Tuesday, 26 April 2016
Review: The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: April 26th, 2016
Source: ARC won from Publisher
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From the critically acclaimed author of The List comes a stunning new novel about a girl who must say goodbye to everything she knows after a storm wreaks havoc on her hometown.
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.
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.
The Last Boy and Girl in the World stood out as a book about relationships and how to leave the past and move forward. What's worth fighting for and when you should realize there's more important things in life. Sometimes a memory should stay just that.
The Last Boy and Girl in the World is based on an interesting concept; a town that is essentially dying. The constant flooding has become too much and the government has decided that the money paid out to the residents to relocate out weighs saving the town. Time to turn it into the lake it is slowly becoming anyhow. It's like the end of the world for its residents and everyone is going to handle it differently. Some want to try and save their home, some take it as an opportunity for a new life, and some, like Keeley and her friends take it as a chance to act like it's the end of the world.
Keeley was a girl I could understand. I can see how readers might find her bratty. But I found her to be awkward and goofy. Keeley is someone that needs to make a joke in every situation. She needs to keep it light. And I get that because I suck with emotions. I am the most super awkward person whenever there's a sad or depressing moment happening. All my brain is thinking is how do I deal? A misplaced laugh should do the trick. So yea, Keeley probably should have toned it down, but unfortunately your personality can be your own worst enemy. It did get to the point where Keeley's immaturity and lack of good judgement got to be too much. I'm nearing the end of the book and thinking finally she's starting to see that this can't be fixed with a joke or prank, and than she does something extra stupid. That there was the downfall; and what accumulates from that moment. The last 30ish pages were a big disappointment. 90% of the people around Keeley totally on board with their end points. But not Keeley, she just failed to really learn from her mistakes. It was a everyone will forgive me in the long run. And just nope.
Keeley's relationship with her parents was complex. Her parents were very prominent in the book. The end of Aberdeen brought forth all that was being left unsaid in their house. Her mom over working herself to the bone, well her dad has turned into the town hermit because of an injury. Until the evacuation brings her dad's overly opinionated and confrontational side the forefront. He's going to be the guy that saves the town. Well so he thinks. Obviously this brings up a lot of good and bad for their family. Keeley is happy to see her dad finally out and about, but of course that comes with its own set of problems. Keeley has tunnel vision and is being sucked into her dads plans. It was frustrating to see her going along and not asking him questions. I so felt for her mom and the responsibility and stress on her shoulders well her husband finally comes alive but not in a way that puts his family first. Ultimately I super proud of how Keeley's mom handled her life and emotions.
Keeley's relationship with her best friend Morgan, was refreshing. They weren't constantly trying to take each other down. They were just best friends in the sense that term is supposed to mean. Attached at the hip and there for each other. Morgan specifically was constantly putting Keeley first. I don't want to say that Keeley was needy, it was more that her personality needed Morgan's attention. I could see why their relationship hit a bit of a road block; Keeley was keeping everything so light and fluffy that she was holding herself back from the depth that Morgan wanted in their friendship. Keeley was being unintentionally selfish, and Morgan had every right to take a step back and say grow up a little, yea.
Jesse is that guy that Keeley has had an unattainable crush on for forever. Until the shocking happens and he takes notice of her. With their town and home Aberdeen dying, both Keeley and Jesse see it as a chance to do anything. So although their relationship had no substance, and thankfully Keeley was seeing it what it was for, a good time in the time they had. Jesse is the fun, party type popular guy. So Keeley and him share a lot of the same traits. Jesse wasn't a bad guy, just him and Keeley being together really highlighted her overly jokey and immature side. I could see the points when she realized that, it's just here is the guy she's loved from afar for so long, how do you take a step back from that? And what's to lose; it's the end, it's not going to matter in a few months. Jesse and Keeley were always just a fun, quick romance and I wish that was all this book had romance wise.
Because the romantic ending, it was so out of place. I knew it was coming because obvious much. But I was still hoping that it wasn't going to go down. It just didn't make sense. I can't ship it. I can't get behind it, I can't make sense of it. They spent the whole book annoying each other because they are so different and than boom, last 20 pages and they, well Keeley, suddenly has feelings for this guy. And in all honesty, this guy let Keeley off the hook. His feelings were so misplaced. He was continuously kind and helpful towards Keeley. Yet Keeley was rude to him, left him hanging, stabbed him the back and than ultimately did something really shitty to him. Ultimately they should have just cleared the air and been done with it. No kissing and no romance.
The Last Boy and Girl in the World is super atmospheric. The constant rain and weather updates throughout the book kept me looking outside expecting to see rain and flooding. That was a fun feeling and totally fit in with the compelling nature of the book. I had no problem reading this in a sitting. The pacing was quick. And really if not for the last handful of pages this book was a strong four star. Yea sure, those pages pissed me off, but I still enjoyed this one overall. It was a good time.