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The Last True Poets of the Sea

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The Larkin family isn't just lucky—they persevere. At least that's what Violet and her younger brother, Sam, were always told. When the Lyric sank off the coast of Maine, their great-great-great-grandmother didn't drown like the rest of the passengers. No, Fidelia swam to shore, fell in love, and founded Lyric, Maine, the town Violet and Sam returned to every summer. But The Larkin family isn't just lucky—they persevere. At least that's what Violet and her younger brother, Sam, were always told. When the Lyric sank off the coast of Maine, their great-great-great-grandmother didn't drown like the rest of the passengers. No, Fidelia swam to shore, fell in love, and founded Lyric, Maine, the town Violet and Sam returned to every summer. But wrecks seem to run in the family. Tall, funny, musical Violet can't stop partying with the wrong people. And, one beautiful summer day, brilliant, sensitive Sam attempts to take his own life. Shipped back to Lyric while Sam is in treatment, Violet is haunted by her family's missing piece - the lost shipwreck she and Sam dreamed of discovering when they were children. Desperate to make amends, Violet embarks on a wildly ambitious mission: locate the Lyric, lain hidden in a watery grave for over a century. She finds a fellow wreck hunter in Liv Stone, an amateur local historian whose sparkling intelligence and guarded gray eyes make Violet ache in an exhilarating new way. Whether or not they find the Lyric, the journey Violet takes-and the bridges she builds along the way-may be the start of something like survival.


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The Larkin family isn't just lucky—they persevere. At least that's what Violet and her younger brother, Sam, were always told. When the Lyric sank off the coast of Maine, their great-great-great-grandmother didn't drown like the rest of the passengers. No, Fidelia swam to shore, fell in love, and founded Lyric, Maine, the town Violet and Sam returned to every summer. But The Larkin family isn't just lucky—they persevere. At least that's what Violet and her younger brother, Sam, were always told. When the Lyric sank off the coast of Maine, their great-great-great-grandmother didn't drown like the rest of the passengers. No, Fidelia swam to shore, fell in love, and founded Lyric, Maine, the town Violet and Sam returned to every summer. But wrecks seem to run in the family. Tall, funny, musical Violet can't stop partying with the wrong people. And, one beautiful summer day, brilliant, sensitive Sam attempts to take his own life. Shipped back to Lyric while Sam is in treatment, Violet is haunted by her family's missing piece - the lost shipwreck she and Sam dreamed of discovering when they were children. Desperate to make amends, Violet embarks on a wildly ambitious mission: locate the Lyric, lain hidden in a watery grave for over a century. She finds a fellow wreck hunter in Liv Stone, an amateur local historian whose sparkling intelligence and guarded gray eyes make Violet ache in an exhilarating new way. Whether or not they find the Lyric, the journey Violet takes-and the bridges she builds along the way-may be the start of something like survival.

30 review for The Last True Poets of the Sea

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chaima ✨ شيماء

    I ship this f/f retelling of Twelfth Night with my bookshelf I think they'd look good together

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    I'm gonna sound so cheesy, but this book rooted itself into my heart and I will never, ever let it go. From the friendships to the sibling bonds to the queerness, this was just everything I've ever wanted in a book and more. It’s set in a small seaside town in Maine and was like a mix of Summer of Salt, Wild Blue Wonder, and everything Ashley Herring Blake has ever written and I JUST LOVED IT SO MUCH AND MY HEART IS SO FUCKING FULL. Brb while I go pre-order my brother a copy and cry bc FEELINGS I'm gonna sound so cheesy, but this book rooted itself into my heart and I will never, ever let it go. From the friendships to the sibling bonds to the queerness, this was just everything I've ever wanted in a book and more. It’s set in a small seaside town in Maine and was like a mix of Summer of Salt, Wild Blue Wonder, and everything Ashley Herring Blake has ever written and I JUST LOVED IT SO MUCH AND MY HEART IS SO FUCKING FULL. Brb while I go pre-order my brother a copy and cry bc FEELINGS 😭 TW: suicide, disordered eating, alcohol abuse, the open ocean

  3. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    Holy hell, I loved this book so much. Violet and Sam Larkin’s great-great-great-grandmother Fidelia survived a shipwreck off the coast of Maine. Her arrival in the town of Lyric, and her subsequent marriage, are the stuff of legend. And Fidelia’s story has always made the family believe they’re survivors. "I didn't even have a driver's license, but I was an expert in the art of catastrophe." Yet as Violet becomes wilder, experimenting with drugs and sex, Sam’s emotional problems become more Holy hell, I loved this book so much. Violet and Sam Larkin’s great-great-great-grandmother Fidelia survived a shipwreck off the coast of Maine. Her arrival in the town of Lyric, and her subsequent marriage, are the stuff of legend. And Fidelia’s story has always made the family believe they’re survivors. "I didn't even have a driver's license, but I was an expert in the art of catastrophe." Yet as Violet becomes wilder, experimenting with drugs and sex, Sam’s emotional problems become more serious, and it’s clear neither is surviving that well. When Sam tries to take his own life, and Violet responds with inappropriate behavior, their parents send her to Lyric for the summer, the place where their mother grew up and Violet and Sam’s family used to vacation. Violet’s goal is to become more invisible, which is hard to do when you’re beautiful, musical, and nearly six feet tall. Yet she shaves her head and tries to take up as little space as possible. Working at the town’s struggling aquarium and trying to find the courage to write to Sam, she meets a circle of friends who make her want to open up, even just a little. Among them is Liv, an amateur history buff who has been obsessed with the mysteries behind Fidelia’s shipwreck and what transpired when she came to town and met the man who would be Violet and Sam's great-great-great-grandfather. Inspired by the desire to help Sam, Violet gets drawn into Liv’s obsession, and they decide to find the shipwreck despite the fact it never was found. Along the way Violet will realize where her heart lies and understand how worthy she is, and how much she needs to be seen. This book was so beautiful and emotional and I loved it from the start. There’s so much to this story—the need to be loved and understood, family dysfunction, emotional issues, sexuality—and Julia Drake has done such a terrific job with it. Her writing is imbued with such rich emotion, her prose is poetic at times, and her characters are fascinating—they're layered, complex, and not entirely sympathetic. While reading this book I was reminded of two of my favorite YA books, I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson and Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley. Both of those books, as well as this one, mesmerized me with their power, left me emotional, and touched my heart in an unforgettable way. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Madeline Miller

    A wonderful book--beautiful, smart, witty, with a deeply thoughtful heart. And inspired by Twelfth Night! Love it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    3.5 stars. Character-driven stories are tricky. It may take time to recognize them for what they are. In the beginning, we all expect some kind of plotline to unfurl. But slowly we realize that the story is the protagonists and that we better love them, otherwise we might just put the book down right away. Thankfully, I enjoyed Violet’s voice. She is a three-dimensional character through and through. She’s not easy to understand at times, but she does try to open up to the new friends she makes on 3.5 stars. Character-driven stories are tricky. It may take time to recognize them for what they are. In the beginning, we all expect some kind of plotline to unfurl. But slowly we realize that the story is the protagonists and that we better love them, otherwise we might just put the book down right away. Thankfully, I enjoyed Violet’s voice. She is a three-dimensional character through and through. She’s not easy to understand at times, but she does try to open up to the new friends she makes on the island as well as to us, the reader. Her complexity and unapologetic imperfection are what drew me to her. Her love for her family and her desire to understand herself and the world around her made me feel connected to her. If this connection hadn’t happened, and I wouldn’t have been able to see where Violet is coming from, it’s possible I would have put the book down. Orion and Liv are strong secondary characters but it’s important for me to form a bond with the main protagonist. The reason why I’m saying that, had Violet not been so interesting, I would not have been able to finish this book is because not much happens. Already you must assume this if I said this was a character-driven story, but really Violet’s goal is to find a ship that was apparently wrecked centuries ago and she spends a lot, lot of time on this project. It can get dull. Thank God for the entertaining and meaningful interactions between Orion & Violet, Orion & Liv and Violet & Liv. Ah, I should warn you. There is a love-triangle. I did not mind it because it was quite intense and kept me guessing. And hey, I might just re-evaluate my general dislike of this trope after this. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tucker

    Many thanks to Disney Hyperion for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review [10/01/2019] - DNF at pg. 127. I am temporarily DNF-ing this. When the audio comes out, I'll try that and see if it snags my attention more than the physical copy. I chose to rate this four stars because I want to convey that this book is not bad. I'm just not feeling it right now. I'll try again later. ---------- p pr pro profo profou profoun profound profound a profound an profound and profound and p profound and pa Many thanks to Disney Hyperion for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review [10/01/2019] - DNF at pg. 127. I am temporarily DNF-ing this. When the audio comes out, I'll try that and see if it snags my attention more than the physical copy. I chose to rate this four stars because I want to convey that this book is not bad. I'm just not feeling it right now. I'll try again later. ---------- p pr pro profo profou profoun profound profound a profound an profound and profound and p profound and pa profound and pag profound and page profound and page t profound and page tu profound and page tur profound and page turn profound and page turni profound and page turnin profound and page turning profound and page turnin profound and page turni profound and page turn profound and page tur profound and page tu profound and page t profound and page profound and pag profound and pa profound and p profound and profound an profound a profound profoun profou profo prof pro pr p -Madeline Miller guys, madeline miller loved it so obviously it's amazing | Goodreads | Blog | Twitch | Pinterest |

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    This was, without a doubt, one of the most amazing YA contemporary novels that I have ever read. Writing: Humor: Heartstrings: The Last True Poets of the Sea hit me hard, knocked me out, and left me in the dust of its emotional magnificence. Like the coastal Maine, aquatic version of Jandy Nelson's The Sky is Everywhere, I couldn't stop the feelings. Talk about an unputdownable one-day read. Violet Larkin grew up in a family of shipwrecks. Her great-great grandmother Fidelia was the sole This was, without a doubt, one of the most amazing YA contemporary novels that I have ever read. Writing: ★★★★★ Humor: ★★★★★ Heartstrings: ★★★★★ The Last True Poets of the Sea hit me hard, knocked me out, and left me in the dust of its emotional magnificence. Like the coastal Maine, aquatic version of Jandy Nelson's The Sky is Everywhere, I couldn't stop the feelings. Talk about an unputdownable one-day read. Violet Larkin grew up in a family of shipwrecks. Her great-great grandmother Fidelia was the sole survivor of a shipwreck off of Maine's coast in the 1800s, and the family has become known for disaster—and perseverance—ever since. They leave disaster in their wake, but they never get knocked down. Until this summer. After her younger brother, Sam, tries to take his own life, Violet's family shuts down to crisis mode. Party-hard, reckless Violet is sent to remote Maine to live on the family's ancestral home with her Uncle, Sam is sent to a rehab facility in Vermont, and their parents attempt to tread water at home in New York City. Violet's not excited to be in Maine, and she's unwilling to process the events that led to her arrival. To pass the time, Violet joins the local aquarium as a part-time volunteer—where she meets the best-looking boy she's ever seen: Orion. This meet-cute isn't all that it seems, however, as Orion's had a crush on his long-time best friend for years. Orion invites Violet into the fold of his friend group, where Violet meets his crush, Liv. Violet discovers that maybe Orion's on to something—Liv is an entrancing bay filled with hidden rocks, and Violet can't seem to pull her ship out of the tide leading her to the rocky shore. Will she do what she does best and create a shipwreck disaster, or will she discover what it means to be herself? Add in a quest to find Fidelia's sunken ship, some ridiculously poignantly and quietly funny scenes from a bisexual love triangle, and a few moments worth more than a few tears, and you have one hell of an amazing debut. This will remain one of my all-time favorites. Thank you to Disney Book Group via NetGalley for an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    releases: 01 Oct 2019 This is a sapphic retelling of Twelfth Night. Also Madeline Miller loved it. Personally I think all Twelfth Night retellings should and must deal with gender confusion and I see absolutely no evidence this one does. However. the fucking gay rights of it all → releases: 01 Oct 2019 ← This is a sapphic retelling of Twelfth Night. Also Madeline Miller loved it. Personally I think all Twelfth Night retellings should and must deal with gender confusion and I see absolutely no evidence this one does. However. the fucking gay rights of it all

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters

    Characters are so wonderful- you’ll wish to share a slice of blackberry pie with them! “One puzzle piece actually has ‘four’ different ways to connect, not just two”. Gorgeously written...with love, humor, intelligence, and humanity.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Hollis

    This is such a lovely, and rather hard-hitting, story (and from a debut no less!) that it feels a little strange to not rave about it and slap it with a high rating. But while there was so much good, so much of it moving, some of it also left me a little unmoved, too. I became a bad sister and a bad daughter in an hour; an exile in just under two. By comparison, the Titanic sunk in two hours, forty minutes. Pretty impressive, to have sunk to the bottom even faster than the twentieth century's This is such a lovely, and rather hard-hitting, story (and from a debut no less!) that it feels a little strange to not rave about it and slap it with a high rating. But while there was so much good, so much of it moving, some of it also left me a little unmoved, too. I became a bad sister and a bad daughter in an hour; an exile in just under two. By comparison, the Titanic sunk in two hours, forty minutes. Pretty impressive, to have sunk to the bottom even faster than the twentieth century's greatest shipwreck. Tackling issues of depression, anxiety, self-harm, grief, and self-destructive behaviour, the story takes place against the backdrop of a small seaside town in Maine, featuring the mystery of a shipwreck, a romance that bloomed after, and focusing on the ancestors of the sole survivor of that long-ago tragedy. I didn't think it was possible to be blindsided by a truth you've always suspected, but there you have it. As it turns out, it's devastating. The story is queer, and lyrical, and funny, with quirky weirdness and awkwardness and charm. All from the perspective of a tall girl — woo! It's got a lot of things going for it and I really did love the writing, too. So while this one maybe, for whatever reason, didn't quite hit the mark, I will totally be keeping an eye on this new author and definitely picking up her next book. There wasn't going to be magic healing; there'd be only a string of ands on which we'd thread our survival. This is definitely going to be a hit for a lot of people, I think. I just wish I could count myself among them. ** I received a ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. ** --- This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.

  11. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Thank you, Disney Book Group! You are too sweet to me. I am so excited to get to this. You had me at, Sea.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dahlia

    This book is freaking stunning in the most swallow-you-whole kind of way. In comp terms, I'd say it's The Weight of the Stars meets How to Make a Wish, so you know it's got complicated family, gorgeous Sapphic romance, deep secrets, a brilliant mind's obsession, a well-drawn coastal setting, grieving themes, and found family on lock, and it also weaves in backstory in all these surprising little glimpses. So good.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Neville Longbottom

    I don’t know if I’ll go as far to say that this is a perfect book overall, but it definitely was a perfect book for me. Complicated family relationships, mental illness, queer girls, and a summer spent at a seaside town. There are loving friendships, a wonderful f/f relationship, and a main character who doesn’t always say or do the right thing. This just checked so many boxes for things I enjoy in books. The writing was beautiful, the relationships felt authentic, and the plot was interesting. I don’t know if I’ll go as far to say that this is a perfect book overall, but it definitely was a perfect book for me. Complicated family relationships, mental illness, queer girls, and a summer spent at a seaside town. There are loving friendships, a wonderful f/f relationship, and a main character who doesn’t always say or do the right thing. This just checked so many boxes for things I enjoy in books. The writing was beautiful, the relationships felt authentic, and the plot was interesting. I’d definitely recommend this if the synopsis sounds interesting to you.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Blake

    Absolutely perfect.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard

    I received an ARC through my job as a librarian Okay, so I'm floored. This is a slow paced contemporary where nothing much happens plot wise. That sentence sounds like my own personal hell if I'm being honest. But the author came with some solid ass writing, strong characters, a bit of family mystery and lots of family drama. The star, strength and focus of this book is the characters. In addition, there is some wonderful queer rep. Our main character (Violet) identifies as bisexual. One of the I received an ARC through my job as a librarian Okay, so I'm floored. This is a slow paced contemporary where nothing much happens plot wise. That sentence sounds like my own personal hell if I'm being honest. But the author came with some solid ass writing, strong characters, a bit of family mystery and lots of family drama. The star, strength and focus of this book is the characters. In addition, there is some wonderful queer rep. Our main character (Violet) identifies as bisexual. One of the other female characters identifies as straight originally but enters into a F/F romance and struggles to identify what she is. Violet also has panic attacks while her brother (Samm) recently attempted suicide and is at a treatment facility. It is never verbalized what her brother has been diagnosed with but is specified that he struggles with food control. The family drama tends to continuously rear its head. Deaths, views, home life and conflicts left open and unattended to have caused a lot of problems with Liv and Violet especially. While I've never experienced most of their issues, it seemed real. It wasn't over dramatized nor was it ridiculously wishy washy about problems. I loved the romance in this and especially reading a book where someone doesn't know what they identify as. I feel like people assuming they are straight until they meet someone who makes them realize they may not be is something that is a pretty common thing. Not everyone realized they are gay or bi or whatever until they're confused and kissing someone they never thought they would. The issues I had were just how little of the shipwreck plot is actually acted on! I would've loved an epilogue where Liv finds the wreck or something but it was just abandoned. That sort of fit with the book but it also just felt like a weirdly abandoned ending for the device that takes Liv and Violet through this WHOLE book. Also, the end about Violet's genealogy was kinda stupid. Those kids do all that research and yet none of them did a basic search on Ancestry? Really? I can definitely see people picking this up and then DNFing it because "nothing happens" so please just realize this book is about the characters and their struggles. Not about finding a sunken shipwreck. Rep: the main character is bisexual and one of her friends originally identifies as straight but enters into a F/F romance

  16. 5 out of 5

    Olivia & Lori (The Candid Cover)

    Full Review on The Candid Cover 3.5 Stars The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake is an interesting retelling of Twelfth Night. There are strong themes of family and friendship in the story. However, there is more focus on romance in the novel than I would have preferred. It has been a while since I have read Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, but the connections that Drake makes in The Last True Poets of the Sea are intriguing. The characters are loosely similar, and the plot line of Viola Full Review on The Candid Cover 3.5 Stars The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake is an interesting retelling of Twelfth Night. There are strong themes of family and friendship in the story. However, there is more focus on romance in the novel than I would have preferred. It has been a while since I have read Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, but the connections that Drake makes in The Last True Poets of the Sea are intriguing. The characters are loosely similar, and the plot line of Viola (Violet) and Olivia is one that is quite prominent in this reimagined story. Also, the search for the shipwreck adds a layer of mystery to the book that is really entertaining to read about. ❀ THEMES OF FAMILY AND FRIENDSHIP Themes of family and friendship are always ones that are enjoyable in contemporary fiction. The relationships that Violet has with her family are strained, but there is a strong connection that is pulling her back to them. It is also refreshing to see Violet let down some of her walls and forge friendships with some of the teens in the small town of Lyric. ❀ TOO MUCH ROMANCE While I enjoy a great romance novel, this is one book that could have focused less on the love story. Without giving away too much of the plot, there is a love triangle that is a bit disappointing in my opinion. If this had been handled differently, the book would definitely be that much more interesting. If you love a Shakespeare retelling, and books that feature families and friendships, this is one to check out. The story is enjoyable, but there is a bit more romance than necessary. The Last True Poets of the Sea is a great addition to a fall TBR.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anna Luce

    DNF 10% Reasons I did not finish this book: 1) Slut shaming ahoy! 2) Eyeliner, shorts, and long hair: bad. No makeup, dad's jeans, big shirts, shaved head: good. 3) Our protagonist is one TALL girl, so yes, a lot of tallgirlproblems (*ahem* she is not like other girls) 4) Her parents...? Laughably unbelievable. 5) Hot guy alert within pages of our character swearing off love

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    Sounds like this is going to destroy my entire soul, and honestly? Bring it on (also, I heard this compared to Summer of Salt and Wild Blue Wonder, two books I absolutely ADORED, so, like... where is my copy??? Ya girl needs one) Sounds like this is going to destroy my entire soul, and honestly? Bring it on 😈 (also, I heard this compared to Summer of Salt and Wild Blue Wonder, two books I absolutely ADORED, so, like... where is my copy??? Ya girl needs one)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    3.5 Stars I get why people loved this book. For a majority of it, I was right there with them. The beginning and middle of this book were fantastic - mostly. We meet Violet, a very lost girl who's been shipped off to live with her uncle in a very small town. Going from the wild nightlife of New York City to the quiet boring nights of Lyric have a very jarring affect on Violet and she doesn't quite know how to deal with being alone with her feelings. I loved the location of this book. Lyric sounds 3.5 Stars I get why people loved this book. For a majority of it, I was right there with them. The beginning and middle of this book were fantastic - mostly. We meet Violet, a very lost girl who's been shipped off to live with her uncle in a very small town. Going from the wild nightlife of New York City to the quiet boring nights of Lyric have a very jarring affect on Violet and she doesn't quite know how to deal with being alone with her feelings. I loved the location of this book. Lyric sounds quaint and delightful. I want to go to that aquarium. I want to walk to beaches. And the history? Fascinating. Lyric was founded when Violet's great-great-great grandmother washed ashore from a shipwreck. There she met and fell in love with a man and they founded Lyric together - named after the sinking ship. Me, along with this cast of characters, wanted to know more about the history- mostly, where is the doomed ship? I also really liked the people. Toby, Violet's uncle, is like a warm hug. He's joyful and open and cares about Violet. There's Orion, the aquarium co-worker who charms everyone he meets. Boris, the beloved dog who lives at the aquarium. I even liked Violet's new cast of friends - Felix, Mariah, and Liv. And I even liked Violet. I also adored her brother. Where it went wrong for me was the romance. This book was so strong and so solid in it's story of self-discovery that I felt the love triangle love story we got fed just brought the story down. I did not feel any connection between Liv and Violet aside from obsession on Violets part. I really liked their friendship and how they connected on their losses, but that's as far as any connection. Unfortunately, the last part of the book focused so much on Violets obsession and this triangle love story that I just got bored. A very poetic written story of self-love and awareness, but failed to capture romance the way it captured life.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kassie

    I absolutely loved this book, and I know it'll hit favorites of the year. To be honest, it's an emotional roller coaster and there were times I had to set it down and sit in my feelings. I will say I wish with the inclusion of having a character in a mental health facility, I wish that had been considered more important. There's a moment where it was kind of washed away and never dealt with again and I wish there had been a bit more emphasis on that. Overall, I highly recommend. Trigger warnings: I absolutely loved this book, and I know it'll hit favorites of the year. To be honest, it's an emotional roller coaster and there were times I had to set it down and sit in my feelings. I will say I wish with the inclusion of having a character in a mental health facility, I wish that had been considered more important. There's a moment where it was kind of washed away and never dealt with again and I wish there had been a bit more emphasis on that. Overall, I highly recommend. Trigger warnings: suicide, suicidal ideation, drug and alcohol abuse, invalidation from characters for their LGBTQIA rep.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    Find my full review here: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yaficti... THE LAST TRUE POETS OF THE SEA is a beautiful coming-of-age story. After her brother attempts suicide, he is sent to an in-patient treatment in Vermont and Violet is sent to Lyric, Maine, a town founded by their ancestors where her uncle owns a bakery and where she spent summer vacations growing up. Violet has decided that she needs big changes- she is determined to cast-off her party girl ways and disappear, shaving off all her Find my full review here: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yaficti... THE LAST TRUE POETS OF THE SEA is a beautiful coming-of-age story. After her brother attempts suicide, he is sent to an in-patient treatment in Vermont and Violet is sent to Lyric, Maine, a town founded by their ancestors where her uncle owns a bakery and where she spent summer vacations growing up. Violet has decided that she needs big changes- she is determined to cast-off her party girl ways and disappear, shaving off all her hair and wearing bland clothes. Rejected, worried for her brother, and uncertain of whom she wants to be, Violet begins a journey into herself and her family. Meeting friends who have theories about the founding of the town- by her ancestors, Violet finds new purpose. She and her brother had always been interested in the shipwreck that spurred their great-great-great-grandmother to dress as a boy, meet a man, settle in Lyric, and have three children. The ship has never been found. With new leads, Violet may just be the person to find it, for her brother- and for herself. What I loved: Violet really comes into her own in this book, addressing the major turning points in her life that have led her to this point. Her family has been broken, and so has she. Her partying ways were covering up deeper issues, which she must begin to realize and confront. Her family also needs to time to heal individually and as a unit. While Violet begins to uncover who she is and the things about her (and her ancestors), she also discovers new romance in an absolutely beautiful way. The characters are so flawed and so well-constructed that they come to life throughout the book. Violet is hurting at the start, and as she digs deeper into herself and her family, she begins to heal (though of course, that is not a quick nor easy process/not finished in the length of the story). The portrayal of mental illness was really strong in the book. The only thing I would change is to have had more about Violet following treatment, to be able to see more of that process (therapy, medications if needed, etc.). The secondary characters are also so amazingly well portrayed, especially Liv, who lost her brother in an accident years before and whose family has struggled as a result. It is difficult not to fall in love with the whole cast here- Violet, her uncle, Liv, Orion… they are all just so amazing. I also super-adored the LGBT representation in the story and how Violet’s sexuality is portrayed and revealed throughout. This book is just really, all-around fantastic. Final verdict: With beautiful characters, lyrical prose, and a lovely romance, THE LAST TRUE POETS OF THE SEA is a profound contemporary YA book that handles mental illness and coming-of-age with aplomb. I highly recommend for anyone who desires an engaging and sagacious read. This book is simply wonderful.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Colby

    First of all, thank you Netgalley and Disney books for an eARC! I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy this one, but I think I did! It's such an interesting, quirky book. I actually didn't know this until a bit later, but it's a Twelfth Night retelling, which is profoundly interesting to me, because Shakespeare retellings are so limited, and almost always it's Romeo and Juliet!! Anywho, this was a really sweet, beautifully written book! I highly recommend it! Even if you're not sure, just pick it up and First of all, thank you Netgalley and Disney books for an eARC! I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy this one, but I think I did! It's such an interesting, quirky book. I actually didn't know this until a bit later, but it's a Twelfth Night retelling, which is profoundly interesting to me, because Shakespeare retellings are so limited, and almost always it's Romeo and Juliet!! Anywho, this was a really sweet, beautifully written book! I highly recommend it! Even if you're not sure, just pick it up and give it a try!!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sami

    I adored this lyrical play on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night about a lost girl researching a shipwreck to find herself. After Violet's brother tries to commit suicide, the former party girl shaves her head and heads to a summer in Maine with her uncle. She's soon caught in a compelling love triangle with dreamboat Orion and historian Liv, and unearths a mystery about the founder of the town, Violet's own shipwrecked ancestor.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I received this as an ARC from NetGalley. I did not finish this book nor did I get very far into it before I abandoned it. I found something very juvenile about the writing even though I know it is a YA novel. I also found the storyline jumped back and forth too much without any real context or depth to these backstories. It very much skimmed the surface of these events and could have dived deeper. My ARC also had a random emoji representing a certain letter grouping in the middle of words which I received this as an ARC from NetGalley. I did not finish this book nor did I get very far into it before I abandoned it. I found something very juvenile about the writing even though I know it is a YA novel. I also found the storyline jumped back and forth too much without any real context or depth to these backstories. It very much skimmed the surface of these events and could have dived deeper. My ARC also had a random emoji representing a certain letter grouping in the middle of words which was incredibly distracting while trying to read. I might try this book again when it is printed, edited, and fully formatted.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    Tough book to read, yet I finished it within a day. Very funny (laughed out loud a lot), yet painful. I had to take a few breaks to catch my breath, if I hadn't there would have been tears. But I absolutely loved it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    3-3.5 Stars! The Last True Poets of the Sea is a story about relationships and the importance of connection when feeling isolated and alone. Violet, a teenager from New York is sent to live with her uncle for the summer after she’s had a downward spiral of drinking, drugs, and sex. Her younger brother, Sam has attempted suicide and the family is unraveling at their seems. While at her uncle’s, Violet starts a new job at a local aquarium where she meets Orion and his group of friends. Together, 3-3.5 Stars! The Last True Poets of the Sea is a story about relationships and the importance of connection when feeling isolated and alone. Violet, a teenager from New York is sent to live with her uncle for the summer after she’s had a downward spiral of drinking, drugs, and sex. Her younger brother, Sam has attempted suicide and the family is unraveling at their seems. While at her uncle’s, Violet starts a new job at a local aquarium where she meets Orion and his group of friends. Together, they set out on an adventure to find a sunken ship and find out the mystery behind Violet’s past. There is a lot going on in this book, but honestly, the plot doesn’t have much forward momentum. There wasn’t really a climax in the story, and the ending was very abrupt. In fact, this book doesn’t really have a plot at all….it’s kind of forced into the book as a "side story" to go along with what the author was really trying to get the readers to understand, and that was the relationships and friendships that were happening between the characters. It had siblings, friends, lovers, and family. It reminded me of the musical RENT and how important their paths crossing were and the importance of feeling connected. Page 340- “Our motely crew consisted of two childhood friends, two lovers, two musical soul mates, two long-lost siblings, an amateur physic, and a really good friend. The memory of a brother and best friend, of a great-great-great grandmother and a great-great-great grandfather. There were secrets between us, and stories we didn’t fully understand. But in the water our wires weren’t tangled. They were knit.” Because this book was all about the relationships, the plot felt forced and disconnected from rest of the book. (view spoiler)[ The Broadway history came out of nowhere and I was very confused on why that was even mentioned in the book. And then the ending when they found out about the family ancestry through a website was a huge let down for me. (hide spoiler)] So don’t go into this book expecting a fast paced, addicting plot…it’s a much slower paced book with characters that had a lot of representation. There are a lot of deep discussion points in this book, and the book handles the topics very well for a YA book! It tackles depression, suicide attempts, anxiety, self-harm, grief, mental health, drugs and underage drinking. And this book does a very good job bringing these topics to light through wonderful character development. This is where the book shines. The message of finding yourself and being there for each other, perseverance, and the metaphor of swimming up towards the light when you feel like you’re drowning was very evident in this book. The writing was incredibly beautiful…I just wish I enjoyed it more. I can see how this book will be a hit for teenagers. I don’t mind a character driven book, but this one didn’t do much for me at all due to the lack of plot, or the feeling of forcing a round peg into a square hole…the plot felt so forced that I didn’t quite understand how it fit into this book. A 3 star rating for me means I liked the book, but I wouldn’t blindly recommend it to everyone. If I were to recommend this to a friend or student, I would need to know more about them and their interests first before recommending it, and this book fits this description perfectly. I don’t think this book will be for everyone. There were parts of it that I really enjoyed, but there were parts that left me wanting more answers.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paige Green

    Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Author: Julia Drake Book Series: Standalone Rating: 5/5 Diversity: Main is bisexual, one of the female characters is straight but then goes into a F/F relationship Publication Date: October 1, 2019 Genre: YA Contemporary Recommended Age: 17+ (TW suicide mentioning and possible food control/anorexia/bullimia) Publisher: Disney Hyperion Pages: 400 Amazon Link Synopsis: The Larkin family isn't just lucky—they persevere. At Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Author: Julia Drake Book Series: Standalone Rating: 5/5 Diversity: Main is bisexual, one of the female characters is straight but then goes into a F/F relationship Publication Date: October 1, 2019 Genre: YA Contemporary Recommended Age: 17+ (TW suicide mentioning and possible food control/anorexia/bullimia) Publisher: Disney Hyperion Pages: 400 Amazon Link Synopsis: The Larkin family isn't just lucky—they persevere. At least that's what Violet and her younger brother, Sam, were always told. When the Lyric sank off the coast of Maine, their great-great-great-grandmother didn't drown like the rest of the passengers. No, Fidelia swam to shore, fell in love, and founded Lyric, Maine, the town Violet and Sam returned to every summer. But wrecks seem to run in the family. Tall, funny, musical Violet can't stop partying with the wrong people. And, one beautiful summer day, brilliant, sensitive Sam attempts to take his own life. Shipped back to Lyric while Sam is in treatment, Violet is haunted by her family's missing piece - the lost shipwreck she and Sam dreamed of discovering when they were children. Desperate to make amends, Violet embarks on a wildly ambitious mission: locate the Lyric, lain hidden in a watery grave for over a century. She finds a fellow wreck hunter in Liv Stone, an amateur local historian whose sparkling intelligence and guarded gray eyes make Violet ache in an exhilarating new way. Whether or not they find the Lyric, the journey Violet takes-and the bridges she builds along the way-may be the start of something like survival. Review: I am so perplexed by this book. I loved the writing, I loved the character development, and I loved how the author made something so complex but simple at the same time. I love the world building and the relationships between the family members. However, I feel like the plot of the story isn't there? Like it felt like a lot of the story was circular and the pacing was super slow and nothing really happened, but yet I liked it and I felt like we were getting somewhere? I don't know, this was a trip lol. Verdict: I definitely believe this is worth the read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    dani

    after my last, unsatisfied read, THIS was precisely what i needed. bi representation, summer love, family support??? perfection in its truest form. it's one of those that every single sentence you read, you feel. her writing was a gentle breeze in your face, made me giddy, warm, happy all over; i cannot begin to count how many times i was screaming throughout the whole story. the characters, each one a beautiful mess; violet, the protagonist whom i didn't understand at first. she, who became a after my last, unsatisfied read, THIS was precisely what i needed. bi representation, summer love, family support??? perfection in its truest form. it's one of those that every single sentence you read, you feel. her writing was a gentle breeze in your face, made me giddy, warm, happy all over; i cannot begin to count how many times i was screaming throughout the whole story. the characters, each one a beautiful mess; violet, the protagonist whom i didn't understand at first. she, who became a different person the year before, having been through saddening situations goes to live with her uncle to getaway. here, she comes to meet several people; liv, orion, felix and mariah. liv slowly developing a relationship with violet, while both of them not trying to hurt orion. i, particularly not being a fan of third wheels; this was more about friendship than anything else. regarding it, the romance; it was breathtaking, consuming, immensely adorable; how violet described liv messed with my head and heart completely. their love was one of the best things about it. apart from this, her family captured the story as well; sam making an apparition at the end and both of them resolving their issues and taLKING!! quality; not only that; her uncle, mom and dad were incredibly essential and made it even better. it breaks my heart into tiny little small pieces that it's a standalone, i was left craving for more of how marvellous it was. 466546565/5 do yourself a favour and go read it!!!!!!!!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sharyn Berg

    If you’re a fan of teen sex, (granted, it’s not graphic, but it happens) teen same-sex relationships, suicide attempts, teen drug use, and under age drinking, all with no real consequences, then you may like this book. I’m not a fan of promoting these things as glamorous or normal among teens, nor am I a fan of planting seeds in young minds, so I would not recommend this as a YA book. The writing was fine, and kept my interest, but I just think that our young people should be reading more If you’re a fan of teen sex, (granted, it’s not graphic, but it happens) teen same-sex relationships, suicide attempts, teen drug use, and under age drinking, all with no real consequences, then you may like this book. I’m not a fan of promoting these things as glamorous or normal among teens, nor am I a fan of planting seeds in young minds, so I would not recommend this as a YA book. The writing was fine, and kept my interest, but I just think that our young people should be reading more positive content. Thanks to NetGalley for an advance read copy.

  30. 5 out of 5

    ♛ Cameron ♛

    TW: Panic Attacks, Suicide Attempts, Eating Disorders, Mental Illness This is a book where so little and so much happens. It’s a slow paced contemporary more focused in emotions and characters rather than furthering an action plot. It handles mental illness so delicately by not romanticizing it and actually showing the dark parts such as panic attacks. There’s also discussions on sexuality and and familial bonds that are so beautifully done. Tall, funny, musical Violet can’t stop partying with the TW: Panic Attacks, Suicide Attempts, Eating Disorders, Mental Illness This is a book where so little and so much happens. It’s a slow paced contemporary more focused in emotions and characters rather than furthering an action plot. It handles mental illness so delicately by not romanticizing it and actually showing the dark parts such as panic attacks. There’s also discussions on sexuality and and familial bonds that are so beautifully done. Tall, funny, musical Violet can’t stop partying with the wrong people. And, one beautiful summer day, brilliant, sensitive Sam attempts to take his own life. Shipped back to Lyric, a town in Maine her grandmother founded after almost drowning, while Sam is in treatment, Violet is haunted by her family’s missing piece—the lost shipwreck she and Sam dreamed of discovering. Desperate to make amends, Violet sets off on a journey to find Lyric. The romance of this story was so great. Violet, the main character, is bisexual while Liv, her love interest, had identified as straight her whole life until Violet makes her question it. It’s just really refreshing to read a story that has a character who isn’t completely sure in their sexuality for their whole life. Violet and Liv have a very slow burn romance that’s complex and develops over time. They’re just so healthy together and it’s so sweet. The family relationships were so complex and interesting. Violet always thought that her parents and uncle viewed her as a burden but when they actually talked she learns how much they care about her. Her friendship with her brother, Sam, was also so complex. They love each other but Violet also struggles with communicating with him. Liv and Sam’s friendship was so adorable and I just really liked how well Liv got along with Violet’s family. Honestly Violet’s whole family was just so sweet. I do feel that the synopsis of this book is a little misleading. This is character driven it’s not about shipwrecks or magical realism it’s about inner conflicts and coming to terms with mental health. I do wish there were more aspects about the shipwreck but I really loved this book despite that. It just handled sexuality, mental illness, and family so beautifully. I’d highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a slow, character driven contemporary.

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