Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted here at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time! I include roundups from participating bloggers in my weekly post.Sisterhood of the Traveling PantsAnn Brashares
The Last Summer is lovely. It really is. The writing tripped along as pleasantly as waves washing up on Fire Island. Main trio Alice, Paul, and Riley try to navigate their post-adolescent years while holding their difficult three-way relationship intact. I didn't know what to expect of Brashares' writing going in and I was a bit taken aback at how unobtrusive it was, at how nostalgic the tone felt, and yet appreciated how it cautiously steered clear of too much sentiment. I liked the way the characters could struggle to differentiate between the murky miasma of that was then and this is now, but I as the reader never fell into such a quandary. This lent what could have been a too-sappy story a nice cleanliness of line and substance. I fell in love with Alice and Paul. Alice is a somewhat less forceful heroine than I often like, but she's the lodestone around which Riley and Paul orient themselves. And her silent search for love and independence felt earnest to me and reminded me how difficult it can be to exist in the shadow of more assertive and dominant personalities. It's a bit of a heartbreaking story, but full of crystal moments and sure characterization. The quiet, clean writing fit the way the characters were moving into adulthood. Slowly. Reluctantly. If they must. The way we all do.
Retro Friday Roundup
Chachic's Book Nook reviews Angel-Seeker by Sharon Shinn
A Girl, Books and Other Things reviews Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
See Michelle Read reviews Sword-Dancer by Jennifer Roberson
The Book Girl Review
Emily and Her Little Pink Notes Review