Our Last Summer

Our Last Summer - Matthew J. Metzger
I'm too tired to really write much, but I'll just say I feel really conflicted about this book. On the one hand, I did really love Alex and Ryan together, seeing their very slowly growing intimacy. I like first love stories, and reticent characters, though some may find them frustrating. But I had so many issues. This story deals with the issue of
physical abuse.
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It's already a hard topic to read about, and I just kept getting angry 
that for years, the entire village was ignoring the very obvious signs that Alex was getting beaten up, even Ryan's lovely old Nan. I know, I wasn't waiting for a miracle rescue, because that's not always realistic. But....it made me frustrated. And how Alex himself, it was so hard and maddening to see him just so....accepting of his abuse. To see everyone, even Ryan, go along and not make a big fuss out of it when the evidence, the bruises, is staring at them every day. When it absolutely should be a big fuss. It hit close to home, which is why I struggled reading. This took me over a week. 
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So while it wasn't an emotionally heavy or angsty book, there was a pervading sense of gloom throughout the story. I felt depressed, frustrated, and helpless. So I can't say it was an enjoyable book, even if I enjoyed the parts of Alex and Ryan discovering love together, and the tentatively hopeful ending. I felt it could have been more polished, as I was left with many questions. 
We never get the details behind his sister's suicide. Was it because of the abuse? Or did the abuse only start after? Alex's mom could have been a more interesting and complex character, but she barely had a presence
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I love the author's writing and I will be faithfully following him, but I liked and would recommend his other book, Vivaldi in the Dark, much more. But at the same time, this book will be staying in my mind for a little awhile.