Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Last Summer (of You and Me)

I finally read a grown-up book. And boy was I disappointed.

I had high hopes for Ann Brashares' The Last Summer (of You and Me). As I’ve mentioned before, I enjoy her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. The books aren’t the greatest I’ve ever read, but they are entertaining. I am interested in the characters, and I care about what happens to them (at least, most of the time).

Brashares should stick to writing young adult novels.

Last Summer is a dud. The story feels terribly clichéd—I swear I’ve read the same thing dozens of times before: love, dishonesty, misunderstandings, death. She apparently went to a writing seminar hosted by Nicholas Sparks.

I knew what was going to happen before I read it, so I felt little interest in the characters. I did not care if they fell in love, and I really did not care if they died (harsh, I know).

Not only is the story a rehash, but it is also a snore. Brashares provides flashbacks and back story that is just plain boring. Perhaps she thinks her attention to detail will add authenticity to the story, will make it more adult, but it is only tedious.

I could forgive the clichés and even the boredom if there were some spark in Brashares’ writing. There is no voice, no character, no life in the narrative. And that’s a crime I cannot forgive.

Perhaps I’m better off reading my juvenile literature after all.

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