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THE LAST BEST STORY by Maggie Lehrman


by Maggie Lehrman

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-06-232077-3
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Love, journalism, and teenage angst collide in this sweet story of missed opportunities and second chances.

Rose and Grant are the perfect team, in sync about their journalistic aspirations and their future at Northwestern. She writes for the Hawks High School newspaper that he edits, and as they chase down leads and work long hours together, romantic tension simmers just beneath the surface. At the end of senior year, however, Rose is ready to move on from the newspaper dream she’s not sure was ever 100 percent hers and from the boy who is perpetually too afraid to make a move. When the school goes into lockdown during prom, Grant realizes that this story may be his last chance to work with Rose and his only hope of winning her back. The narrative shift between the present day and the pair’s earlier years in high school allows the tension between Rose and Grant to build organically. Lehrman (The Cost of All Things, 2015) writes teens well, and Rose’s consternation over her life choices and the revelation that the future she envisioned might not suit her feel all too real, as does Grant’s indecisiveness about whether to risk friendship for something more. Grant is assumed white, Rose is Italian and Cuban, and her best friend is Chinese-American (her portrayal unfortunately falls into lazy stereotypes).

An earnest high school romp as intrepid as its sleuthing protagonists. (Fiction 14-18)