Title: The Last Time We Were Us
Author: Leah Konen
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publish Date: May 10th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Liz Grant is about to have the summer of her life. She and her friend MacKenzie are getting invited to all the best parties, and with any luck, Innis Taylor, the most gorgeous guy in Bonneville, will be her boyfriend before the Fourth of July.
Local teen convict released early.
Jason Sullivan wasn’t supposed to come back from juvie. A million years ago, he was her best friend, but that was before he ditched her for a different crowd. Before he attacked Innis’s older brother, leaving Skip’s face burned and their town in shock.
“Everything is not what you think.”
Liz always found it hard to believe what they said about Jason, but all of Bonneville thinks he’s dangerous. If word gets out she’s seeing him, she could lose everything. But what if there’s more to that horrible night than she knows? And how many more people will get hurt when the truth finally comes out?
“You’re the one person who believes in me.”
Leah Konen’s southern romance swelters with passion as it explores the devastating crush of lies, the delicate balance of power and perception, and one girl’s journey to find herself while uncovering the secrets of so many others.
I was not really looking forward to reading this book. This was one of those impulse, snatch-a-book-off-the-shelf-because-your-mother-is-yelling-at-you-to-go grabs. And as I sat in my room and perused my new library books, I actually cringed at the sight of this one.
Really Kenzie?, I asked myself, you had to go and grab THAT one?
But I must say, I would not have gone back and changed it after grabbing it.
So, the plot. Do I need to say anything or is that enough? Honestly, the summary makes this book sound like the Young Adult version of a 25 cents paperback novel. That was honestly what I was expecting going into this book, and thank goodness the book proved me wrong. I’m not saying there isn’t any cliched parts, and I’m certain you can guess the majority of the scenes in this book, but about halfway through we get some wonderful plot twists that absolutely catch you by surprise.
The characters were all very well developed too. I could see Liz as a real girl with real girl problems, and other people like her prissy, southern mother, and very whiny sister were fairly accurate portrayals of a family dynamic.
There were only two major problems I had with this book, and only one of them truly bugged me enough for it to get on my nerves.
The first problem, the one I didn’t give much of a crap about because it resolves itself later in the story, is the initial romance between Jason and Liz. There is a point when they are first hanging out that we just don’t see chemistry between them. At all. Seeing as this was definitely filed under YA Romance, I viewed this as a problem. Later in the book it is resolved, even though it kind of feels like insta-love, even though the author tries not to make it seem that way.
My biggest problem with this book was how annoyingly repetitive it was. Sometimes I legitimately thought I had lost my place in it because I could have sworn I read that exact same thing earlier, but nope, just the same stuff. I’m not sure if the book was meant to reinforce a few points through repetition, or what, but I was truly starting to feel almost a bit insulted by the it.
Overall the story was amusing and fairly captivating and I truly enjoyed this book.
|Plot & Premise|
I’m in love with reading, and have been since I was able to hold a book. But when I’m not reading, I’m working hard towards my other passion: Music. I play in all ensembles my school offers, and some outside of that. I’m a junior in high school, and I aspire to be a performing musician one day.
I usually stay with YA, but I’ve been known to venture into some odd areas as well. I also sometimes read younger than my level because of my middle school sibling.