Wednesday 4 April 2018

Review: Sam and Ilsa's Last Hurrah by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Sam and Ilsa Kehlmann have spent most of their high school years throwing dinner parties, and now they’ve prepared their final blowout, just before graduation. The rules for the twins are simple: they each get to invite three guests, and the other twin doesn’t know who’s coming until the guests show up at the door. With Sam and Ilsa, the sibling revelry is always tempered with a large dose of sibling rivalry, and tonight is no exception.
One night. One apartment. Eight people. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, we all know the answer is plenty. But plenty also goes right – in rather surprising ways.

Review: This is like the beginning of a coming of age story, the kind of story that these writers do best. I say the beginning of it because this story, with the exception of the epilogue, takes place over just one night, not one day, just the night! So I feel like we get a real grasp for these characters and the fact that they are on the cusp of a life changing moment in their existence but we don't necessarily get to see how that happens or the consequences of their deacons. 

An intriguing premise for a book, it was definitely the plot that kept me going through these novel because I did find some of the characters harder to gel with. Sam and Ilsa are twins and I loved their relationship with and to each other. This is written with chapters alternating between Sam and Ilsa's points of view. So we really get to see how they view each other as well. I really didn't like or gel with the other characters so I was glad the focus was on the twins in the main part. There is also no adult presence in this novel, the party takes place in their grandmother's apartment but she is not around and no other adults are involved in the plot at all. 

I love the fact that David Leviathan tends to set his novels in New York City because I think this makes for a really interesting canvas on which to paint the characters and their journey. It's quite a unique place for teenagers to be growing up and moving on from and so I really liked the fact that this novel is set here. As I mentioned, I found the others characters in the novel difficult to like and difficult to connect with and so this did make this novel drag a little for me. I was interested to see how the night ended and I'm glad I stuck it through to the end but if you're expecting something along the lines of Dash and Lily then you'll be disappointed. The twin aspect gave this book a novelty value and I liked the timescale it took place over as well as the setting. 

To order your copy and see for yourself, just click the link: US or UK

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