ARC Review: The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian

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What if your town was sliding underwater and everyone was ordered to pack up and leave? How would you and your friends spend your last days together?

While the adults plan for the future, box up their possessions, and find new places to live, Keeley Hewitt and her friends decide to go out with a bang. There are parties in abandoned houses. Canoe races down Main Street. The goal is to make the most of every minute they still have together.

And for Keeley, that means taking one last shot at the boy she’s loved forever.

There’s a weird sort of bravery that comes from knowing there’s nothing left to lose. You might do things you normally wouldn’t. Or say things you shouldn’t. The reward almost always outweighs the risk.

Almost.

It’s the end of Aberdeen, but the beginning of Keeley’s first love story. It just might not turn out the way she thought. Because it’s not always clear what’s worth fighting for and what you should let become a memory.

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3/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

PROS:

  • Here’s what I loved: Realistic depictions of that crushing and unsettling loss when best friendships dissolve over time. That heartbreaking moment when you realize that when turning points in life happen, friends, no matter how true, sometimes are changing just as much as you are and that the result isn’t always going to mesh with the new “you” you’ve become. Sometimes, as we grow, we need space, and that space is not always surmountable. It’s tough, and brutal, and unfortunate, but true. There were points where I wanted to dislike certain characters, but it’s easy to see where they’re coming from. When you only see one side of the story, the whole spectrum of feelings and emotions on the other side are just poignant. That letter. Harsh, and bittersweet, but oh so honest. 
  • The premise is fantastic. There’s a whole lot going on and it’s super shady, it puts all the corruption that can happen in cities when it comes to money and land into perspective and may just open some eyes. The opening of the story is AMAZING. Just enough mystery and crazy to drag you in and leave you thirsting for more. Who is that boy? Why are their houses under water? What is this pseudo-Atlantis happening? 
  • What I like about Keeley is that she’s imperfect and real. She makes terrible, horrible, selfish mistakes, and despite how she lies to herself, they aren’t always made of good intentions. Keeley chooses to push her feelings aside and shuck off reality in order to have a good time. When faced with the absolute certainty of what stands in front of her, she has to reevaluate everything she is and who she hopes to become. Truly an insightful coming of age novel. Keeley is also funny, loud, aggressive, and awkward…which sometimes reads as juvenile, but charming. It’s hard to dislike her. 

CONS:

  • The organization and pacing were off. Apart from the epic intro, things sort of fizzled out and became a quest for a somewhat silly romance and fallout. It seemed to start with a climax and end with disaster, the middle was hard to sludge through and oh so slow. 
  • The story felt sporadic and random, like it didn’t know what exactly it was trying to be. The romantic elements felt a little monotonous and not really exciting. Keeley and Jesse are…okay. While it did give off that rush of a first crush and the butterflies when he starts to notice, it was almost too easy and fell into place so fast that it made you wonder why it didn’t happen sooner and if it were worth it in the first place. 
  • The whole thing with the principal. I don’t get it. It felt like random animosity inserted with little reason and it distracted from the rest of what was going on. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

 Interesting reading, 

Jordan

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Release Week Blitz & Giveaway: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound | Goodreads

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Twin sisters. A fatal accident. A devastating lie. Which girl survived?

“A girl takes over her twin sister’s identity in this emotionally charged page-turner about the complicated bond between sisters.”

Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy’s shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she’s chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy’s world.

When–after a heated argument–Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves Maddy dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy’s death and everyone’s grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. And everyone believes her. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options–confess her deception and risk devastating those who loved Maddy, or give up her own dreams and live her sister’s life.

“Leaver’s brilliant novel is the high school version of What Happened to Janie? The compelling premise will attract readers and the strong characterization will keep them enthralled.”

-VOYA, STARRED REVIEW

*“Leaver’s story is certainly entertaining and intriguing. VERDICT This should be a primary purchase for any library with patrons who love melodramatic mysteries and romance.”

-SLJ, STARRED AUDIO REVIEW

“Trisha Leaver crafts a powerful and haunting novel that will keep you up long after you read the last page. Full of twists and turns and FEELS, this book questions how far a person will go for her family . . . even if it means losing herself.”

– Lynne Matson, author of NIL

ExcerptI don’t remember her room being so cold. Even snuggled into her sweater the chill seeps in, settling into my bones like a whisper from beyond. That’s where I will sleep tonight…in Maddy’s bed, surround by her scent. Mom wants to change the sheets, but I won’t let her. The hint of vanilla mingled with Alex’s dark cologne brings a little piece of my sister back to me each night.

The only thing I have left of my old life is a few sketches and a poor replica of the friendship bracelet Josh gave me. It took me days to re-create, to weave the strings into the right pattern. It’s not perfect, but it goes with me everywhere, a tiny reminder of who I once was and what Josh still means to me. The real bracelet is gone, cut off and tossed aside just like my life.

I want to make peace with my choice, but Maddy’s secret haunts me. The dark pieces of her life are hid- den in the back of her closet for no one but me to see. She’s not who I thought she was, but that doesn’t matter. Maddy was my sister, my twin sister, and I’ll do anything for her, including losing myself.

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“There was a fear behind his words, a fear that I would change my mind and reveal a secret I didn’t even know.”

“I am already gone. I died that night on the side of the road with my sister.”

auth Website | Twitter | Tumblr | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Trisha Leaver lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather disobedient black lab. She is a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination to the mundane routine of everyday life. She writes Young Adult Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Psychological Horror and Science Fiction and is published with FSG/ Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press. Her YA Contemporary, THE SECRETS WE KEEP, was named one of the best YA novels for summer (2015) by Teen Vogue and received starred reviews from VOYA Magazine and School Library Journal (audio). For more details, check out her website at http://www.trishaleaver.com

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Captivating reading, 

Jordan