The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of The Last Summer (of You and Me), by Ann Brashares

This was sad. Brashares is the author of the young adult series, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and The Last Summer was her attempt to break into adult literature. Instead, this was like a young adult book in which 15-year-olds who were allegedly 21 through 25 dealt with sex, illness, grad school, and real estate. And it really wasn’t very good. The least interesting character, Alice, is the main point-of-view character. Her love interest, Paul, is self-absorbed and self-righteous. Her sister, Riley, is the most interesting character in the book and yet remains a cipher throughout.

Also, this is one of those books underpinned by an insane lack of communication. Look, if you know someone well enough to sleep with them, you know them well enough to say something like “I’m sorry, I’m not at liberty to tell you what’s going on because it would break a confidence, but it isn’t about us, and I care for you and will be back in touch soon.” And then get back in touch quickly, like a grown-up. Of course, this approach would wipe out 95% of all romance novels, but that genre is being superseded by chick lit, so it’s no big loss.

Anyway, The Last Summer is SAFE for animal lovers. Riley frets about some captive dolphins and loves to watch wild ones. Alice does catch-and-release with crabs, except she may or may not have forgotten to release a few in her last bucket. I was scanning by that time, so I don’t really know. And I’m certainly not going to reread the book for that detail.

Having trashed Brashares here, I will say that I can see why she’s done so well as a writer for young adults, and I wish her continued success, which I’m sure she’ll have.


August 17, 2008 - Posted by | animals, Book Reviews | , , ,

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