by Julia Drake
Published by Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: October 1st 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Diverse, F/F, Fiction, LGBTQ+, YA
Format Read: ARC, Paperback
The Larkin family isn't just lucky—they persevere. At least that's what Violet and her younger brother, Sam, were always told. When the Lyric sank off the coast of Maine, their great-great-great-grandmother didn't drown like the rest of the passengers. No, Fidelia swam to shore, fell in love, and founded Lyric, Maine, the town Violet and Sam returned to every summer.
But wrecks seem to run in the family: Tall, funny, musical Violet can't stop partying with the wrong people. And, one beautiful summer day, brilliant, sensitive Sam attempts to take his own life.
Shipped back to Lyric while Sam is in treatment, Violet is haunted by her family's missing piece-the lost shipwreck she and Sam dreamed of discovering when they were children. Desperate to make amends, Violet embarks on a wildly ambitious mission: locate the Lyric, lain hidden in a watery grave for over a century.
She finds a fellow wreck hunter in Liv Stone, an amateur local historian whose sparkling intelligence and guarded gray eyes make Violet ache in an exhilarating new way. Whether or not they find the Lyric, the journey Violet takes-and the bridges she builds along the way-may be the start of something like survival.
Epic, funny, and sweepingly romantic, The Last True Poets of the Sea is an astonishing debut about the strength it takes to swim up from a wreck.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Friends, saying this book took me by surprise would be an understatement. It’s been a while since I’ve read such a thought-provoking book. This book truly makes you think and feel.
The Last True Poets of the Sea centers itself around darker, emotional themes such as grief, loss, pain, confusion, and fear of the unknown. But, the book also contains the counterparts to those themes such as love, family, acceptance, clarity, and forgiveness. The writing is superb. The true test of Julia Drake’s writing is that she makes a book full of hard topics radiate with hope.
If I had to sum up what this book is truly about, I would say that it’s a love letter to life in all of its complexities: the good, the bad, the unexpected, and the unknown. Life is hard. Choosing to keep going is hard. But, love and acceptance along with forgiveness help make that choice a little easier.
This book shines a light on how hard we are on ourselves. There’s no harsher critic than our own mind which is why we need to say what we’re really thinking and feeling. We have to open up to others if we don’t then they can’t help us carry our impossibly heavy load. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to not be okay right now. You will be one day. Just take it one day at a time.
The main character of this book is Violet. She’s 16 years old yet she feels much older. This past year was beyond crazy. She partied, drank, and slept around, all so that she could numb herself to reality. But, reality has a way of sneaking up on you. Now, she’s been shipped off to Lyric, Maine to spend time with her uncle for the summer while her parents focus on her brother (who attempted suicide right before the book starts). Violet’s character arc is written very well and realistically. She sets her sights on changing and while she has a few setbacks, she finds the strength to keep moving forward.
The romance in this book is also written very well. Violet is bisexual, so we see her develop feelings for both males and females in this book. But, her true love interest is Liv. I think readers will really connect with Liv’s struggle with telling others about her sexuality. She worries what her loved ones will say or think. She fears they’ll perceive her differently. She’s also just trying to figure out her sexuality for herself. I’m so happy that YA is becoming more diverse and inclusive in terms of authors and stories!
As you can see, I have MANY thoughts about this book. All of the thoughts you read above are the thoughts I wrote down as soon as I finished reading the book. Those are my initial and final takeaways from this book. I hope this book makes you think and feel just as much as it did for me.
Hi, I’m Skye! I’m a college student by day and a bookstagrammer and book blogger by night. 😉 I’m also fluent in the language of sarcasm, so my kryptonite in any book is great witty banter.
Check out my Instagram account if you want to see my latest book obsessions! Also, feel free to reach out to me on social media if you ever need someone to fangirl with! I love meeting new bookish friends. 🙂