Book info

The Last Summer (of You And Me) (2007)

The Last Summer (of You and Me) (2007)
Author
Rating
3.57 of 5 Votes: 5
ISBN
1594489173 (ISBN13: 9781594489174)
languge
English
publisher
riverhead books
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The Last Summer (of You And Me) (2007)
The Last Summer (of You And Me) (2007)

About book: This book did amazing things to my stomach. Not in the realms of sculpture, but that roller coaster feeling that dips up and down inside your belly. The essence of nervous, fluttering butterflies you get of talking to your crush or holding hands with a guy for the first time and your palms are all sweaty. It's everything you want in a good book and more. The layers of this story are soft and intricately woven like your favorite blanket given to you by your grandma for Christmas. It's not just your everyday beach read, which is what I've seen it described as before. It's so much more than that: deeper, enchanting, heartbreaking, and satiating. I honestly do not understand the bad reviews I've read on this book, because to me it is magnificent, and I hope Ann Brashares will write more like this in the future.The book, in my opinion, is amazing. I love it. Some people say differently, but I understand it on a level that maybe others who don’t make life as complicated for themselves as I do understand. Basically it’s about two sisters, Riley and Alice, whose lives intersect each summer with Paul’s. To say this story is a romance or a chick lit book would be, also in my opinion, to harshly undermine its quality. It’s not about a love triangle, it’s not about jealousy, it’s not about rivalry. What it is about is one person who resents change while the other two, largely desiring it, also struggle to leave behind the one who wishes it away. The story is about a series of moments that cause the characters to make split-second decisions that severely affect what happens in the book, and I think this is where a lot of people struggle to understand the plot. The thing that you have to understand is that the plot is not contrived of action, but of hesitation, confusion, and fear. In other words, the plot is contrived of the human condition and how the characters respond to what they’re dealt. And to be completely honest, it may take you several reads before you begin to understand them. The more I read the book, the more I knew why Paul resisted Alice intimately, the more I understood why Riley wanted to hold on to what she knew, the more I could empathize with Alice’s desire to be loyal to her sister while simultaneously wanting to move on from what they’d always known. I understand all that, because I’ve read it a billion times, but also because I’ve dealt with the same feelings, am still dealing with some of them. And this movie would only be great with the right director, the right screenwriters, and the right actors. If they just throw people together without fully understanding this book (you know, like I do), then they could seriously risk screwing it up. Needless to say, they just need to hire me as director and producer and casting director and, like, everything else.

tThe Last Summer (of You & Me), by Ann Brashares (the author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series) is an adult novel which tells the story of three friends/siblings: Paul, Riley, and Alice. Each is in their early twenties, and like the generation they belong to, they’re still on the cusp between childhood and adulthood, trying to figure out who they are and their relationships with each other and the rest of the world.tRiley is especially immature; at twenty-five she still makes a career out of being a lifeguard and has yet to enter into any sort of romantic relationship. But she’s always been the leader, encouraging her sister Alice and her best friend Paul to cling to childhood traditions and to reject the pretentiousness of adult pleasures. Because they love her they agree, but everything becomes more complicated when Paul and Alice fall in love. Guilt compels them to keep their relationship hidden from Riley. However, when Riley becomes seriously ill the strength of their love is tested, and the bonds both of family and friendship are put into question.t“The idea of love is always easier than the practice of it.’ Brashares states this towards the end of her story, and by the time she does so, it’s almost unnecessary. The entire novel is a beautiful, lyrical testament to the complexities of all sorts of love, yet never is the reader made to feel manipulated nor pandered to. Instead, the characters, their thoughts, and their relationships are built up and described so lovingly, that the book and its subject matter become one and the same: like the summer it describes, this novel is at once beautiful and fleeting. It’s impossible to put down, but at the same time you’ll want to cling to it, to draw it out and not let it end. After you do, you’ll promise yourself you won’t forget the way it made you feel, even though you know that (unfortunately) you will, all too soon.tThat’s okay. Unlike summers, books can be relived, over and over and over.tThis is one you’ll want to visit again for sure.
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Reviews
Kimberly Russell
This might be the hardest review for me to write. I hope someone reads it. :)When people ask me what my favorite book is I always say Pride and Prejudice, and that isn’t really the truth anymore. The truth is that The Last Summer (of You and Me) is my favorite. It has been for years. I love Elizabeth Bennet dearly but Alice is where it’s at for me. I want to be her. She’s so kind and gentle and lovely. I love the dynamic between the three of them. I want to run to Fire Island and find my own Paul. I want to hunt crab and see the different kinds of beaches and eat egg sandwiches while the sun comes up. I don’t know what it is about this particular story. Ann Brashares touches me with this one like no one can. Her words drip off the page, slashing little pangs in my heart. Brashares is divine at describing even the simplest things. Take this for example – if I were writing, I would say, “He felt great distress.” Does she say this though? No. She comes up with this: “His distress and pleasure mixed and married, giving birth to several anxious children.” Good. Lord. Woman.This novel feels personal to me in a way that even I don’t understand. Ann Brashares came for a book signing a few years ago and I turned around a block away from the site because I couldn’t handle if she had been rude to me. I don’t think she would have, but I don’t want anything to hinder my love for this novel. And… now you think I’m crazy. :)So, now that I have completely oversold the book, I leave you with my favorite quote. “She wanted him to see all of her and also none of her. She wanted him to be dazzled by the bits and blinded by the whole. She wanted him to see her whole and not in pieces. She had hopes that were hard to satisfy.”
Sarah Beth
I loved this novel.The novel cycles between two sisters, Riley and Alice, and their longtime childhood friend, Paul. While there was something truly tragic about all of the characters, how they yearned for dreams they couldn't attain and emotions they couldn't express, I got really caught up in the love story between Alice and Paul from the beginning. I was heartbroken by Riley's plight, although I felt like she was the least developed of the three main characters thus it was easiest to see bad things happen to her. I think I especially liked the tension between childhood and becoming an adult in this novel; how it subtly alters every relationship you've every known, makes you question your hobbies and dreams, and forces you to confront change on such a personal level. Brashares did a great job of weaving the setting into the novel. The very relationship of the three main characters was tied so firmly to their summer homes on the island to the point where it was hard to imagine them having lives elsewhere. Brashares has a nice, lyrical writing style that I enjoyed and I hope she continues to pursue more adult novels like this in the future.
Adrienne
I have mixed feelings about this story on one hand I really enjoyed it but on the other it annoyed the hell out of me to the point where this could have been quite easily discarded and casually noted as DNF.First off it's marked as adult...but it's not, really the only reason that it's been given that tag is because there is some love making and that is the only reason. Secondly the characters are all very immature for their ages (early to mid twenties) I don't know whether thats an accurate reflection of that age group nowadays or not, I like to think not. I'm also unsure as to whether or not it was a deliberate action by the author, by that I mean did she make them that way or does she think that,that is the way everyone in this age group behalves/thinks. They also 'think about' and pick apart their lives far too much in the same way insecure teens may think far too much, if they 'thought less' and 'did more' their story would have been far more emotional than it already is. So I sat for nearly 2 days totally absorbed by this story, desperately trying to push aside all the annoying things and realized that what I was left with was the kind of emotional story I love, people and relationships torn apart because fear, fear of the future, fear of loosing and leaving behind another loved one, fear of moving on from a relationship that has been shared three ways since childhood,and all the irrational acts that takes place when everyone is so absorbed by such a negative emotion that they can't see the wood from the trees. Even when something happens which turns their world upside down the fear still paralyses them, there is a gross misunderstanding no~one talks to each other about whats really going on, information is withheld, The ultimate finality of course is that the fear does not start to subside until something happens to break up the threesome. This could have been a 4 or 5 star read if only the main characters had been a little more mature.
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