When I read the description for The Last Time We Were Us, I thought it would be right up my alley. I love friendship stories–throw in one of the friends having juvie in their past and I am sold.
This is the story of Liz who wants nothing more than to be popular, have the perfect boyfriend, Innis, and rebuild her friendship with Jason, who has just gotten out of juvie for hurting Innis’ brother, Skip. This book is described as a southern story but there wasn’t a whole lot of southern charm in it. And even though there were a lot of typical teenage issues covered, I didn’t feel that the author handled any of them in the right way.
I struggled with reading this book and had to put it down many times. It was slow and at times I would skim portions of the book, which I hate to do. I felt that none of the characters ever showed any growth or development and I found myself not really caring about any of them.
I found Liz to be self-absorbed, judgmental, whiny and a pushover when it came to the family that bullied her. All she wanted throughout the book was to be popular and was worried about her looks the entire time–it got old. The love triangle didn’t work for me either. Liz was with Innis because he was popular and she was with Jason because he was forbidden…cue the angst and the secrets. The other characters in the book weren’t that memorable either. The family and friends were just as horrible, all worrying about their looks, popularity and what others thought of them. And unfortunately, the big reveal at the end wasn’t that big of a deal either. I really did want to like this story but unfortunately it fell flat for me.
I may be in the minority with this book–perhaps it will work for others or prove to be a great beach read.
Amanda loves spending time at home with her husband and their dog, Oreo. She loves reading, playing puzzle games, beading and watching movies. When she’s not reading, she’s working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Katherine Tegen Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.