Book Review: The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares

Description from the publisher: Riley and Alice, two sisters now in their twenties, and as fiercely different as they are loyal, have spent every summer at their parents’ modest beach house on New York’s Fire Island. Each year, they return to the house and community they have known since they were children—and to Paul, the boy next door. But this summer marks a season of change: budding love and sexual interest, an illness, and a deep secret force all three to confront the increasing complexities of their lives and friendships.

I’ve been hesitant to read each of the three books I’ve picked up by Ann Brashares because of the mixed reviews. But by the time I’ve finished each one, I can’t imagine not having read it. I think this book moved her onto my short list of Authors Whose Books I Will Read. I really, really enjoyed The Last Summer (of You and Me).  

It’s a fairly simple story with a slow-moving plot and focuses less on events and more on the thoughts, moments, and exchanges that impact relationships, sometimes forever. If you like a thought-provoking slow burn, you’ll like this one. It’s a love story centered on the love shared between three different people in three different ways; the love between sisters, the love between friends, and romantic love. And while I’m always a sucker for a romantic love story, by the end I honestly couldn’t tell you which of the three moved me the most. The writing is hypnotically beautiful. It’s just a really lovely read.

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