Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Reads: Light and Easy

I just finished The Last Summer (of You & Me) by Ann Brashares yesterday (during my day off, thank you presidents). I wasn't expecting much from the mind that created the traveling pants and I wasn't disappointed. This book is a decent attempt at adult fiction from an author who's work, up until now, has been solely found in the young adult/teen section.

From the inside cover:

"In the town of Waterby on Fire Island, the rhythms and rituals of summer are sacrosanct: the ceremonial arrivals and departures by ferry; yacht club dinners with terrible food and breathtaking views; the virtual decree against shoes; and the generational parade of sandy, suntanned kids, running, swimming, squealing, and coming of age on the beach.

Set against this vivid backdrop, The Last Summer (of You & Me) is the enchanting, heartrending story of a beach-community friendship triangle among three young adults for whom summer and this place have meant everything. Sisters Riley and Alice, now in their twenties, have been returning to their parents' modest beach house every summer for their entire lives. Petite, tenacious Riley is a tomboy and a lifeguard, always ready for a midnight swim, a gale-force sail, or a barefoot sprint down the beach. Beautiful Alice is lithe, gentle, a reader and a thinker, and worshipful of her older sister. And every summer growing up, in the big house that overshadowed their humble one, there was Paul, a friend as important to both girls as the place itself, who has now finally returned to the island after three years away. But his return marks a season of tremendous change, and when a simmering attraction, a serious illness, and a deep secret all collide, the three friends are launched into an unfamiliar adult world, a world from which their summer haven can no longer protect them.

Ann Brashares has won millions of fans with her blockbuster series The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, in which she so powerfully captured the emotional complexities of female friendship and young love. With The Last Summer (of You & Me), she moves on to introduce a new set of characters and adult relationships just as true, endearing, and unforgettable. With warmth, humor, and wisdom, Brashares makes us feel the excruciating joys and pangs of love -- both platonic and romantic. She reminds us of the strength and sting of friendship, the great ache of loss, and the complicated weight of family loyalty. Thoughtful, lyrical, and tremendously moving, The Last Summer (of You & Me) is a deeply felt celebration of summer and nostalgia for youth."

I also read another book that was very similar: A Model Summer by Paulina Porizkova. This book was another decent attempt at fiction, this time from a former model and children's book author. 

From the Memphis Reads blog:

"A Model Summer begins in 1980 in Paris, France where everything and everyone is beautiful and glamorous. In the midst of all this opulence is young, 14 year-old Jirina (pronounced Yee-ree-na). Jirina grew up in Sweden taking care of her younger sister, with whom she formed a sisterly alliance against their cruel, abusive mother. Her life was that of an ordinary teenager, complete with her feeling too gawky and too ugly, until her photographs grab the attention of Jean-Pierre, owner of Paris’ Siren modeling agency. After Jirina has her 15th birthday, she is invited by Jean-Pierre to give modeling a try.

Her world is turned completely upside down once she arrives in Paris. Wild parties, glamorous photo shoots, and new experiences are hurled at Jirina. Although there is the undercurrent of nervous tension abuzz everywhere, at the end of the day, Jirina is still a stranger in a strange land. I felt compassion for Jirina because even though her associates think she is worldly and sophisticated, she is still that lonely, gawky teenager."

It wasn't the best thing I've ever read but I wasn't really expecting it to be. It was just a simple, easy to read story. And sometimes, you just need that, you know?

1 comment:

K.walk said...

hahahaah! Okay, I totally made myself sound more awkward than I am. Meghan, when are you going to have a courty conference in Delaware?!?!

thanks for the reading rainbow reports..."but don't take my word for it." (Hoping you watched reading rainbow as a young lass)