The Compulsive Reader: The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy

Sisters Calla, Violet, and Daisy have been coming to Camp Callanwolde for years. It's one of their favorite places in the world, and this summer it’s the last one they'll be able to spend there together before fall comes and Calla heads off to college. But the future is the furthest thing from each girl's mind. Daisy is focused on her running, but distractions in the form of mean girls and cute, confusing Joel keep getting in the way. Violet's best friend isn't at camp with her this summer, she instead she makes friends with Brynn, who is a lot wilder than her. Before she knows it, she's doing things she's never done before and sneaking out to meet cute counselor James after lights-out. Calla loves camp, and even though she's not a camper this year, but the assistant office worker, she's determined to make this last summer the best one. And it will be...if she can find the courage to finally tell her long-time friend Duncan how she feels. The girls know that being at this summer camp is special, they they'll never imagine how important this summer of firsts and lasts may be.

The Summer of Firsts and Lasts is a sweet, fun, and poignant book. The summer camp setting is so much fun and so well described, and McVoy has captured the timeless feel of those moments where one point in time seems paramount and life-changing—for these sisters, it's their experiences at summer camp. The narrative is broken apart into rotating chapters from the point of view of each sister, which is a fun way to tell the story. McVoy does an excellent job at building the sisters' relationship, from the anecdotes from their childhood and funny nicknames, to the fights and arguments they share. Each sister stands out well: Calla is very caring and enthusiastic, but her commitment to the camp and her duties sometimes bar her from letting herself go and just enjoy the summer. Violet, though strong and unyielding when it comes to what she believes in, has a wild streak and finds herself bending the rules a bit, despite the inevitable consequences. Daisy, the best written character, is under a lot of pressure as she attempts to figure out her romance with Joel and deals with persistent bullying. She strives to take care of it all without running to her big sisters for help, but she is the one who grows the most when she learns there is a balance between being independent and accepting the support of loved ones. There is certainly a little bit of something for everyone in this delightful novel, and through all of the romance, rejection, drama, sunny days, and cool nights by the campfire, loyalty, love, and sisterhood prevail. McVoy will have readers wishing that they too could join Calla, Violet, and Daisy and Camp Callanwolde.

Cover Comments: I just love this cover. The font is very simple, very fitting, and the three scoops of ice cream are so cute. Fun, bright, yet not over-the-top--it's prefect!

The Summer of Firsts and Lasts comes out on May 3rd, 2011!

ARC provided by publisher.

Also, please be sure to check out Pure and After the Kiss, also by Terra Elan McVoy! They're delightful books, and I just adore anything Terra writes!


Anonymous said...

It sounds like a really nice read! I have it in my Wish List already.

thanks for the review!

Nise' said...

I will be keeping my eye out for this one as I liked Pure and After the Kiss.