The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian
Floods, floods, and more floods. Are we in the ark with Noah? Or in Siobhan Vivian’s newest contemp? I wasn’t sure at times, but this book ended up being a four star muddy mess that I enjoyed.
Keeley’s your average teenage girl, who just wants to focus on having fun and kissing boys – especially cutie Jesse, the reckless, hot teenage boy from your high school dreams. He’s funny, adventuresome, and totally distracting – which is exactly what Keeley needs when she finds out that her beloved home town is sinking – literally and figuratively. Enter in crazy small-town politics, taut family dynamic, angsty friendships, and water, water, and oh, more water? All of these piece together The Last Boy and Girl in the World.
I’m not entirely sure what the draw of this book was, but I was downright enthralled by it, which was more than a little bit strange seeing as it was a contemporary that focused a bit heavily on floods and politics. Seriously, it was like Noah and his ark with how often these kids were talking about the flood and doomsday water.
However, some things that normally bothered me really didn’t bother me as much as it should of because I was so enthralled with the story that I overlooked a few things. What things, you ask? Well, that’s a wonderful question other-person-that-is-clearly-not- me. One thing that I mainly overlooked is how it did get a bit dry in parts. Ironic, seeing as how much this book focused on water.
The other thing was that perhaps I felt like maybe it dragged on more than a contemporary book should have. This book is massive. 419 pages for a contemporary. Yes, a contemporary. Maybe an elaborate fantasy with a crap-ton of world building but for a contemp? Call me Suspicious because I did not believe this was going to go well. But as I said, I overlooked a lot because I feel like it made up for it.
In what ways, you may ask (again)? I always have liked Siobhan Vivian’s writing style, but this is the first book of hers that I easily sped through. Her writing style was so ridiculously easy to read, which is perhaps the main reason I finished this book in a day.
I also thought her characters were super realistic. Yes, Keeley was quite unlikable at parts, bringing out my tendency to yell at fictional characters when they’re being Super Stupid like a new superhero. But, honestly, I felt that she could be a real person out there. Yes, she did terrible things, but she paid the consequences for them. Her mistakes came around and bit her in the butt, which I thought was far more realistic than most things I’ve read lately. I felt like each of these characters was real and complex. I would have liked a bit more development with Levi, though. I also thought the plot was quite interesting and even the little subtle plot twists surprised me.
Overall, I thought this story was a great read. It didn’t quite make it to my favorites, but I loved the realness of it, and it was some of Siobhan Vivian’s finest writing. Yes, Keeley may be a hard and somewhat unlikable character at times, and maybe she isn’t right for everyone, but I think she interesting character and her story was definitely one to read.
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