Summary: One summer can everything the four Garrett sisters thought they knew about each other- and themselves. Des finds herself taking a lot of responsibility for her family and their independent bookstore, but why being the oldest have to make her the most responsible? When does she get to have time for her art and friends? As part of their shared plan, Bea and her boyfriend are headed for Georgetown together in the fall. But what if eighteen-year old Bea doesn’t want what thirteen-year old Bea wanted anymore? Kat lands the lead in the community theater’s summer play, but the drama continues offstage when her ex and his new girlfriend are also cast. Can revenge play a part in their version of Little Women? Vi has a crush on the latest Nina LaCour novel and the girl next door. But Cece has a boyfriend, so that means she could never like Vi, right?
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Jessica Spotswood’s The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls was the summer contemporary that my book soul needed. A book about four sisters and their small town, including THEIR BOOKSTORE??
I read Jessica Spotwood’s acknowledgements at the end of the book, and I think her idea of “Little Women meets Gilmore Girls by way of Sarah Dessen” truly came to life on the page. I didn’t make the four sisters and Kat starring in the community theater’s production of Little Women connection until reading this! This book just felt very homey many thanks to its sisterhood and small town setting. There were also plenty of pop culture references, especially from Vi, who is a Nina LaCour queen. It was really fun to see her and Des talk about YA books that most YA readers would know. A few other pop culture references that come up include Riverdale, The 100, and Hamilton.
The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls alternates between the four perspectives of the four Garrett Girls; Des, Bea, Kat, and Vi. I think Jessica Spotswood did a nice job of overlaying each of the girls’ lives without being too repetitive, like when they all went to the farm part or their Fourth of July happenings. However, there were instances where dialogue was repeated and small details about side characters were mentioned a few times.
While I didn’t dislike any sisters in particular, I think Kat was my favorite. I really enjoyed her relationship with Mase, and seeing her work in the cat café was so much fun. I also enjoyed Vi’s relationship with Cece and their dog walks, and it was interesting to see Bea work out life after high school. As the oldest sister myself, I thought I would relate to Des the most, and while I do relate to some of her responsibilities (I wish being the manager of my family’s bookstore was among them), I didn’t understand some the decisions she made.
One thing that I was surprised to find in my finished book? Grammatical errors! I admit that I can be bit of a speed reader (what can I say, I need to know what happens NOW), but there were at least two instances where I read over the passage multiple times. I realized that in one instance, words were missing, and another passage needed a quotation mark.
Overall, The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls is the perfect summer contemporary if you’re looking for sisterhood and Gilmore Girls in book form. Aside from some of the repetitiveness, I think having all four perspectives worked in this book because the Garrett Girls each had their own personality and storyline, while connecting all together by the end.
Have you read The Last Summer of the Garret Girls? Share in the comments!