by Deb Caletti
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Publication Date: April 1st 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
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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. (Goodreads)
After being forced to go on a spontaneous road trip by her grieving father, Tess ends up in her grandmothers small town of Parrish Island. Even though she feels lost and alone, especially after her dad deserts her, she starts to feel welcome in this small town. With the help of the people she meets along the way, she learns that in life, nothing lasts forever.
Tess was an interesting character. I can imagine the pain that she is going through after the loss of her mother, and I can definitely understand the grief. Because of this, she seems very closed off in the beginning of the novel. But once she starts meeting new friends on the island, we finally start to see a different side of her.
Henry Lark is the love interest in the story, and he was a very sweet young man, very gentlemanly as well. I found him to be the highlight of the book. He does have a secret throughout the book that turns out to be a pretty big plot twist that I didn’t see coming, but I still love him nonetheless.
All of the secondary characters in this novel were pretty interesting. Tess’ grandmother, Jenny is quite the character. And while it took me a while to warm up to her dad, because honestly he needed to grieve himself and grow up as well, I ended up loving him as well. There are so many more characters that I could mention, but I will just leave it at that they were all pretty funny people.
I also really enjoyed the world-building in this novel, even as simple as it was. The small island town seemed very warm and inviting, and most of the story was set in a library. I LOVE books that have libraries in them!
Overall; The Last Forever is a story of love and loss and letting go. I think that it will be a book that a lot of girls will love, and will be able to relate to.