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The Last True Love Story Hardcover – September 13, 2016

4.7 out of 5 stars 34 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up—Teddy Hendrix is a typical teenage boy dealing with hormones, girls who won't give him the time of day, and family issues. His grandfather, Gpa, is in the throes of Alzheimer's, and his memories are quickly fading away. After getting into a fight with a popular boy at his school, Hendrix joins up with Corrina, who is equally adrift and on whom he's been crushing. She is adopted from Guatemala and finds an outlet for her loneliness and pain through music. After an emotional visit at Gpa's retirement home, Hendrix and Corrina decide to fire up his mom's car and take Gpa on one last road trip, from Los Angeles to Ithaca, NY. Along the way, the teens learn more about each other and the world and realize that sometimes the past is better left in the past and that the future is bright and vast if you have the right person on the journey. Kiely has constructed a sophisticated story about the power of love, music, and making amends. All three of the main characters are fully fleshed out and leap off the page. Corrina's struggles will resonate with many teens who are grappling with who they are in society, especially teens of color adopted into white families and those who strive to achieve their dreams. Gpa's disease is handled in a humane, nonexploitative way. The Odyssey-inspired plot evolves at a leisurely pace, yet it never drags, giving readers a chance to savor this special book. VERDICT Deeply personal and universal at the same time, Kiely's truly lovely tale should find a home in every YA collection.—Christopher Lassen, BookOps: The New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library


“Brendan Kiely’s writing soars off the page, ultimately landing someplace between heartwarming and heart-aching (but definitely somewhere in the heart). Here is a book about music, friendship, first and final loves, and all the blue notes in between. Indeed, The Last True Love Story may be exactly that.” -- David Arnold, bestselling author of Mosquitoland

“As cool as it is tender, this poignant story about the power of love thrums with classic rock and aches with honesty. I was so moved by Hendrix’s journey and, as a brown girl who loves music, I was completely invested in Corrina--one of my new favorite characters in all of YA. Authentic and beautifully written,
The Last True Love Story will truly capture your heart.” -- Jasmine Warga, author of My Heart And Other Black Holes

“A beautiful, searing journey into the American heartland. This book, like an epic road trip, is full of difficult truths, great music, and deeply human companions.” -- Daniel José Older, award-winning author of Shadowshaper and the Bone Street Rumba series.

"Genuine, thoughtful, and heartbreaking,
The Last True Love Story is the kind of book that kickstarts an awakening in your soul and will resonate with readers for years to come." -- Julie Murphy, New York Times Bestselling author of Dumplin' and Side Effects May Vary

“Some authors write with their hearts first and their heads second. Some the other way around. But Brendan Kiely manages, as always, to strike a skillful and delicate balance between deep, intellectual coming-of-age and poetic, emotional drama.
The Last True Love Story stands in a league of its own both in regards to the way it portrays its teenage protagonists and the way it tells the very personal, tragic story of Alzheimer’s. If the point of living is learning how to love, to quote Gpa, then I think we should all start by reading Mr. Kiely’s beautiful novel.” -- John Corey Whaley, Printz and Morris winner, National Book Award finalist, and author of Highly Illogical Behavior

The Last True Love Story is a tender multi-generational story that's as much about the meaning of family as it is about falling in love. There’s plenty of delightful adventure, but what I loved most about this book is its respect for moments that can be both quiet and life changing at once.” -- Ava Dellaira, author of Love Letters to the Dead

“A quirky, romantic, and satisfying story.”  ―
Publishers Weekly

“This bittersweet, sometimes humorous coming-of-age journey hits all the right notes, with its emotional language, vivid landscapes, and quirky characters…A good fit for new adults, graduates of Joan Bauer’s
Rules of the Road, or those who enjoyed John Green’s Lookingfor Alaska.” Booklist

**STARRED REVIEW** "Readers will be swept up in Kiely's musical prose as Teddy learns about love, romance, forgiveness, and reconciliation." ― Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“The story seamlessly integrates family history and the present, creating a tale of love free from cheesiness. Raw, imperfect relationships will strike a chord with teenage readers. Part road trip, part romance, this story is the stuff of summer dreams. Recommended.”  ―
School Library Connection

* “A sophisticated story about the power of love, music, and making amends. Deeply personal and universal at the same time, Kiely’s truly lovely tale should find a home in every YA collection.”  ―
School Library Journal, starred review

** STARRED REVIEW ** “poetic, lovely, and profound…Satisfying and full of longing, the book features deep feelings, full hearts, and heartbreak. It speaks to the importance of forging connections and the power of story to capture memories and meaning.” ― VOYA

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Margaret K. McElderry Books (September 13, 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1481429884
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1481429887
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 14 years and up
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 900L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 9 and up
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 13.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 34 ratings

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Brendan Kiely is The New York Times bestselling author of All American Boys (with Jason Reynolds), Tradition, The Last True Love Story, and The Gospel of Winter. His most recent book is The Other Talk: Reckoning with Our White Privilege. His work has been published in over a dozen languages, and has received the Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, the Walter Dean Meyers Award, and ALA’s Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults. A former high school teacher, he is now on the faculty of the Solstice MFA Program. He watches too much basketball and reads too many books at the same time, but most importantly, he lives for and loves his wife and son.

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