The Last Time

A Last Summer Novel

Young Adult - Action
250 Pages
Reviewed on 11/29/2013
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Author Biography

Jacquelyn Eubanks is the award-winning, best-selling author of THE LAST SUMMER, which was published when she was fourteen and first written when she was twelve. THE LAST TIME is the second novel in The Last Summer Series and was completed when Jacquelyn was sixteen years old. This author resides in Michigan with her parents and two sisters. This high school junior is an avid fan of the Detroit Tigers baseball team.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jean Hall for Readers' Favorite

The burden of achieving social acceptance and outward, physical beauty can be crushing for a teenage girl. But then there are the victories, both small and large; little feats of independence and larger, inward self-acceptance. Jacquelyn Eubanks in The Last Time showcases a sympathetic and beautiful soul with her heroine Charley. Charley (which is short for Charlotte) has been transplanted from rural Georgia to the more sophisticated suburb of Yonkers, New York.

Although she was born in Yonkers, her experience is decidedly Southern. She has left her heart in Georgia and his name is Frankie. But the fledgling couple keeps in touch as pen-pals in the post-war innocence of the 1950s. Charley loves baseball, it is true. She is a tom-boy, no doubt about it. But all the appealing attributes of Charley make her an object of jealousy with the popular clique at her new, all-girls Catholic high school.

Jacquelyn Eubanks keeps the story of Charley lively but with some heartbreaking moments. Charley does find unusual courage in the midst of adolescent taunts. The scenes at Charley's home keep the innocent plot well-grounded. There is mother-daughter friction and a grandfather's illness. The book has some nice visual elements. There are clumsy, hand-written notes from Charley and Frankie, as well as elegant, cursive chapter headings. The setting of the 1950s is a nice choice to show this bobby-soxer's life at home and at school. The Last Time by Jacquelyn Eubanks shows the strong but tender heart of a girl who feels the grief of last times, but with the hope of new beginnings.

Katelyn Hensel

I really loved the format of The Last Time. Ever since I read Anne Frank's Diary when I was a girl, I've loved to read books that either are in complete diary format, or at least have some journal, diary, or letter entries. I just really feel you get an extra glimpse into the character's thoughts and mind by what they say - or don't say - to the person that they are writing. The letters from Frankie were adorable and really helped set the scene for different events in the story. Loved it!

Charley just moved from Georgia to New York. She's left all her friends behind, including her man Frankie. All to be miserable and alone in New York, having to deal with her grandfather dying of leukemia. Still, Charley finds a place to fit in, with the boys' baseball team of the local school. Too bad the girls' school doesn't find this amusing and Charley finds herself on the wrong end of quite a few jealous girls. She also doesn't seem to understand that sitting with colored boys at the local malt shop will turn heads and get tongues wagging.

For the most part, the story was really interesting and original. I liked Charley's attitude and spirit, and while this is definitely a Young Adult book, there are some themes and moments that come off as adult as well. Jacquelyn Eubanks set the story in the '50s, which I thought was interesting. You get a real look into some different things like changing gender relations, civil rights movement, etc. The Last Time was definitely an interesting read and I recommend it to fans of Historical Fiction!

Mamta Madhavan

The Last Time - A Last Summer Novel by Jacquelyn Eubanks is a story set in New York in 1955. Charley Mason has left her hometown in Georgia and moved to New York. She has left behind her friends and boyfriend, Frankie. She isn't too happy in the new town. Her grandfather is slowly getting eaten up by his leukemia, her relationship with her mother has gone from bad to worse and she has to adjust to a new school life with all snobs around her. She has a confrontation with the most popular girl in school, which destroys her reputation. Now she will have to start anew. She overcomes all the odds and wins the challenge with grace and dignity.

The book is about high school and the challenges faced by a girl. Many of the incidents faced by Charley Mason are ones readers will understand. These are the phases that many teenagers go through in life. The changing of places and adjusting to a new milieu is something that students dread because they do not like to leave the comforts of their known space and friends. The story has a positive vibe - how she overcomes the challenges and meets them with courage.

The style of writing is informal. It is descriptive, and at the same time penned in a conversational style that makes it an exciting read. There are moments of anxiety in the story when it comes to her grandfather's illness and the problems she has with her mother. A very interesting story that covers a lot of emotions and has a positive vibe.