The Last Summer (of You & Me) by Ann Brashares is my favorite beach read to date. It has everything I look for in a summer book: beaches, boys, & besties.
This is the first book published by the bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series for adults, so you probably know what to expect as far as writing style and general vibe goes, but the characters are a bit older.
The book focuses on two sisters in the early/mid-twenties spending the summer at their family home on Fire Island (not the Hamptons, but same general area and similar feel). The boy next door has been a friend to the two girls for most of their lives. He has been away for the past few summers, but has moved back to New York the year the book begins. The story is not all fluff, there are some heart wrenching as well as heart warming moments which I can appreciate in summer reads (it can’t be all cavity-inducing romances and torrid summer flings). I think it especially speaks to the wistfulness that our (my?) generation, especially, feels for our childhoods.
I read this book almost five years ago and it has been one of those books that has just stayed with me. The story is beautiful and the writing is excellent, as we have come to expect from Ann Brashares. For a story that is mostly about the bonds of sisterhood, it in no way made me want to vomit as most books like this would. Not that I don’t love my sister, but as a born and raised Mid-Westerner, I don’t want the topic shoved down my throat.
As always, I worry that saying too much will ruin even a fraction of the book and I hate that. So, I’ll end with this: it’s a fantastic book and I think you should read it.