Thank you, VOYA!
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Vivian, Siobhan. The Last Boy and Girl in the World. Simon & Schuster, 2016. 432p. $17.99. 978-1-4814-5229-8.
The newest standalone novel by the author of The List (Scholastic, 2012/VOYA April 2012) takes readers into the world of high school junior, Keeley Hewitt. Keeley’s comfortable living with her parents in a town with family history and spends a majority of her days worrying about grades, the spring dance, and her longtime crush, Jesse Ford. Awkward and always the laugh at a party, Keeley does not believe she will ever have a chance with one of the most handsome and popular boys at her school. However, when the rain starts that fateful spring and does not stop until part of the town suffers catastrophic damage, Jesse finally notices her. Being in a relationship with someone you have had a crush on for ages should be easy, but as Keeley’s entire world shatters, she finds it difficult to navigate the tricky path of having a boyfriend while losing everything she has ever known.
This story is told in a first-person female point of view, organized as a timeline including weather reports, emergency bulletins, and temperatures which are relevant to the plot. The protagonist deals with realistic issues that teens face such as trying to be a supportive friend, a carefree teen, and yet also a responsible daughter when faced with major life changes. Unsure of her future, many of Keeley’s decisions cause ripples in her relationships and by the end of the book, she comes to realize that what she thought was important may not be. A particularly heartbreaking scene is when she is asked to pack up her entire life in thirty minutes. The prologue makes it clear that Keeley’s family and the entire town are forced from their homes by the end of the book, yet Vivian draws readers into the story effortlessly. The novel is inspired by true events.—Valerie Burleigh.