Author: Sherrie Henry
Narrator: Paul Morey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Story Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Release Date: 09/24/2014
Length: 07 hours 15 minutes
Genre: M/M Romance, Young Adult
Kyle Jackowski, typical sullen emo teen, struggles to find a way to deal with his sexuality and finds himself in trouble with the law… again. But instead of being sent to a juvenile detention center like he expected, he is given a chance to commute his sentence by working on a farm for the summer.
Enter Sam, son of the farm owners, who shows Kyle what he feels is perfectly normal and that he doesn’t have to hide from his feelings. In turn, Sam’s parents show Kyle that his abusive stepfather and battered mother are not the norm. With their love and support, Kyle finds his place in the world—by Sam’s side.
I first read this book in 2013 and it is just as good the second time round and the audio book is outstanding.
YA is not normally my thing but there is something about Last of the Summer Tomatoes that inspires hope and makes you believe that no matter how hard life gets or how downtrodden you feel that somewhere out there someone cares and that things can and will eventually get better. If you need a feel good story this will definitely fit the bill.
Kyle is just trying to get through the last few months of life at home before he has graduated, turned eighteen and escaped to college. He clings to this thought as it is the only way he will escape his abusive stepfather. When a teenage prank goes wrong he does a very noble thing and his punishment is to work out his summer on a farm but it saves him from a criminal record.
For Kyle the farm is a bit of a Utopia. Realistically everything is too good to be true but you have to look past that and realise that what Kyle is offered at the farm is love and understanding. He is nurtured, perhaps for the first time in his life, or at least the first time since his father died. He is so terrified of people’s reactions that it takes weeks for him to realise that no matter what he does he will not be hit, he will not be called names and that abuse and anger are not the norm of family life.
Alongside everything else he has to deal with he also has to look deep into himself and think about his sexuality when Sam, the son of the farmer, arrives home for the summer and catches his eye. For the first time in his life he feels safe and able to admit that he is gay. It’s not easy, you can’t just wipe away years of ingrained fear, but it is doable and do it he does as a summer romance blooms.
As the summer closes and Kyle has to think about returning home before starting his college life it is left a little unclear as to what they expect of each other but one thing is very certain, Kyle has found people who care for him and that won’t stop just because he isn’t under their roof. Real connections have been made and promises to stay in contact mean something to this young man who is not used to having anyone on his side. I felt like they got the ending they deserved even if their relationship hadn’t moved on quite as I expected – their sexual relationship just seemed a bit off to me but maybe that’s a YA thing.
Paul Morey did a grand job – but doesn’t he always!
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the audiobook of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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