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The Last Summer (of You and Me)

The Last Summer (of You and Me)

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Encyclopedia
The Last Summer is a novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

 by Ann Brashares
Ann Brashares
Ann Brashares is an American writer of young adult fiction. She is best known as the author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series of books....

. Her first novel for adults, and her first outside of her acclaimed Traveling Pants
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is a best selling novel written in 2001 by Ann Brashares. The book follows the adventures of four best friends—Lena Kaligaris, Tibby Rollins, Bridget Vreeland, and Carmen Lowell, who will be spending their first summer apart. When a magical pair of jeans comes...

series, was released on June 6, 2007 by Riverhead Books
Riverhead Books
Riverhead Books is a division of Penguin Group .Notable books and major bestsellers published by Riverhead include Journals by Kurt Cobain; The Art of Happiness by His Holiness the Dalai Lama; The Color of Water by James McBride; Native Speaker, A Gesture Life, and Aloft by Chang-rae Lee; Fever...

.

Plot


The story is set on Fire Island, and also partly in nearby New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. Alice, age 21, and Riley, 24, are two sisters. Nearly every summer of their lives, they have shared the same childhood friend, Paul, 24, whose widowed mother owns a Fire Island beach mansion next door to the smaller beach house of the girls and their parents. Paul has been absent for three summers, having been studying and volunteering in California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

. Alice is smart, graceful and elegant, planning on applying to law school
Law school
A law school is an institution specializing in legal education.- Law degrees :- Canada :...

 at NYU. Riley is the athletic and adventurous one, having life-guarded on the island since she was fifteen. She is dyslexic and has attended outdoor leadership school in Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

. Paul is something of a hippie, following in his father's footsteps. He can be moody and is wary of trusting people. During the summer, Alice and Paul start to have feelings outside of friendship for each other. Paul goes to great lengths to hide his feelings about Alice. They both realize they have always loved one another, but now in a different way. Alice even goes as far to give Paul her virginity
Virginity
Virginity refers to the state of a person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse. There are cultural and religious traditions which place special value and significance on this state, especially in the case of unmarried females, associated with notions of personal purity, honor and worth...

 one night on the beach. They continue sneaking around, hiding their relationship from their families. One night when Alice has gone over to Paul's house to make love, the emergency alarm goes off during the middle of the night. Alice dismisses the alarm as an elderly person needing attention, but it is not so; the person being helicoptered out is her own sister, Riley. It seems Riley is suffering from rheumatic heart disease. Alice is overwhelmed with guilt and a rush of feelings. She suddenly leaves the island without explanation to be with her hospitalized sister and parents, leaving Paul puzzled and hurt. Riley refuses to face the urgency of the situation and insists that her medical condition be kept secret from Paul until she can tell him herself. The following summer, Alice postpones graduate school to work as a groundskeeper and store cashier near the family's Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 home, while Riley awaits a donor heart transplant. Alice buys Riley an indoor pool membership, which Riley is grateful for, trying to carry on normally and ignore her medical condition. During a swim, Riley misses an important opportunity to receive a heart transplant. While the rest of her family is upset over this, Riley insists that they stay out of her business, saying that she can take care of herself. Meanwhile Paul, studying philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 at NYU, is constantly thinking about Alice and his feelings towards her. Still unaware of Riley's condition, he is bitter and angry towards Alice. He even attends an old island acquaintance's wedding with a beautiful date to spite her. Riley finally tells Paul of her medical problems, admitting that she isn't entirely sure she wants a heart transplant. Paul's mother gives him the beach
Beach
A beach is a geological landform along the shoreline of an ocean, sea, lake or river. It usually consists of loose particles which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles or cobblestones...

 mansion, which he clears out and sells for $3 million. He donates the money to Bellevue Hospital, where his wealthy but wild-living father died long ago. One night back in the city, Alice returns from work to find Riley has died. The funeral is held and Alice and her parents go to Fire Island to spread her ashes. Alice volunteers to tend to the beach house, as the family has decided to sell it. Paul turns up one day, discovering his house has been sold to a new family whose children Alice babysits each morning. The story ends with Alice and Paul having sex
Sex
In biology, sex is a process of combining and mixing genetic traits, often resulting in the specialization of organisms into a male or female variety . Sexual reproduction involves combining specialized cells to form offspring that inherit traits from both parents...

 and leaving the Island for the first time together; she has decided to apply to NYU school of social work and be with Paul.

Reception


Early reviews have been mixed, with Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly, aka PW, is an American weekly trade news magazine targeted at publishers, librarians, booksellers and literary agents...

calling the book a "mediocre" read, but Library Journal
Library Journal
Library Journal is a trade publication for librarians. It was founded in 1876 by Melvil Dewey . It reports news about the library world, emphasizing public libraries, and offers feature articles about aspects of professional practice...

calling the novel "thoughtful," and that it will "please her innumerable fans."

Film adaptation


The film rights
Film rights
Film rights are the rights under copyright law to make a derivative work—in this case, a film—derived from an item of intellectual property. Under U.S...

 to The Last Summer (of You and Me) were bought by Warner Brothers for at least one million dollars. The screenplay was written by Jessica Goldberg
Jessica Goldberg
Jessica Goldberg is an American playwright, screenwriter and television writer.-Life:Jessica is a graduate of the Dramatic Writing Program at New York University, and The Juilliard School...

 and rewritten by Mike Thompson
Mike Thompson
Michael C. Thompson , is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1999. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes Napa, Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties as well as parts of Yolo and Sonoma Counties....

. Julie Anne Robinson
Julie Anne Robinson
Julie Anne Robinson is a British theatre, television, and film director perhaps best known for her work on British television. She earned BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for directing the first half of the BBC miniseries Blackpool...

 is attached to direct the movie; it will be her second feature length film following The Last Song
The Last Song (film)
The Last Song is a 2010 American coming of age drama film developed alongside Nicholas Sparks novel by the same name. The film was directed by Julie Anne Robinson in her feature film directorial debut and co-written by Sparks and Jeff Van Wie...

. Brashares will be given executive producer
Executive producer
An executive producer is a producer who is not involved in any technical aspects of the film making or music process, but who is still responsible for the overall production...

 credit. Warner Brothers also bought two of Brashare's previous novels, both from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is a best selling novel written in 2001 by Ann Brashares. The book follows the adventures of four best friends—Lena Kaligaris, Tibby Rollins, Bridget Vreeland, and Carmen Lowell, who will be spending their first summer apart. When a magical pair of jeans comes...

series, and turned them into two successful films: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (film)
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is a 2005 American film, based on the novel The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares released by Warner Bros. Pictures. It was directed by Ken Kwapis and written by Delia Ephron.The film's production budget was $25 million...

and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 is a 2008 sequel to the 2005 film The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. The original cast , return to star in the movie, which was directed by Sanaa Hamri...

.