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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

ARC Review: Last Summer by Holly Chamberlin

Publication Date: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Kensington
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

(May differ from final copy)
Fourteen-year-old Rosie Patterson stood at the window in the living room of her family’s house on Pond View Road in the town of Yorktide, Maine.

Rosie Patterson is the target of a bullying campaign at her school. What starts as just teasing from a group of girls, turns into full on abuse. The ultimate betrayal that Rosie receives is her best friend and next door neighbor, Meg Giroux, lets slip a big secret that is used to humiliate Rosie in front of the entire school. This pushes Rosie over the edge and into a downward spiral and ends with self-mutilation. The aftermath ends up tearing apart not only Rosie’s family but also Meg’s. Both families must come full circle and learn to forgive and move forward.

I am going to be completely honest and say I felt no emotion while reading Last Summer. I was fully expecting to be torn apart due to my own personal experiences but instead I felt I was just reading a story. Chamberlin didn’t pull me in. After reading the Q & A at the end, I figured out why. Chamberlin has never experienced bullying or any of the after effects., she has only researched it because she was asked to write a book on bullying. The storyline was well thought out but it is missing that emotion that needs to be incorporated to pull the reader in and make the impact that it should. I would still recommend readers to pick this book up just because Chamberlin does tell the story from many POVs and the reader realizes how bullying can affect the victim but also ripple thru everyone associated with the victim.



Anonymous said...

Maybe the Q/A section was different in the review copy you used. In the published version on p. 314 Chamberlin describes her personal experience of being the subject of bullying and having friends bullied.

Kelsey said...

Thanks for pointing that out. I did read that and she mentions having an incident as a child. But she was never bullied as a teenager or an adult which this book mainly deals with. The book is very well researched and Chamberlin pulls in what she witnessed as a child growing up that is why I still recommend this book to readers.