Title: The Last Time We Were Us
Author: Leah Konen
Synopsis: Liz Grant is about to have the summer of her life. She and her friend MacKenzie are getting invited to all the best parties, and with any luck, Innis Taylor, the most gorgeous guy in Bonneville, will be her boyfriend before the Fourth of July. Local teen convict released early. Jason Sullivan wasn’t supposed to come back from juvie. A million years ago, he was her best friend, but that was before he ditched her for a different crowd. Before he attacked Innis’s older brother, leaving Skip’s face burned and their town in shock.
Huge thank you to Harper Collins for sending me an ARC for review!
So I totally read this book because I had to find out WHAT the big secret was. And I ended up really enjoying this book. There IS a lot of dram and teen angst (and at times I was just like GIRL WHAT ARE YOU DOING) so if you sometimes feel “too old” for high school YA then maybe skip this one.
But I totally got this at times. I had a male BFF for 10 years before some shit went down, but I could totally relate to some of the stuff that Liz was dealing with. My ex-BFF didn’t go to jail or anything, so that part I didn’t really relate with, but some parts I was there for. The shared history, the fun memories, the comfortable understanding… I do miss all of that. But the confusing emotions and what-not where what made my friendship end.
Liz knows that she shouldn’t give her ex-BFF (who they call an ex-con, but are you really an ex-con if you went to Juvie???) the time of day. She has it all going for her; super popular BFF, super popular ALMOST boyfriend, a fun summer of the RIGHT parties and a chance to lose her v-card with THE ONE. Then she see’s Jason (the BFF) and it all comes crashing down around her.
I totally got why Liz wanted to see Jason again. She used to care about him, she was intrigued when he suggested that there was more to “that night” than most people believed and she was curious about where their friendship still stood. And the closer she got to him the more she realized what a sham her “popular life” was.
During all of this there’s A LOT of teen drama and there’s also Liz’s sister’s wedding happening. There’s a whole thing with Liz’s sister and her high school sweetheart (whom she is NOT marrying) and “that night” and Liz’s sister is a royal jerk about Liz’s newfound friendship with Jason. I really wanted to smack the sister at times because she was just so selfish and entitled about things at times. Yes, she was getting ready for her wedding and was probably super emotional and stuff, but man, some of the ways she’d talk to her sister… really made me upset.
Thankfully there is a happy ending (after some more predictable drama) and sadly the secret wasn’t as big of a deal as I’d hoped for. The writing in this is smooth and the characters do show some strengths and growth, so I decided to give this four stars.