Sunday 11 January 2009

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

Summary - A treacly tale about the tribulations a trio of longtime friends encounter. For as long as she can remember, 21-year-old Alice has spent summers on Fire Island with her parents and older sister, Riley. Riley, 24, is a beach lifeguard, more boyish in both looks and spirit than sweet, feminine Alice. An island neighbor and Riley's best friend, Paul, whose father is dead and mother mostly absent, returns to the island after two years away and must decide whether to sell his family's house there. More importantly, he and Alice finally act on an attraction they've felt for years, but they keep their frequent nuzzling quiet so as not to hurt Riley. Riley, meanwhile, has her own problems that could ruin Alice and Paul's clandestine romance and just about everything else.

Review - Ann Brashares' writing reminds me of a python. Stay with me and I will explain, they are beautiful and somewhat mesmerising but you can never really get a good grasp on them. Despite the delicate prose and the interesting premise, I always felt the disconnect with the characters. I didn't care about them. I didn't even feel that they truly cared about one another. I felt a little sadness at their predicaments but I was completely removed from the events of their lives.

Paul, is a character, to whom I never saw the attraction. Riley was supposed to be best friends with Paul but I failed to see any evidence of that other than being a convenient plot contrivance. Alice, well she likes to play the passive martyr. I liked the Traveling Pants but I saw glimpses of the removedness that seems so much more prolific in this novel. it was just a little too blah. I expected (and wanted) better.

Published: 2007
Format: Paperback , 306 pages
Publisher: Griffin Press (Aust.)
Origin: USA
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