Hijinks, hilarity, and heartfelt revelations ensue as twin seniors bid farewell to high school in Sam & Ilsa’s Last Hurrah by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan.
The rules are simple: each twin gets to invite three guests, and the other twin doesn’t know who’s coming until the partiers 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, as well … in rather surprising ways.
There’s so much to love in this whirlwind story that’s about far more than just a party. Sam and Ilsa are on the cusp of adulthood. High school is nearing its inevitable end, and neither twin is quite prepared to tackle what comes next in their lives — and all their fears and anxieties come out in full force over the course of their party.
Magic seems to happen with Levithan and Cohn collaborate, and there’s definitely some magic within the pages of Sam & Ilsa’s Last Hurrah. I am endlessly fascinated by this time period in a teen’s life – the end of high school, and the beginning of What Comes Next. The two authors really capture that tumultuous time, and all the anxiety that accompanies it within these pages.
But rather than just a tortured exploration of these anxieties and fears, the book instead wraps it all up in this dazzling package of a fancy dinner party at the twins’ grandmother’s apartment. And let’s not skip over one of the book’s more divine details: that the twins call their grandmother Czarina. This really is the perfect example of the whimsy that wraps up a story about growing up, accepting the past, and facing the future.
Look for Sam & Ilsa’s Last Hurrah in stores now.