Saturday 2 May 2015

Book Review - The Last Summer of Us

The Last Summer of UsThe Last Summer of Us
Author: Maggie Harcourt
Genres: Contemporary, Road Trip | Young Adult
Release Date: 1st May 2015
No. Pages: 295
Source: Review Copy - Usborne
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.

Before I saw this book available for request from LoveReading4Kids I hadn't heard of it. I loved the cover and did a quick research on what the book was about and after being intrigued, I decided to request it on nothing more than a whim. I'm a big sucker for a good contemporary and when road trips are added into the mix it is more often than not a recipe for success right? Regardless of how much I was looking forward to the book I was somewhat cautious, there really wasn't much about the book anywhere and because the review had to be in by the end of the month I was worried that it wouldn't be as good as I expected, leaving me in a situation where I would have to try and write a less than positive review, something I struggle with from time to time. However I tried my hardest to keep my expectations low and was just happy to be reading more UKYA. Though it took me a few chapters to really get into the book, as I feel it started of slow, I became hooked and devoured it in a few hours.

As you can probably tell from the summary, this short book is based around three best friends Limpet, Steffan and Jared. The story starts of with a funeral for Limpets mother and instead of staying home with her dad who doesn't seem to be coping well, she and the boys decide to go on a road trip to clear their heads. With no real destination in mind, they set of on the road for a few days away and try to leave the stress of home life behind them for a while. During the road trip secrets are reviled and friendship are tested, but the 3 have a bond that in the end make it over any obstacle.

As far as characters go in the story, I think the 3 were very well developed with heaps of back story and I loved how strong the friendship was. We have Limpet, who is not only dealing with the death of her mother but the gossip surrounding it. Her father isn't functioning properly, leaving her no time to really focus on herself and to make matters worse things are set in place to really shake up her friendship with Steffan. But despite all of this she is still holding her head up high, laughing and trying her best not to fall apart. Then we have Jared, someone who doesn't say much but every seems to have something bad to say about. Jared is leaving with the guilt and repercussions of the mistakes his dad made and is shut off because of it, but it's not till his dad is set to make a return do Limpet and Steffan really see a change in him and does he start to open up more. Lastly we have Steffan, a carefree and loveable boy who is hiding a secret of his own, his life is about to change and because of this so are the very foundations of the friendship they all share. Basically the 3 characters are very different, with all their own story to tell but seem to find comfort in each other and I think it's lovely.

I would have loved to write more about the book, but because it was small and the secrets are so integral to the story, I thought it was best to keep it short and sweet. You should know that it was beautifully written and such an easy read. It was also the first book I had read that was set in Wales so it made it even more interesting for me. However I didn't find myself thinking about the characters or the story much when I had finished it, but while I was reading I found myself completely caught up in everything that was going on. It was a really good debut, one that would have slipped me by had it not been for the opportunity to review it and I am not only very thankful for the chance, but I'm looking forward to future books for from Maggie Harcourt.


  1. I hadn't come across this book before now, but you can count me intrigued! The characters sound well-developed and differentiated, and I love a good road trip novel, especially when there are deeper issues involved. Lovely review Stacie :)

    Eugenia @ Genie In A Book

    1. Thank you Eugenia. Its a book that starts off pretty slow but then soon the character well and truly pull on your heart strings haha.

  2. Never heard of this one, but I'm totally a sucker for roadtrip books too, so thanks for showing me this one, Stacie! It definitely sounds a little different from the more publicized road trip novels, and it sounds like that's a good thing here!

    1. I've read few, and it is different. I think the biggest difference is that it's about 3 friends, not just one or two on the road and that makes for a great variety in personalities. Plus I loved how the friendship was the main focal point to the book, there is a little it of romance but it's so subtle that it doesn't over take anything. Everything was just really well balanced.

  3. I hadn't heard of this one before, but I'm a sucker for a good road trip story, and whenever there's a strong central focus on friendship I can't complain. Glad to hear this one met your expectations Stacie - it sounds wonderfully done and I love the sound of it. Definitely going to have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

    1. Thank you Zoe, I look forward to hearing what you think if you get around to reading it :D

  4. I hadn't heard of this before, but now I'm definitely interested!! Happy to see you enjoyed it and I'll be adding it to my TBR. :)

    1. I think its one of those books that just sits under everyone's radar but needs to be more noticed if you ask me. It took me by surprise.


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