The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares

Genre:  Realistic Fiction/Romance

Age Level:  14 and up

# of Pages:  306

RAC Book:  Yes

Alice spends every summer at her family’s summer house on Fire Island hanging out with her older sister, Riley, and the next door neighbor boy, Paul.  Riley and Paul have been best friends since they were kids and Alice always tagged along.  Now that they are in their early twenties they decide to spend another summer there to try and recapture some of their youth.  Alice and Riley have not seen Paul for three years so both feel a little anxious, but for very different reasons.

After Riley contracts strep throat she accidentally forgets her medication on the beach and when she goes to retrieve it finds Alice and Paul in a compromising position.  As Alice and Paul become involved romantically they feel guilty leaving Riley behind.  Riley was always the leader when they were kids and in many ways has never changed while everyone else has grown up.   Due to the fact that Riley never found her strep throat pills, it develops into rheumatic heart disease.  Riley insists that Alice let her tell Paul about her condition herself, but neglects to do so for many months.  Since Alice has sworn not to tell Riley’s secret it drives a wedge between her and Paul.  Alice also gives up her plans for law school and stays home to help take care of Riley.

This is a story about sisters, family, friendship, and love.  However, many of the ways these characters go about showing their love makes the reader wonder if they really love each other at all.  Alice and Paul feel so bad about betraying Riley by getting romantically involved that they actually feel like they brought on Riley’s illness by not telling her.  Riley knows about their romance but doesn’t tell them because she doesn’t want to be left out if they make up.  Riley also fails to tell Paul about her disease even though she knows it’s the reason they broke up.  The motivations of the characters often seem unreasonable and selfish at times.  There are a lot of issues and emotions dealt with, just like many of Brashares books, but readers looking for another Traveling Pants series will be disappointed.  



9 Responses to “The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares”

  1. 1 Chelsea March 5, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    I did not like this book at all! While I have read, own, and love all four of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books, I picked up this book expecting it to be just as good, but it failed miserably to meet my standards. The book was slow-paced, had very immature character development, and was just overall poorly written. I would not recommend this book.

  2. 2 Sarah April 5, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    I LOVED this book! Ann does a perfect job of capturing the childhood to adulthood friendship of friends who only see eachother when the weather’s hot. I could compare with everything she wrote, having many friends like that through sleep-away-camp. And while it has a bit of a sad ending, it is SO TRUE. Thank you, Ann, for publishing yet another great book! I, for one, will be waiting to see what comes out next.
    To Chelsea,
    1. I love the sisterhood books too, and
    2. so you’re standards are higher than the rest of ours. SO WHAT???
    4. Maybe it had an, as you so creully call it, an “immature character development” because these people only see eachother for 2-3 months out of the year. And you have to read deeper than the words, think about how their RELATIONS change.

  3. 3 lisa April 8, 2008 at 4:23 am

    I loved this book! I read it twice in one week and may read it a third. It had the same romantic allure that the Pants books had for me. I fell in love with Paul the same way I did with Eric Richman. I hope Ann writes more Romance novels–this was a winner for me.

  4. 4 Annie March 17, 2009 at 1:16 am

    Though i did think this book was a little slow at times, I truly couldn’t put it down. Ann captured emotions we all feel at times as she thoroughly developed her characters. I didn’t cry, but came close 🙂

  5. 5 Piney June 28, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    I loved this book! I spent many summers at my friend’s cottage and this book brought back some good memories. Very realistic on how kids spend their summers. The story didn’t drag for me and I really cared about these characters. I did make me cry. I plan to read it again.

  6. 6 Latoisha September 21, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    I LOVED THIS BOOK. I’ve seen the Sisterhood movie and when I picked up the book, it was partly because she authored those. I fell in love with Alice, Riley and Paul from chapter 2. And as one reviewer had said (from the cover itself) it did have me reading way into the night. Which is a first for me really. Another first? I reread my fav chapters (which was most of the book) immediately after finishing.
    I thought her language and expression of the characters was romantic, and even if the baseline story was simple she added a flavor I hadnt seen before. You go Ann.

    You will love The Last Summer of You and Me. From cover to cover.

  7. 7 Shante September 4, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    I truly loved this book. I love every thing about it. I havent ever read the Traveling Pants series but this book makes me want to read it. I read it all in a day and I’m 13!!! I think this book is a lot like real life. It made me cry because of Riley. O and when she left him. AND when they got back together.

  8. 8 Rose November 25, 2010 at 6:29 am

    OMG i loved the book sooooooooooooooooo much. I read it in about a day and i was so sad when I finished it! i fell in love with all the characters and their feelings became mine. It was one of the best books i ever read. I think Ann is a fantastic author with really original ideas

  9. 9 Kristin September 7, 2011 at 4:32 am

    The best novels are ones that catch your immediate attention once you read, keep you reading because you feel a personal connection to the story, and leave you thinking about those connections long after you finish.

    There are very few books that I do not enjoy; I usually find some significant value in every one I read. The Last Summer, though, had me feeling so invested that I am sure that it is one I will read regularly. Kudos to Brashares for writing a new favorite of mine.

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