The Last Summer of Us
by Maggie Harcourt Published by Usbourne Publishing
on May 1st, 2015 Format:
Buy The Book: Amazon
Limpet, Steffan and Jared. Three best friends crammed into a clapped-out rust bucket of a car on a whirlwind road trip to forget their troubles and see out the end of the summer. But no matter how far they drive, they can’t escape the hidden secrets and slow-burning romance that could upset the balance of their friendship – perhaps forever.
~Thank you so much to the wonderful people at Usbourne for this review copy~
I was so, so lucky to receive a copy of this poignant and articulate story.
Jared, Steffan, and Limpet are some of the most lovable and flawed teenagers ever, and reading their stories was like following maps with teardrops, laughter, adventures, and life lessons scattered over every destination they take themselves. This, of course, is a road-trip story. And it has become my favorite road-trip story.
The air of self-discovery and friendship flowed greatly with the novel’s theme, and I marveled at the dynamics of the relationships between Jared, Steffan, and Limpet. Purely, I marveled at their heartbreaking backstories and was deeply touched by how honest they were with each other. I believe this trio of friends has the likes to compete with Harry, Hermione, and Ron the literal and actual famous “Trio” of Harry Potter in terms of camaraderie. Truly, The Last Summer of Us makes me proud of the whole YA genre.
Maggie Harcourt’s writing is simple yet effervescent. Limpet, our narrator, is the kind of girl I’d like to be best friends with. She’s hilarious, brutally honest, and very sweet. She’s quirky, she’s fun, and such a clearly voiced narrative. Jared and Steffan are such mischievous and fun characters, maybe a bit mysterious-but what really struck me about them was their loyalty. I honestly think this story has the ‘L’ words covered: Love. Loss. Loyalty. What a beautiful combination.
These characters have been through so much: Steffan’s mother died of cancer. Jared’s father has a criminal record and a bad past. Limpet’s mother drank herself to death. Watching them find comfort in each other as friends when they were having such issues with their families was touching and a great representation of true friendship and love. I felt for all of them. While life was hard on them, the story also captured their happy moments, their inside jokes, and their true, undeniable love for each other. Life was essentially captured within the pages of The Last Summer of Us:change, pain, dreams, adventure, friendship, love, laughter, growth. It was such an extraordinary thing to read.
The romance was slow to burn and perfect. Maggie Harcourt wrote such amazing characters, and to watch them fall for each other is a beautiful thing. She captured the friends-to-more relationship perfectly. Besides the romance, I just loved how the author perfected each and every new unique scene within the novel. As the characters journey, she adds details and captures every place, person, and life lesson found on the road. This story had such a realness, a depth. I rationed it in hopes of making the magic last longer. And if you want the magic, I strongly encourage you to order this book straight out of the UK, because it is so worth your time.
Essentially, go buy it. Go read it. Go love it. The Last Summer of Us is a huge enjoyment, and you’d be sorry if you missed out on it.