Lila and Gavin were best friends growing up, but for the last seven years, they’ve had their own lives. Gavin has no idea why their falling out happened, but it’s the summer before college and he want to change things. Fate (or shall we say a sneaky mother) intercedes, and Lila and Gavin wind up working the same summer job at an ice cream shop. It’s clear Lila wants nothing to do with Gavin, but when he discovers her bucket list, he believes helping her check off every last item may be the answer to restoring their friendship. Lila reluctantly agrees to let him help, and the fun starts there.
While completing the list, Gavin becomes suspicious of Lila. Why does she only have two weeks to complete the list? Why is she settling for an online college when her dream was to attend an art’s school? And why did she stop talking to him all those years ago? He wants answers, but Lila’s not giving them. And the more time they spend together, the more he wants their adventures to blossom into a summer romance that never ends.
Lila can’t help falling in love with Gavin, but they can’t shift from friends to lovers. She’s accepted that her future plans have gone out the window, but she can’t ask him to make similar sacrifices, especially if they’d be in vain. He might lose a friend either way, but she’ll do whatever it takes to lessen the sting, even if it means shielding him from the truth.
The stakes in this book made me so emotional I sobbed four times. Some possibilities are worse than dying or cancer, and Gavin and Lila know this more than anyone. These neighbors to lovers have never been so close, but Lila’s secret could ruin them forever. Even so, I desperately longed for them to pursue their love despite possible consequences. Memory loss would be the last thing they’d want after a summer like theirs, but sometimes making memories is worth a bit of heartbreak.
The Last Summer is a love story that readers of young adult fiction and new adult contemporary romance will swoon over. If you’re a fan of my favorite movie (which is also a book), A Walk to Remember, or my novel Twelve Steps to You, you’ll love this as much as I love Gavin and Lila.
What would you put on your bucket list?
One of the biggest parts of my bucket list is to travel. I want to see Aurora Borealis in Iceland, the Halls of Mirrors in Versailles, the Taj Mahal in India, and basically all of England, Wales, and New Zealand.
If you could dye your hair any color, what would it be?
I frequently dye my hair red. I’ve been dying it various colors and/or highlighting it since I was around twelve. One color I’ve always wanted though is pink. Hence, Lila’s wish for pink hair.
If you could know how long you have to live, would you want to know/would you tell anyone?
That’s a really hard question. I have a progressive, degenerative disease, so my time is potentially limited as is. I don’t think I’d want to know an exact amount of time. I’d rather focus on the present and enjoy what I do have.