Saturday, December 29, 2018

Sam and Ilsa's Last Hurrah

Rating: ★★ | 211 pages | Knopf Books For Young Readers | Contemporary | 4/10/2018


I’m sad to say this book was a huge disappointment. I’ve read and enjoyed nearly everything this duo has put out and I was so ready to like this but it was a hot mess.

18-year-old twins Sam and Ilsa are known for the dinner parties they host in their grandmother’s luxury rent-controlled Manhattan apartment. When their grandmother decides to finally sell, the twins host one last dinner party before everything changes. 

I honestly don’t want to spend too much time trashing this book. There are multiple Goodreads reviews for that. This book has one of the lowest Goodreads ratings I’ve ever seen and while I noticed that going in I also liked Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List--which most people hate.

Reading this felt like someone put Cohn and Levithan’s previous books through an algorithm and had a computer write this book. It has some of the elements of their previous writing but none of the charm. Their books tend to be a bit wander-y and plotless but this one barely had any connective tissue. Plot elements were randomly introduced and then dropped quickly The story was disjointed unfocused and depthless. 

Strangely, the only thing I liked about this book was the epilogue that takes place 10 years later. It made me think that maybe this would have worked better as an adult book with the characters looking back.

Next year I plan to do some re-reading and I’ll be curious to re-read some of the Cohn and Levithan books to see if maybe I’ve changed my mind about them.I do think part of the book’s low score is the authors not reading the room in YA right now. Earnest, angsty Manhattan teens waxing poetic about which of the many options they should take to start their glamorous life isn’t the kind of thing that’s popular right now. 

I love the cover of this book is kind of weird they put champagne glasses on a YA book.

This book follows the vaguely interconnected world of Cohn and Levithan's books. This quote from Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is referenced as being seen on a bathroom. 


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