, y si bien aprecio el intento porque es cierto que a veces debemos salir de nuestra zona de confort, Cass era insoportable en el intento de cambiar a su amiga, una sabelotodo que solo miraba con desdén los intentos de Meghan por seguir el ritmo y que la castigaba cuando no lo hacía a su ritmo.

En cierto momento Meghan se ve acorralada por una decisión de la que se arrepiente al no estar preparada para enfrentar a sus padres y ambas chicas actúan en base a su egoísmo dejando sin opción a la otra y ahí nace el conflicto. El final tampoco me agradó, el intento de resolver las situaciones anteriores quedó muy mecánico.

En general me parecieron muy tóxicas las dos, onda, yo me hubiese alejado corriendo hace tiempo de una amistad que no respeta mi identidad o límites, cada ser humano es un mundo y si bien podemos tratar de salir de nuestra zona de confort, esto debe ser un acto voluntario, no algo que te obliguen a hacer por capricho.

Lo que sí rescato es la hermosa edición de la novela, la paleta de colores y las ilustraciones, ahí se va 1 estrella, la otra mitad es porque si bien no me gustó la historia, tampoco la odié, y esa es la diferencia con un rate de 1 estrella xD
Profile Image for Allison.
610 reviews28 followers
June 18, 2021
I wish I could give this a higher rating, mostly because the art is nice. Also the idea that a friendship is a work of art is a nice one. But unfortunately, I didn't like the story. For one, it's a trope, isn't it? Edgy, liberated girl in the big city pushes buttoned-up repressed girl from small town/suburbs to become liberated (and in this book, you can tell who is and isn't liberated by the length of the hair ). Also, the relationship is toxic. It's nice that they apologized and all, but Cass was wrong to push Megan to do things she wasn't ready for, not "I needed that push." Pushing your friend to stand up for herself is one thing, showing disdain for every aspect of your friend's life and then pushing her to drink and display a nude painting of herself in front of people before she's ready is not ok. Also, I'm not even sure it's realistic that Megan would have come up with that, given how new the so-called liberated life was to her. And writing on nude bodies?? Even that's a cliche.
Profile Image for Sandra Uv.
1,046 reviews247 followers
November 15, 2021

Me ha parecido una novela gráfica muy bonita y emotiva sobre la amistad de dos chicas , iguales y diferentes al mismo tiempo. Se lee en nada, el dibujo es verdaderamente precioso y la trama es dura pero también esperanzadora.
Profile Image for disco.
565 reviews222 followers
July 9, 2022
Entirely envious of this New York experience.
Profile Image for Nat.
555 reviews3,178 followers
August 17, 2021
I wish this would've lingered more on the ending and how to heal friendships. The notion that simply giving it time seemed a bit simplistic. Other than that, I still enjoyed it for the art and the quick read it made.

This review and more can be found on my blog.
Profile Image for Cindy.
272 reviews26 followers
March 25, 2021
"Sometimes a friendship isn't just like a work of art. It is a work of art. And it's worth saving. It's always worth saving."

I had entered a giveaway for this one a while back, nothing came of it and it kind of fell off my radar. While at work the other day I happened to spot it on the shelves and decided to flip through it. I am soo happy I did. I instantly fell in love with the artwork and knew I had to buy it! Thankfully, the story was just as good. This is a bittersweet story of friendship and life. If you get the chance, check this one out.
Profile Image for Miniikaty .
534 reviews118 followers
December 28, 2021
Reseña completa http://letraslibrosymas.blogspot.com/...

Esta novela gráfica tiene unas ilustraciones muy curiosas, originales y bonitas, la verdad es que le vienen perfectas a la historia (a lo largo de la reseña os mostraré un poco el estilo de dibujo con imágenes para que veáis a sigue me refiero) porque son detalladas pero sencilla y siempre con la misma paleta de colores. Así que en cuanto edición y dibujo me ha encantado.

Amistad y autorrealización en una novela gráfica preciosa.
Profile Image for Paige.
1,723 reviews79 followers
January 16, 2021
Disclaimer: I received this arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: My Last Summer with Cass

Author: Mark Crilley

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 4/5

Recommended For...: graphic novel readers, ya readers, contemporary lovers

Publication Date: March 16, 2021

Genre: YA Contemporary Graphic Novel

Recommended Age: 12+ (losing a friend)

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 256

Synopsis: Megan and Cass have been joined at the brush for as long as they can remember. For years, while spending summers together at a lakeside cabin, they created art together, from sand to scribbles . . . to anything available. Then Cass moved away to New York.

When Megan finally convinces her parents to let her spend a week in the city, too, it seems like Cass has completely changed. She has tattoos, every artist in the city knows her—she even eats chicken feet! At least one thing has stayed the same: They still make their best art together.

But when one girl betrays the other's trust on the eve of what is supposed to be their greatest artistic feat yet, can their friendship survive? Can their art?

Review: I really liked that this was a graphic novel book. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous and I loved how the author drew the two girls. I thought the story was pretty good. The characters were pretty well developed as well and this is a super quick read if you’re in a time crunch!

The only things I felt could have been better was the pacing (it was too quick for me to get attached to the story) and the character development, which I think suffered because of the quick pacing. I also felt like the book didn’t have a solid conflict. I understand losing a friend all too well, but maybe I’m at an age and place in my life where that doesn’t affect me anymore or as much. However, I can see where that can be a worldending event for teens and I totally recommend this for teens who have went through this or who fear this thing happening.

Verdict: It’s a solid friendship novel.
Profile Image for Peacegal.
9,945 reviews90 followers
June 29, 2021
4.5 stars--I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed MY LAST SUMMER WITH CASS. The lives of two young women, best friends since childhood, converge and crumble in this well-written and engaging story.

I appreciated and related to the story and Megan’s awful dilemma. I think for people who grew up in overprotective/domineering homes, it can be difficult to realize that you can fall into this same dynamic in your friendships, as well—with one person taking the wheel and attempting to mold you into being more like them, instead of allowing you to be yourself. I also liked that there were no romances thrown in for either of the main characters—I feel like other books would have done this and diluted the power of the story.

The illustrations are amazing. I found myself consistently stunned by the expressions and ease with which the artist captured posture and movement. They legitimately look like the pencil work for a hand-drawn Disney film.
Profile Image for Caro.
370 reviews
August 9, 2022
¿Por qué no podían darme un poco más del final?

Un libro muy lindo sobre el perdón y vivir tu vida bajo tus reglas. No seguir a los demás.

Megan y Cass pasan cada verano juntas desde pequeñas. Y es así como descubren su pasión y talento para el arte. Aunque cuando tienen 13 años se separan pues Cass debe irse a vivir con su madre después del divorcio de sus padres. Así que vuelven a verse a los 17, cuando Megan se queda un verano en Nueva York con Cass.

Pero aquí empezarán a darse cuenta que han cambiado. Especialmente Cass. Y bueno, también empiezan las diferencias entre las dos.

Después de trabajar en un proyecto juntas y de estar cerca de la presentación a Megan le entra el pánico al saber que sus padres asistirán, así que hace algo de lo que se arrepentirá toda la vida. Porque esto es justo lo que hace que se separen.

3 años después, anuncian la primera exposición de Cass y Megan decide que es la oportunidad perfecta para disculparse, especialmente porque prometieron estar en su primera exposición, pasara lo que pasara.

Es una historia muy linda. Habla sobre el perdón y los cambios. Pero debo decir que el final no me gustó, siento que Megan sacrificó demasiado (o quizá siempre he sido egoísta jajajaja) porque es que Cass también estaba intentando cambiarla a la fuerza y las cosas tampoco son así. Ambas se equivocaron.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Alex Nonymous.
Author 21 books376 followers
April 19, 2021
Opps, I accidentally fell in love with a highly problematic graphic novel character and am now questioning my taste in everything.

Personal crisis aside, this was really well done. My Last Summer With Cass is gorgeously drawn and follows two artists who grew up together every summer until their 13th birthday. It takes place in 3 parts, one detailing their lives up to being 13, one when they reunite at 17-ish, and one three years later. I was really worried Cass was going to be portrayed as manic pixie and none of her more problematic traits were addressed, but it's very clear that Crilley went into writing her fully aware of her flaws and how he wanted to write them. I absolutely loved the way Cass and Megan's relationship grew and shifted and think this was a really good portrayal of young adults struggling with who they want to be.
Profile Image for Dakota Morgan.
2,327 reviews28 followers
January 3, 2022
Megan and Cass are best friends and budding artists, though they've been separated for several years. The opportunity finally arrives for Megan to visit Cass in New York City, art mecca of the modern world. Naturally, Cass takes stodgy, midwestern Megan under her wing, introducing Megan to the creative freedoms NYC has to offer. Cass pushes Megan - and pushes just a bit too far.

My Last Summer with Cass offers few surprises and isn't nearly as dark as I expected. You'd expect freebird Cass to be experimenting with drugs and men in New York City, but that's not the case. This book is pretty PG. It's a pleasant, absorbing read nonetheless, helped by Mark Crilley's rough but emotional illustrations. I'll admit to disliking the bland, stock lettering - this is the kind of book that cries out for handwritten dialogue.
Profile Image for Sayuri.
195 reviews26 followers
December 11, 2022
Una historia linda y conmovedora acerca del reencuentro entre dos amigas que, debido a diversas circunstancias, dejan de mantener el contacto a pesar de haber sido muy cercanas en la infancia.

Crecer es cambiar, madurar y descubrir, pero dependiendo de las circunstancias, crecer también puede implicar miedo, angustia y recelo.

Me pareció muy lindo cómo estas dos amigas logran reencontrarse a través del arte, y de cómo su amistad se mantiene firme ante la adversidad.

Ésta es una novela gráfica que, además, tiene unas ilustraciones PRECIOSAS, de las cuales muchas me dejaron sin aliento de lo increíbles que son.

En definitiva, una historia fresca, rápida y contundente que me gustó y que recomiendo totalmente.
Profile Image for Melanie.
995 reviews19 followers
May 27, 2021
This was a story of two childhood best friends who continued to grow apart and come back together again, and the art that changed their lives.

I am blown away by the illustrations in this book! The artwork is absolutely gorgeous.

As far as the story goes, it was pretty straightforward and didn't really capture my interest that much. The friendship between the girls was extremely toxic, and I'm not sure I agree with how their reconciliation was handled. There was a lot of peer-pressure from Cass and the message at the end seemed to be "peer pressure is ok if the person needs a push?" which I don't agree with.
Content Warnings
Moderate: Infidelity, Toxic relationship, and Bullying
Profile Image for Bridget.
1,160 reviews73 followers
May 18, 2022
I loved this gently coloured graphic novel, the story of a friendship, of growing up, of changing and becoming a grown up person, acceptance and love.

The story of two girls, Megan and Cass, whose families holiday together every summer at a lake, they adore their special time each summer, hanging out, sharing everything and most of all as they grow up working on art projects together. They are a team. They are best friends. Then Cass's family has a marriage break up. It changes how it all works, suddenly there is sadness and anger lurking in the relationships. Megan comes to visit Cass in New York, become part of her fabulous artistic life, but Megan has questions, concerns. This life Cass leads, is it what she thought she wanted?

I adored this graphic novel for it's glorious colouration, the evolving relationship between the friends. It is a story of growing up, deep and abiding friendship and the connections we have with art and the meaning it can have in our lives. Gorgeous thing.
Profile Image for Liza Hotta.
241 reviews5 followers
August 21, 2022
Oh how i liked this story! And the illustrations are just right! I feel the love, the anger, the excitement, the hurt. And now I really want to go to New York.
4 reviews
January 10, 2023
Really beautiful art and perspective within the images to show importance and emotion. Cool comparison between art and friendship and how creativity can help us express and come into our own. My Favorite spread related to the feeling of freedom when dancing which struck a chord with me.
Profile Image for Shannon.
159 reviews1 follower
February 4, 2021
My last summer with Cass is a thought provoking book about friendships, how much they shape us, what they mean to us, and how much you have to work for them. The art in this is beautiful and the color pallet was very soothing. I loved the development of both girls, and how both had flaws to work though.
I received a free copy from Netgalley for my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Joy.
270 reviews15 followers
June 22, 2021
This is such a beautiful graphic novel. Not only the art is gorgeous, also the message behind this story is beautiful.

Both Cass and Megan, the main characters, were well developed by the author. They both went through character development over the course of the 256 pages. I really liked the fact that art was the main topic in this book. The overall plot and story are very good.

The art in this book is absolutely beautiful. The color schemes look amazing.

This is a quick, but beautiful read. I loved reading it.
Profile Image for  ⛅ Sunny (sunnysidereviews) ⛅.
328 reviews118 followers
March 26, 2021
My Last Summer with Cass was a heart wrenching story on how when life changes, so can relationships. It's a lovely coming of age that beautifully depicts life's ups and downs.

Here's what I liked about the book...

1. The Friendship
Anyone who has been through a friendship breakup or has had conflict with their close friends will deeply relate to what Megan and Cass go through. The kind of bond the two share is so incredibly precious yet so hard to come by. The novel displays their relationship in such a heart-wrenching way, and it was very interesting to see how it would play out.

2. The Exploration of Different Art Styles
My Last Summer With Cass features unique characters, with even more unique art styles. One person only uses two different shades of one color! Another creates their art very abstractly. However, my most favorite art pieces are the ones Megan and Cass create together. You can really see their different art styles work together in such an interesting way!

3. The Setting
The story takes place in the bustling city of New York. In my opinion, the city Cass lives in (New York City), really resonates with her personality perfectly. It’s busy and creative, just like Cass. I thought the setting was depicted in such an intriguing way, and I really do believe that the author draws the best atmospheres I’ve ever seen. They create scenes that draw you in, and only let you go once you’ve finished the book.

4. The Captivity
My Last Summer With Cass is a graphic novel that you won’t want to put down. As mentioned early, the way the art is drawn is so incredibly intriguing. It allows the readers to feel as though they are in the story, and to me, that’s incredibly beautiful.

5. The Colors
The author uses colors that I’ve never seen any artist use consistently throughout graphic novels. I liked how their wasn’t much use of black. It was very refreshing to see. To top it all off, purple and blue are used quite a bit, and are used in such different emotional context as well. The colors were used in a way that portrayed every emotion the characters where experiencing in such intriguing ways.

What I didn't like...

1. The Way the Conflict Was Resolved
The way their friendship evolved, made me think that they were both at fault. However, I feel like the ending made it seem as though their friendship problems were all Megan's fault, which to me, wasn't necessarily fair.

The Bottom Line...

I recommend My Last Summer with Cass to anyone looking to read a relatable story about friendships, or to anyone looking for an emotional summer read.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 314 reviews

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