Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

The Last Summer (Of You & Me) by Ann Brashares (Book Review)


The Last Summer (Of You & Me) by Ann Brashares
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: June 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover - 320 pages
               Paperback - 320 pages
               Kindle - 608 KB
               Nook - 476 KB
ISBN (HC): 978-1594489174
ISBN (PB): 978-1594483080
ASIN: B001974DEW
BNID: 978-1440637469
Genre: Women's Fiction

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I purchased a copy of the book from Books & Treasures monthly book club subscription.

Book Description:

From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Ann Brashares comes her first adult novel.

In the town of Waterby on Fire Island, the rhythms and rituals of summer are sacrosanct: the ceremonial arrivals and departures by ferry; yacht club dinners with terrible food and breathtaking views; the virtual decree against shoes; and the generational parade of sandy, sun-bleached kids, running, swimming, squealing, and coming of age on the beach.

Set against this vivid backdrop, The Last Summer (of You and Me) is the enchanting, heartrending story of a beach-community friendship triangle and summertime romance among three young adults for whom summer and this place have meant everything. Sisters Riley and Alice, now in their twenties, have been returning to their parents’ modest beach house every summer for their entire lives. Petite, tenacious Riley is a tomboy and a lifeguard, always ready for a midnight swim, a gale-force sail, or a barefoot sprint down the beach. Beautiful Alice is lithe, gentle, a reader and a thinker, and worshipful of her older sister. And every summer growing up, in the big house that overshadowed their humble one, there was Paul, a friend as important to both girls as the place itself, who has now finally returned to the island after three years away. But his return marks a season of tremendous change, and when a simmering attraction, a serious illness, and a deep secret all collide, the three friends are launched into an unfamiliar adult world, a world from which their summer haven can no longer protect them.

Ann Brashares has won millions of fans with her blockbuster series, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, in which she so powerfully captured the emotional complexities of female friendship and young love. With The Last Summer (of You and Me), she moves on to introduce a new set of characters and adult relationships just as true, endearing, and unforgettable. With warmth, humor, and wisdom, Brashares makes us feel the excruciating joys and pangs of love—both platonic and romantic. She reminds us of the strength and sting of friendship, the great ache of loss, and the complicated weight of family loyalty. Thoughtful, lyrical, and tremendously moving, The Last Summer (of You and Me) is a deeply felt celebration of summer and nostalgia for youth. 

Book Excerpt:

My Book Review:

In The Last Summer (Of You & Me), author Ann Brashares transports the reader to the seaside town of Waterby on Fire Island, New York, that follows the summer of change for three longtime childhood friends.

Sisters Riley and Alice have spent their summers on Fire Island along with Paul, their childhood friend and boy-next-door. Now in their twenties, the sisters are back in town for the summer, and Paul is returning to the island after three years. What these three childhood friends don't know is that this last summer will change their lives forever.  

In The Last Summer, author Ann Brashares easily captivates her readers' attention with this beautifully written tale through a seamless and flowing storyline, a wonderful description of a tranquil island setting, and characters who draw you into their lives with a strong emotional pull, along with their complexities, flaws and secrets.

The Last Summer is an intricate story of interweaving friendships, life events, and deeply held secrets and drama. It is a wonderful story that introduces the reader to sisters Riley (24 years old) and Alice (21 years old), and their childhood friend Paul (24 years old). With flashbacks to past summers spent on Fire Island interwoven with the current summer, the reader will follow along as this summer of change will bring drama as a simmering attraction develops, a tragic serious illness occurs, and longheld secrets are revealed that will test their bonds of friendship, while they experience and face the challenges of adulthood as they leave their childhood behind. The reader will be kept engaged as this heartbreaking story unfolds, taking them on a roller coaster ride where they will experience the full gamet of emotions, until they come full circle at the conclusion. I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I enjoyed the author's rich description of Fire Island, it made me want to visit there sometime. 

If you are looking for an emotional beach story to read on a hot summer day, look no further, The Last Summer is that book!


About The Author

Ann Brashares is the New York Times bestselling author of the phenomenally bestselling series of young adult novels, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Her first adult novel, The Last Summer (of You and Me) debuted on the New York Times list, in both hardcover and paperback, where it stayed for months. Ann and her husband live with their three children in New York.

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