The last forever

Deb Caletti

Book - 2014

"After her mother's death, it's all Tessa can do to keep her friends, her boyfriend, her happiness from slipping away. Even the rare plant her mother entrusted to her care starts to wilt. Then she meets Henry. Though secrets stand between them, each has a chance at healing...if first, Tessa can find the courage to believe in forever"--

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Subjects
Genres
Romance fiction
Published
New York : Simon Pulse 2014.
Edition
First Simon Pulse hardcover edition
Language
English
Physical Description
321 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9781442450004
1442450002
Main Author
Deb Caletti (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Can an impromptu road trip heal two broken hearts? It doesn't seem likely to Tess, who's lost her mother to cancer and now lives with her pot-smoking, tie-dye-wearing father; he's well meaning, if immature. But a road trip from San Bernardino to the Grand Canyon it is. Only her father doesn't stop there, continuing on to Oregon and then north to a small coastal town, home to his mother, Jenny, whom Tess hasn't seen in 15 years. Her father up and leaves Tess at Jenny's, off to who-knows-where, and she's forced to make sense of how to adjust to her new surroundings, while her heart remains very much at home and with her mother. Along for the ride is a rare plant—a pixiebell—which may be the last of its kind. It's survived since Tess's grandfather stole the seed at a party long ago and has moved with her mother through four decades; only now, under Tess' care, it's starting to wilt. When she meets Henry at the library, there's an instant attraction, and together, they work to save the pixiebell. At the start of each chapter is a short, explanatory chapter about a seed, which ties into the novel's theme of rebirth, healing, and growth. Caletti writes movingly here, particularly as Tess reflects on her mother's final days, and offers up a surprising story about love, loss, and putting down roots in a world that's constantly changing.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Caletti has a sizable fan base—and they'll all be waiting. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

After a trying bout with cancer, Tess's mother has died, but she's left behind a one-of-a-kind pixiebell plant. "My mother vowed that the last pixiebell would never die on her watch, and now that I have it, it isn't going to die on mine, either," Tess vows. When her impulsive, pot-smoking, less-than-dependable father takes her on an extended road trip to the Grand Canyon, Tess brings the plant with her, but keeping it alive during their journey through the desert is a struggle. Unexpectedly, Tess's father brings her to the home of his mother, an artist Tess barely remembers. Tess is in for some life-changing lessons about old family grudges and secrets held by new acquaintances, including a boy who makes it his mission to help Tess save the withering pixiebell, and wins her heart in the process. Featuring sharp-witted first-person narration, some fascinating facts about plants and seeds, relatable characters, and evocative settings, Caletti's (The Story of Us) inspiring novel eloquently depicts the nature of mutability. As with her previous books, this love story reverberates with honesty and emotion. Ages 12–up. (Apr.) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 9 Up—Tessa's mom recently died. Before her junior year of high school finishes for the summer, she and her dad leave on an impromptu road trip that leads them to a small coastal town in Washington State. Here, the teen is able to confront her feelings of loss and begin the task of accepting new family relationships, friendships, and a burgeoning romance. When her new buddies embark on a journey to help her save the one thing that is most important to her (her mother's plant), Tessa finds the power within to move on because "good things can sit in the distance, just beyond your view, waiting until you go toward it." Caletti creates a wonderfully unique voice in Tessa, filled with wit, confusion, and mature reflection. The mood isn't all somber and confusing; through realistic dialogue and even pacing, readers get a true sense of Tessa's growth as a young woman. Teens get to know the diverse cast of supporting characters through her lens, including a bisexual character. Each chapter opens with a seed description, and the climax relates to the fate of Tessa's mom's plant. It is through these devices that Caletti explores the idea of longevity and "lasting forever."—Stephanie DeVincentis, Downers Grove North High School, IL [Page 152]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Holding fast to her friends after the death of her mother, Tessa accompanies her grieving father on an impromptu road trip that lands them in a small coastal town where she seeks healing through a bond with a secretive boy.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Holding fast to her friends after the death of her mother, Tessa accompanies her grieving father on an impromptu road trip that lands them in a small coastal town where she seeks healing through a bond with a secretive boy. By the National Book Award finalist author of The Story of Us.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"After her mother's death, it's all Tessa can do to keep her friends, her boyfriend, her happiness from slipping away. Even the rare plant her mother entrusted to her care starts to wilt. Then she meets Henry. Though secrets stand between them, each has a chance at healing...if first, Tessa can find the courage to believe in forever"--

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Beginnings and endings overlap in this soaring novel of love and grief from Printz Honor medal winner and National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti.Nothing lasts forever, and no one gets that more than Tessa. After her mother died, it's all Tessa can do to keep her friends, her boyfriend, and her happiness from slipping away. And then there's her dad. He's stuck in his own daze, and it's so hard to feel like a family when their house no longer seems like a home.Her father's solution? An impromptu road trip that lands them in Tessa's grandmother's small coastal town. Despite all the warmth and beauty there, Tessa can't help but feel even more lost.Enter Henry Lark. He understands the relationships that matter. And more importantly, he understands her. A secret stands between them, but Tessa's willing to do anything to bring them together'because Henry may just be her one chance at forever.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Beginnings and endings overlap in this soaring novel of love and grief from Printz Honor medal winner and National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti.Nothing lasts forever, and no one gets that more than Tessa. After her mother died, it’s all Tessa can do to keep her friends, her boyfriend, and her happiness from slipping away. And then there’s her dad. He’s stuck in his own daze, and it’s so hard to feel like a family when their house no longer seems like a home.Her father’s solution? An impromptu road trip that lands them in Tessa’s grandmother’s small coastal town. Despite all the warmth and beauty there, Tessa can’t help but feel even more lost.Enter Henry Lark. He understands the relationships that matter. And more importantly, he understands her. A secret stands between them, but Tessa’s willing to do anything to bring them together—because Henry may just be her one chance at forever.