I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had been lucky enough to win a couple of books on social media, including winning 7 copies (!!!) of the contemporary #LoveOzYA novel The Last Days of Us (by Beck Nicholas) to share with my book club (thanks Harlequin Books!).
Six months ago, Zoey’s life went off the rails. After the tragic loss of her brother, she partied her way to oblivion, estranged her best friend, Cass, and pushed away her now ex, Finn. But when her destructive behaviour reaches dangerous heights, Zoey realises she needs to pull herself together and get her old life back, including her ex. There’s just one complication: Finn is now dating Cass.
Now, it’s the last week of summer and Zoey, Cass and Finn are setting out on the road trip of a lifetime to see their favourite musician, Gray, perform live, joined by Finn’s infuriatingly attractive bad-boy cousin Luc and his vibrant younger sister Jolie. Zoey thinks this is her chance to put things to rights and convince Finn they should get back together. But she wasn’t counting on her friends’ lingering resentment, Luc’s disarming sincerity, and Jolie’s infectious love for life to turn her plans upside down.
This is a sweet, fun story about finding yourself (or at least learning where to start looking!), with a summery vibe. Don’t let this fool you though – there are some really heavy issues in here too.
In a way, this book is really about grief – and how people process it at a time when they aren’t even really sure who they are (or want to be).
I thought the characters were really well written – I liked that they were all flawed in their ways, but also all trying to be better and so not unlikeable. The ensemble cast also allows us to see that different people deal with challenges in different ways – I love this in YA, since I think it is really important for young people (and everyone, really!) to learn that there is no one right way to react to a particular situation because we are all different.
Given the themes of loss explored in the book, this got pretty emotional in bits. I found some of these heavier parts really moving – partly because the characters were written in a way that I felt a connection with, or at the very least sympathy for, them. I’m not going to lie – there were tears!
Because of the way grief and loss are explored in this book, its one where I’d recommend some further research before reading if you have any concerns about triggering content.
Also, I love this cover!
I gave this one 4 stars