THE SUMMER OF FIRSTS AND LASTS by Terra Elan McVoy

THE SUMMER OF FIRSTS AND LASTS

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Three sisters try to figure out themselves and their relationships with each other during their last summer together at Camp Callanwolde.

Calla is ambitious, smart and obsessed with her longtime crush and never boyfriend, Duncan. Violet is artistic, confident and head over heels with James, who is definitely off-limits. Daisy is athletic and taken by surprise by Joel, who is as intriguing as he is confusing. Everything seems on course for it to be the best summer ever, when Brynn, a girl who is determined to make things happen, turns all their lives upside down. Brynn is sometimes a catalyst for good, encouraging Daisy to try the zip line and to stand up to the girls intent on bullying her. However, in the midst of her shenanigans she nearly destroys the bonds of trust that exist between the sisters. Rather than forging their own summer experiences, the sisters seem at the mercy of their circumstances, a lack of growth that makes the story unsatisfying. The sisters’ three stories merge and separate as the point of view shifts from one sister to the next with each new chapter. Shifting narrators, a too-large cast and competing, rather than complementing, story lines keep this tale from ever finding its legs. 

Readers will quickly become frustrated by the uneven plot and the setting of summer camp, which never makes it past cliché. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 3rd, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4424-0213-3
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2011




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