Hello! It’s been a little while since I shared a review but it’s another Wednesday and another YA review from me here on SWB! Today’s review is another coming courtesy of my UKYA readathon TBR and today it is The Last Summer Of Us by Maggie Harcourt which is fulfilled my read a debut prompt. Although this is Maggie’s debut novel it’s not the first book I read by her you can find my reviews of Unconventional and Theatrical in my archives and I have linked them if you click on the titles.
Title: The Last Summer Of Us
Author: Maggie Harcourt
Publication Date: 1st May 2015
Format: Kindle eBook
About The Book…
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.
The Last Summer Of Us begins at Limpet’s mum’s funeral and follows 3 best friends: Limpet, Steffan and Jared on a road trip that allows Limpet to escape a grief-stricken household and the three friends to see out the last of their summer.
Having read two of Maggie’s later books this book had a bit of a different feel to me certainly no less enjoyable then the next 2 but kind of a bit of a departure as although Unconventional and Theatrical are two stand-alone novels there is still a connection between the two. I very quickly got caught up with the characters in this story and I think it is definitely a very character driven storyline, to the point where if you didn’t like the characters I don’t think there’s enough action happening to carry you through the book. Fortunately for me I did really like all three characters although there were certainly things that happen in the book that I wouldn’t necessarily agree with. At the same time looking back and now knowing some of the things that we discover going on in their lives is kind of understandable. I was really invested in the lives of all three characters, the things that they were each dealing with and certain things that were perhaps not obvious to begin with but became evident as things were revealed as the road trip went on.
We quite quickly discover that Limpet’s mom was an alcoholic and that her death was as a direct result of her drinking, we also discover that Limpet’s father also has or is rapidly developing a similar sort of problem. Although Limpet has an aunt who is now trying to step in and do her best to help the father I think it would be very difficult to not feel empathy for Limpet given that she is a teenager who has spent years dealing with her mother’s alcoholism and the social stigma that comes with that as we discover that that it’s really not that much of a secret in their town. I think that Limpet still has a long way to go but I was happy to see her relationship develop and perhaps in a slightly unexpected way. The revelation of her real name right at the end of the book was a lovely touch and I would love to one day get some sort of update as to how she has gotten on.
I really liked Steffan and Jared, I think that they both bought something interesting to the plot whether it was the rich guy or the criminal’s son. I think from relatively early on I had a bit of a soft spot for Jared I don’t know if it’s some sort of underdog thing and the fact that he was surviving and even thriving despite the frankly quite appalling way his mother had treated him, and the issues with his father but I was definitely very pleased to see a few positive things happened to him during the book. I wasn’t quite as keen on Steffan to begin with although he seemed to be a good friend to Limpet there are a few things he did that jarred with me a little bit, probably because I was always the responsible one growing up but I think as other things were revealed as the story went on some of his less than stellar decisions became a little bit more understandable.I think seeing the relationship between the two boys was really interesting especially as we discovered more about it it’s difficult to say more without spoiling kind of one of the major revelations of the book but seeing how or if their relationship would weather that storm made for a really interesting plot.
I really enjoyed The Last Summer Of Us as I mentioned it’s a very character driven storyline so I think if quite early on these characters aren’t clicking with you it’s probably not a book that you are going to be able to bring yourself to enjoy. This book was originally published back in 2015 and I would love to discover how the three characters have developed in the intervening years.
About The Author…
Maggie Harcourt was born and raised in Wales, where she grew up dreaming of summer road trips and telling stories for a living. As well as studying Medieval Literature at UCL, Maggie has variously worked as a PA, a hotel chambermaid and for a French chef before realising her dreams and beginning to write full time.
She now lives just outside Bath, UK, where she can usually be found in a bookshop or somewhere near the river. She guards the secret of her favourite coffee shop jealously, because she has the perfect spot picked out there for people-watching.
Connect With Maggie
Want To Buy It?
As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?