Title: The Last Thing You Said
Author: Sara Biren
Publication: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Amulet Books
Genre: YA Fiction
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
Last summer, Lucy’s and Ben’s lives changed in an instant. One moment, they were shyly flirting on a lake raft, finally about to admit their feelings to each other after years of yearning. In the next, Trixie—Lucy’s best friend and Ben’s sister—was gone, her heart giving out during a routine swim. And just like that, the idyllic world they knew turned upside down, and the would-be couple drifted apart, swallowed up by their grief. Now it’s a year later in their small lake town, and as the anniversary of Trixie’s death looms, Lucy and Ben’s undeniable connection pulls them back together. They can’t change what happened the day they lost Trixie, but the summer might finally bring them closer to healing—and to each other.
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
Sara Biren’s debut novel ‘The Last Thing You Said’ is that summer love between teenagers, but ripped apart by tragedy. The careful balance of teenage emotion and trying to be strong that Biren balances is the perfect combination to bring out a story that will put on all heart strings.
The story focuses around Lucy and Ben as they cope almost a year later with the death of someone very close to them. A death that ended up ripping their own friendship apart. Living in a small lake town, you are bound to run into each other, and these encounters cause awkwardness, old pent up emotions to flow out, and angry disputes. While these teens try and juggle their normal summer lives of working and hanging out with old and new friends, we watch as they learn about heart ache, resentment, forgiveness, and teenage angst.
Biren’s writing is simplistic and has a great flow about it. The story transitions from one viewpoint to the other and you end up reading a chunk of the book without even realizing how long you have been sitting there. I love that about this novel. It’s an easy read that draws you in. Lucy is average teenager. Juggling family, work, and trying to be a little normal. She regrets some of her decisions and realizes the mistakes she has made based on her emotions. This story is good for anyone, of any age. It’s a fantastic spring read on a nice day sitting outside on the porch, or for those in snowy states, curled up on the couch with a good book. Being from Michigan, I could practically close my eyes and picture the small lake town, tourists milling about, taking boats out on the water, town parades, and all the other summer lake stories you hear about. They are all real and Biren nailed them in this novel. It’s like a fresh blast of air from back home. I highly recommend this book for anyone to check out and read. Five out of five stars.
The Last Thing You Said can be pre-ordered on Amazon or Barnes and Nobles. You can also pick up your own copy from your local bookstore on April 4, 2017 when it releases. Also make sure to add the book to your To Reads list on Goodreads and, when you finish reading, leave your feedback for the author. You can also find out more about author Sara Biren online at her website HERE.