Vee is on a forced mental health hiatus until 16th June. See you then!

Review of Sam & Ilsa's Last Hurrah by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

by - March 07, 2018

Genres: Contemporary, LGBT
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Release Date: 05/04/2018
Find The Author (DL): Website / Twitter
Find The Author (RC): Website / Twitter
Find The Book: BookDepository
(Received free from NetGalley for review)

Sam and Ilsa Kehlmann have spent most of their high school years throwing dinner parties, and now they’ve prepared their final blowout, just before graduation. The rules for the twins are simple: they each get to invite three guests, and the other twin doesn’t know who’s coming until the guests show up at the door. With Sam and Ilsa, the sibling revelry is always tempered with a large dose of sibling rivalry, and tonight is no exception. 

 One night. One apartment. Eight people. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, we all know the answer is plenty. But plenty also goes right – in rather surprising ways.

If you look up pretentious in the dictionary, there's a handy little picture of this book next to it. Honestly when I read the description I got that it was a party and there was eight random guests with two twin protagonists and that sounded awesome, I generally love contemporary with a dash of romance so what could possibly go wrong?

Basically, everything went wrong. What this book actually is, is a story about a bunch of rich mostly white folk whining for literally the whole book and then for some reason we jump to Ten Years Later for the final chapter, as if I would actually care enough about these people to want to check up on them as adults.

"So we're not just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic?" Parker asks. "Wrong question." Li replies. "My point isn't about deck chairs. Nobody cares about deck chairs. What I'm saying is - there comes a time, long before the accident, when you decide how many lifeboats the Titanic should have."

The main two characters are Ilsa and Sam. Sam I like, he's quite similar to me in that he has severe anxiety but different too because he has actual friends that he has house parties with. I've literally never been to anything like this and nor would I want to. Ilsa is a brat. Literally just an annoying brat who's jealous that Sam is their Grandmother's favourite and really likes to stick her nose in everyone's business.

The whole concept of the story is the house party, because Sam and Ilsa's Grandmother Czarina is moving out of her posh flat and going to Paris. The plan was a last goodbye before all her stuff is packed and the neighbours extend their own apartment into hers. Sam invites three guests and Ilsa invites three too. However I forgot who invited who.

"Because I'm so tired of worshipping breakable things. Because I wanted to see the impulse through. Because I wanted to see the look on their faces. Because I wanted to do something that I've kept inside of me so they could see what's been inside me all this time."

 I think a big problem with the book was that none of the characters were that interesting, as well as choosing a single environment and one night for pretty much the entire book with nothing major happening like an apocalypse or a flood, meant that the story never went anywhere. One character KK was supposed to be really annoying but I just felt nothing towards her. She said what she thought and likes sushi. That's all I know.

Johan... Jason(?) and Caspian/Frederyk all blurred into one for me, to the point where I can't remember if the sock puppet is Caspian or Frederyk. I think it's Caspian. I literally had to deal with a guy spending an entire night talking through a sock puppet and by the end I was ready to flush the thing down the toilet myself. It was just really weird and really creepy.

You May Also Like


  1. Well, this makes me sad. I am such a fan of this writing duo. *sad face*

    1. Quite a few people seem to really like this book, so maybe it'll be a great read for you? :D


I love comments! Spam comments will be deleted.