Parents' Guide to

The Last True Poets of the Sea

By Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Emotional story of healing, friendship, family, and romance.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (1 ):

This story of family, friendship, romance, and perseverance has beautiful moments and important messages but gets bogged down in a slow-moving narrative. The Last True Poets of the Sea is best when it focuses on the importance of trust and acceptance in all relationships. Violet has a strong voice as a narrator. She's funny and smart, and her emotional growth as a character is enjoyable. Author Julia Drake does an excellent job of making all the characters, even the marginal ones, fully realized, three-dimensional people. This can be a rarity in YA novels. Drake also effectively shows the different ways people deal with trauma: Sam runs away or hides; Violet uses sex, alcohol, and drugs; and Liv obsesses on inconsistencies in the Lyric shipwreck history.

The biggest issue with the book is the length. It is much longer than it needs to be, and like a lost ship, it drifts here and there. If it were more tightly written, it would be much more compelling and engaging. The wonderful cast of characters and love between them makes up for the slow pace.

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