The Last Summer of Us by Maggie Harcourt

It seems that YA fiction is loving a road trip story at the moment as I swear I have read about five in the last six months. And I’m not complaining either as they are fun, full of adventure and packed with romance. The Last Summer of Us has managed to tick all these boxes, while also tackling grief and the impending end to a friendship group that has survived some pretty upsetting events.

Limpet, Steffan and Jared have all been through a lot together but when Limpet’s mum dies and Steffan announces that he and his father are moving to America, the group decides to have one last hurrah, jumping into Steffan’s clapped-out old car for a road-trip. As the group travel, the different places they visit all bring back difficult memories, but the friends are there for each other to help work through the grief.

Fun, sarcastic banter between the friends keeps this novel from being depressing, portraying a realistic friendship between three people who have had a rough time. Those looking for a light read that still has some substance to it will enjoy The Last Summer of Us. For readers aged 13 and up.

Katherine Dretzke is a bookseller at Readings Hawthorn.