Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Book Review: The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy

Pages: 432
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: May 3, 2011
ARC obtained through S&S GalleyGrab
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Three sisters. One life-changing summer. Calla loves summer because summer means Duncan. They’ve been best friends for years, but Calla has never worked up the nerve to tell him how she really feels. This summer, the summer before college, is Calla's last chance. Violet isn't much of a rule breaker in real life. But this isn't real life, this is summer, and Violet is determined to make the most of it. Besides, a little sneaking out never hurt anyone. And sneaking out with James is 100% worth the risk...even though James is completely off-limits. Daisy has never been the sister that boys notice, but when sparks fly with Joel at the first bonfire of summer, it seems so easy and right. So why is being his girlfriend so complicated?"

Calla, Violet, and Daisy are three sisters that spend part of their summer at a sleep-away camp every year.  Calla, the eldest sister, is about to go to college and is working at the camp this summer. She is hoping to finally tell Duncan, her camp crush and longtime friend, how she really feels.  Violet is learning that sometimes you need to break the rules and in turn, she meets James this summer.  Also, Daisy, who normally is a bit of wallflower when it comes to guys, is finally learning how to date and get along with them.   One thing is for sure, all three sisters learn about love and life this summer while at camp. The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy is a delightful contemporary read that fans of Sarah Dessen will enjoy.

Camp is the prefect setting for a story that takes place during the summer and I can't recall if I have ever read a story that does take place there.  It's perfect, because in this case, the characters are without their parents and they can really explore and grow as young adults.  Some of their adventures and situations range from being laugh out loud funny, cringeworthy, and some incidents will even break your heart.  

The best part about the book is the sisterly bond.  I really enjoyed the story when it involved the sisters interacting together. They share such a strong and charming bond; it was hard not to appreciate it.  Out of the three girls, I enjoyed Violet the most as Calla spent a lot of time trying to gain the courage to confess her true feelings to Duncan. After awhile, this drove me nuts and I just wanted her to get it over with already!

The book alternated each chapter with a different sister's point of view.  At first, this was hard for me to get used to as Calla, Violet and Daisy's voices were all extremely similar. I kept confusing the sisters.  Once I got used to it and was able to differentiate between the three sisters, I enjoyed learning more about each girl's perspective on a given situation.

All in all, The Summer of Firsts and Lasts was an entertaining beach read that had me relaxing and remembering the ups and downs of summer camp.  If you enjoy realistic fiction and stories that involve an endearing sisterly bond, they you must pick up a copy of McVoy's The Summer of Firsts and Lasts.  

*Read an excerpt


  1. Sounds fun and young. Great review.

  2. LOVE the cover, in fact I remember seeing it in the store just last night. It looks tasty (hello, ice cream?) and perfect for a summer read. Can't say I've read one either that takes place in camp, but have seen my share of movies that have. May be checking this one out soon. Great review!

  3. The cover alone makes me think of summer. Great review!

  4. Summer camps will usually employ staff from all over the world through various work abroad programs such as Camp America, CCUSA and Bunac.baby beach shade


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