The Last Forever

Deb Caletti. S&S/Simon Pulse, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4424-5000-4
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.)
Reviewed on: 01/27/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
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