Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Last Forever by Deb Caletti [Review]

The Last Forever4 out of 5 Robots!

The Last Forever by Deb Caletti
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Release: April 1st, 2014
Hardcover:  336 Pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
My Copy: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:

Endings and beginnings sit so close to each other that it’s sometimes impossible to tell which is which.

Nothing lasts forever, and no one gets that more than Tessa. After her mother died, it’s all she can do to keep her friends, her boyfriend, her happiness from slipping away. And then there’s her dad. He’s stuck in his own daze, and it’s so hard to feel like a family when their house no longer seems like a home.

Her father’s solution? An impromptu road trip that lands them in a small coastal town at Tessa’s grandmother’s. Despite all the warmth and beauty there, Tessa can’t help but feel even more lost.

Enter Henry Lark. He understands the relationships that matter. And more importantly, he understands her. A secret stands between them, but Tessa’s willing to do anything to bring them together—because Henry may just be her one chance at forever.
(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
Tessa and her father are barely getting by after the death of Tessa's mother.  Tessa's father is kind of a slacker and isn't sure how to be the responsible one now.  So he suggests a road trip to the Grand Canyon, that ends up being much longer than originally planned.  He eventually takes Tessa to his mother's home on a small island near Seattle.  But instead of just a visit, he leaves her there while taking off for a few weeks to "sort himself out."  Tessa is understandably hurt, but tries to make the best of it.    

To be honest, I almost gave up on The Last Forever.  At the beginning, the narrative was jumpy and kind of all over the place.  I found it hard to follow and it took me awhile to sift through and get a bead on the plot.  But I'm glad I stuck with it because the storyline does start to focus and become more linear.  Much of the plot revolves around Tessa trying to save her Pixiebell plant, which belonged to her mother and has a legendary history attached to it.  The plot to save the plant is really a metaphor for Tessa letting go of her guilt and anger over her mother's death and finding acceptance.  I actually really enjoyed the ending and thought it left our characters on a hopeful and positive note.

I also liked the casual and conversational tone of the narrator, even if I didn't always like Tessa.  I found her whiny and a little snotty at the beginning.  But, like most things in this book, she grew on me.  By the end, I was really happy about where she was in her life.  I also loved her grandmother, who was my kind of straight shooter. 

I also loved all the Seattle locations since I live in Seattle!  I didn't realize that the author was local and a University of Washington alumni, so that's cool.  It's always fun to see your town reflected in a book.

Ultimately, I'm glad I stuck with this book because I found myself enjoying it by the end.  I liked Tessa's journey and thought the book ended on a really nice, positive note.

Disclosure:  I reviewed a copy free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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