Hope Ortego's Reviews > The Last Time We Were Us

The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen
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really liked it

3.5/5 stars but rounding it up to a 4 star because it had a great message at the end of the story!

After Jason Sullivan gets out of juvie early, Liz is thrust into a whirlwind of decisions. Does she trust her once best friend and forget what the town thinks of him, or does she side with the town and outcast Jason just like everyone else has?

Through most of the book I was cringing at the words and actions from her sister and mother. They were rude, judge mental, unforgiving, and close minded. I also couldn't stand how having sex at the age of 16 was portrayed as something important and 'not a big deal'. Call me mom, prude, unrealistic, whatever, but listen to me young readers ... don't let anyone pressure you to do something you don't want to do. Know that your body is to be respected. It is ok not to have sex with your high school boyfriend. It is something special and you should wait. :)

NOW, let's talk about the good stuff. I loved our main character. She wasn't flawless. She had faults. But she was the perfect combination of level headed, emotional, laid back, forgiving, and determined. She taught the reader that giving someone a second chance is important, especially if you've spent your whole life with said person. But most importantly, it is crucial to not get caught up in what other people are saying. It's ok to care about what other people think of you in doses. It is not ok for you to solely focus on what people may think about you or say about you when it is destructive and full of hate. Liz saw that the community around her was focusing more on acting out of hate and judgement instead of love and forgiveness.

Jason Sullivan was another great character. He was remorseful, determined, protective, loving, and loyal. His character had my two favorite quotes in the book. "Turns out I love you more than I hate him" YAYYY for love over hate! "It's not where you start, it's where you end up". SOOO TRUE.

So friends, remember that your body is to be respected. Looks aren't everything. Forgiveness is powerful. Live a life of love over hate.

Xoxo,
Hope
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Reading Progress

March 3, 2016 – Shelved
March 3, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
June 18, 2016 – Started Reading
June 18, 2016 –
page 100
27.17% "The mom and sister in this book are awful."
June 18, 2016 –
page 260
70.65% "The way her mom and sister act and talk is excruciating. They are miserable people who think appearance is everything. I can't, I just can't even with them!"
June 18, 2016 –
page 333
90.49% "Love over hate. Such a beautiful thing. ❤️"
June 18, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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message 1: by Storm (new)

Storm Wonderful review Hope!! :) AMEN, what beautiful words! Our bodies should most definitely be respected. It's sad how books nowadays often don't portray that. Thanks for such an amazing review!


Hope Ortego Stormsiren99 wrote: "Wonderful review Hope!! :) AMEN, what beautiful words! Our bodies should most definitely be respected. It's sad how books nowadays often don't portray that. Thanks for such an amazing review!"

I really enjoyed this book but I felt like there were so many parts that would be dangerous for younger readers to read if they are in the same mindset of our characters. I would hate to recommend this book then have a 16 year old girl read it and think 'wow, I need to sleep w/my boyfriend to be popular'. It had me cringing. Ha! Hopefully I didn't sound to preachy. :) It was a super cute book but I just did not like that aspect of it.


message 3: by Storm (new)

Storm You didn't sound preachy at all! I 100% agree with you! Thank you so much for speaking up on that subject; I believe a lot of people don't really understand or care about the danger of potentially harmful messages in books. It makes me so sad! Plus, it is SO easy for a book to portray wrong messages, like that it's ok to do what should be exclusive to marriage, especially to younger audiences, which is very dangerous! Like right now I am reading "Since You've Been Gone" by Morgan Matson and it is a super cute book, but underage drinking is treated so lightly, like it's no big deal at all. Thus, I can't really recommend it to younger girls, because I don't want them to think that participating in an illegal act is fun, cool, and popular, which is essentially what the author is giving off in this book. :(


Hope Ortego Stormsiren99 wrote: "You didn't sound preachy at all! I 100% agree with you! Thank you so much for speaking up on that subject; I believe a lot of people don't really understand or care about the danger of potentially ..."

Yea. Underage drinking happened in this book too! At first it was talked about like everyone did it and it wasn't a big deal, but then it showed the consequences of being drunk and stupidity. But really, common authors, lets get it together!


message 5: by Storm (new)

Storm Oh man, that's so sad! Especially in a YA book! Since You've Been Gone sounds similar to this book (the drinking aspect). The main character, Emily, went to a party and everybody (all underage) was drinking, so Emily decided to get a beer to "blend in." She only took one sip, but I still didn't appreciate the message going through. And then the book showed her before and after being drunk and I'm like "really??" Is that necessary? If the author showed the dangers of underage drinking, that would be a different story. But acting like it's cool? Definitely doesn't set well with me. Like, the author shows fake ID's as being a sign of bravery! How awful!!! Agh so upsetting. I'm going to finish the book because I'm already so far into it, but my star rating is definitely going to be at least half a star lower than I would normally give, due to what I said above. Authors need to quit putting underage drinking in their books! Or any other bad messages, like premarital you-know-what!

...I'm sorry for rambling for so long! I REALLY needed to get it out of my system haha! Thanks so much for listening to me and for chatting with me! :)

Ya know, now that I think of it, what we've been talking about would make a really great video! "The top 5 worst hidden messages found in YA books." I've never seen anyone do a video like that before!


Hope Ortego That would be a great video!!! Thank you for rambling with me :) It was a pleasure. haha


message 7: by Storm (new)

Storm Haha of course! ;) It's always good to talk about what we like and don't like in books! Have an amazing week and I'm sure I'll talk to you again later! :)


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