The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen

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Title & Author: The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen

Publisher/Year: Katherine Tegen Books/May 10, 2016

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By the Author: The After Girls

My Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

A passionate summer love story about a girl, her childhood best friend recently released from juvie, and the small-town lies that have kept them apart. A teen romance debut with a dark edge.

Liz Grant is about to have the summer of her life. She and her friend MacKenzie are getting invited to all the best parties, and with any luck, Innis Taylor, the most gorgeous guy in Bonneville, will be her boyfriend before the Fourth of July.

Local teen convict released early.

Jason Sullivan wasn’t supposed to come back from juvie. A million years ago, he was her best friend, but that was before he ditched her for a different crowd. Before he attacked Innis’s older brother, leaving Skip’s face burned and their town in shock.

“Everything is not what you think.”

Liz always found it hard to believe what they said about Jason, but all of Bonneville thinks he’s dangerous. If word gets out she’s seeing him, she could lose everything. But what if there’s more to that horrible night than she knows? And how many more people will get hurt when the truth finally comes out?

“You’re the one person who believes in me.”

Leah Konen’s southern romance swelters with passion as it explores the devastating crush of lies, the delicate balance of power and perception, and one girl’s journey to find herself while uncovering the secrets of so many others.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

First let me start off by saying this is a summer based book and if you don’t know by now, I am obsessed with summer themed books. Leah Konen’s other YA book, The After Girls, has also been on my TBR list (as well as my bookshelf) for a while now and I definitely need to start reading it. The Last Time We Were Us was so, so good. It had me feeling so many mixed emotions throughout the book and had me racing through the pages at the end to see what had happened.

The romance in The Last Time We Were Us was insanely intense. I had no idea what was going to happen and definitely wasn’t expecting the ending to play out like it had. I can’t say I was shocked, but I also feel like some of the characters got what they had been asking for throughout the book. The book is also packed full of drama between multiple characters which kept it entertaining as well as kept me sucked into the book turning page after page. The book itself was longer than most I’ve read lately (almost 400 pages) but I was hooked and breezed through it.

I really liked the characters in The Last Time We Were Us. I have to admit though my favorite character was Jason Sullivan and I can’t really say why he was without giving anything away. I had mixed feelings about the main character Liz. There were times when I liked her and was rooting for her and other times when I wish I could have reached in the pages and smacked her. Innis Taylor was quite the character, once again can’t say much about him without giving things away. Liz’s friend MacKenzie was alright. She had a few good friend moments, but I felt like a majority of the time she was immature and over reacted to certain situations.

Overall if you’re into young adult contemporary and/or romance I definitely think you’d enjoy this book. It’s one of the better books I have read in 2016, it’s in my top 10 as of now. I could easily see this as a book I’d reread again in the future.


To All the Boy’s I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Jenny Han is hands down my favorite YA author. I loved The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy and I loved her co-writing in the Burn for Burn trilogy. When I saw she had a new novel coming out, I couldn’t wait to start reading it.

*Funny story. I thought I was reading the full book on Pulse It, but to my surprise it turned out to only be an extended excerpt, so I was all frantic because I’m currently “banned” from buying any more books, so I had to rush to the library and get it because I was already so sucked into the story that I couldn’t wait.*

To All the Boy’s I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han



To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

(Summary from Goodreads)

I flew through this book in one day and that’s not because it’s a short book (which it isn’t short, 288 pages). It was just so amazingly good that I couldn’t put it down for anything. I got sucked into Lara Jean’s story and had to know what was going to happen next.

I loved Lara Jean, in a way because she reminded me of myself when I was in high school. She is shy and timid and doesn’t have a lot of self confidence. At one point in the novel (no worries, it’s not a spoiler) she says something about how she never wanted to be in a relationship before because it was so much more that just thinking about being with someone and how when you actually are with someone, they have needs, wants and feelings that you now have to be aware of. I always felt that way when I was younger and that’s often what made me shy away from serious relationships. As for Lara Jean’s sisters, eh…I really did not like Margot at all. She was constantly moody, yet wanted to place the blame on other people. Kitty I liked and she almost felt like my own little sister by the end of the book. I don’t want to go into much detail about the five guys who got the letters, but I did enjoy the three that we got to know in the story.

When those five boys got Lara Jean’s love letters, I knew right away how they got them and thought that part was pretty predictable, although it didn’t take anything away from the story. I also loved the “love triangle”  I guess it could be called, that went on between two of the boys and Lara Jean, although I wasn’t always happy with the choices that were made. I keep wanting to say more, but I don’t want to give anything away. The easiest thing to say right now is that I basically loved everything about this book. I also love how there will be a sequel, P.S. I Still Love You, released in 2015 (anticipated in April of 2015), but I don’t know how I’m possibly going to wait until then to read it.