Monday, June 25, 2007

Book Review - The last summer (of you and me) by Ann Brashares

I picked this book up because I liked the movie "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" This book is to be her first adult novel but I would say that it is barely adult as the characters are all in their early 20s and don't often act like adults. The last half of this book saves it, if you can hang in there that long... The first half is all set up and the middle sags badly. The setting is wonderful and her descriptions of the summer only community are quite striking and believable. The characters a bit less so. The ambiguious sister who may or may not be a lesbian (a question which is never answered) is the most interesting character and isn't on the page often enough. The good girl who in many ways becomes one of those characters that is easily labeled as "too stupid to live" becomes annoying with her very predictable bouts of self doubt. And finally the boy-man also drowning in self doubt makes for drab reading after a while. The reader wants to beat these two children/adults senseless but they already are senseless so what's the point? The themes of childhood friendships changing as they evolve into adulthood are interesting but too lightly explored. The underlying theme of choosing your own death was fabulous and too shallowly mined for my tastes. A good effort but if it were a first novel I'm afraid it wouldn't have made it out of the slush pile.

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