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Title: My Last Summer with Cass
Author: Mark Crilley
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 16, 2021
Genres: YA Contemporary Graphic Novel
This One Summer meets The Edge of Seventeen in this poignant coming-of-age YA graphic novel about two childhood friends at a crossroads in their lives and art from the author of Mastering Manga.
Megan and Cass have been joined at the brush for as long as they can remember. For years, while spending summers together at a lakeside cabin, they created art together, from sand to scribbles . . . to anything available. Then Cass moved away to New York.
When Megan finally convinces her parents to let her spend a week in the city, too, it seems like Cass has completely changed. She has tattoos, every artist in the city knows her. She even eats chicken feet now! At least one thing has stayed the same: They still make their best art together.
But when one girl betrays the other’s trust on the eve of what is supposed to be their greatest artistic feat yet, can their friendship survive? Can their art?
Megan and Cass are about to reunite after several summers apart, and Megan can’t wait. She hopes that while she visits Cass in New York for three weeks that they can do what they always did–make art together and have the time of their lives.
But they’ve both changed. Cass is a little more cynical, and Megan is dealing with her parents expectations of her. I loved seeing their relationship as they grapple with what has changed and what hasn’t in each other’s lives. They kind of have to get to know each other again. I felt really connected with Megan especially as she tried to subvert her parent’s expectations on her while she’s away with them, but then feels the crush when they return. Both girls are very flawed, and it takes a while for both girls to see that part of themselves.
The art does an incredible job of setting the mood with soft colors and lines. I loved how clear emotions were displayed on the page, both good and bad. It was a fun style.
This was a really great graphic novel about the joys and burdens of friendship and the power of forgiveness. I would definitely recommend it for fans of contemporary graphic novels.
Meet the Author
Mark Crilley was raised in Detroit, Michigan. After graduating from Kalamazoo College, he traveled to Taiwan and Japan, where he taught English for nearly five years. It was during his stay in Japan that he created the Eisner Award–nominated comic Akiko on the Planet Smoo, which spawned a series of graphic novels and prose novel adaptations. In 1998, Mark Crilley was named to Entertainment Weekly’s It List of the 100 most creative people in entertainment.