The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian
What if your town was sliding underwater and everyone was ordered to pack up and leave? How would you and your friends spend your last days together?
While the adults plan for the future, box up their possessions, and find new places to live, Keeley Hewitt and her friends decide to go out with a bang. There are parties in abandoned houses. Canoe races down Main Street. The goal is to make the most of every minute they still have together.
And for Keeley, that means taking one last shot at the boy she’s loved forever.
There’s a weird sort of bravery that comes from knowing there’s nothing left to lose. You might do things you normally wouldn’t. Or say things you shouldn’t. The reward almost outweighs the risk.
— From the book jacket of The Last Boy and Girl in the World
Aberdeen, a small town on the banks of a river, has been home to Keeley Hewitt’s family for generations. When constant rain threatens to flood the town, Aberdeen’s residents are faced with only one choice– pack up and leave the town they’ve called home or lose it all. But as everyone around her is leaving, Keeley’s family is fighting for their town, and Keeley is determined to make the most of what little time they all have left together. With the help of her longtime crush, she’s going to make sure that none of them will ever forget the last days of Aberdeen.
Confession: I’m kind of obsessed with weather and natural disasters. At one point, I contemplated studying Meteorology instead of Psychology in college. As I sit here, typing these words, the sky has turned dark and there are faint rumbles in the distance. A storm is brewing outside my window, and I couldn’t be happier! When severe weather hits, it feels like Christmas to me. I don’t know why.
I think that’s why picking up The Last Boy and Girl in the World and reading that it was about a town that disappears in a flood, I was hyped. Natural disaster book! Yes! I bet it’ll be some apocalyptic flood and everyone is forced to flee, except the few remaining teens that want to make the most of the last moments of their town. Except.. It wasn’t quite what I expected it to be. Yes, the town was flooded, but it didn’t happen quite the way I thought. Which might be why I’m kind of disappointed.
The town of Aberdeen is located along a river, and after a chilly, wet spring, the constant rain has caused the river to rise. After a major storm, the river has crossed its banks and flooded into the town, taking several houses with it and causing immense damage to many more. Okay. Sounds right. But that apocalyptic flood idea I had? Wrong. It’s actually more political than apocalyptic. Yes, the town is being flooded naturally by the river, but something bigger is in the works to make sure Aberdeen is wiped completely off the map.
The twist on the plot is interesting, but I didn’t feel like it was fleshed out well enough. I never really understood why it was the only option for the town.
But it wasn’t just the disappointment of a not so disastrous natural disaster story that I struggled with. Honestly, I didn’t like any of the characters. I found the main character, Keeley, completely unlikable. She was selfish and immature, and I had a very hard time connecting with her story. The things she did in the name of “being funny” and trying to have fun were often more rude and abrasive than funny. Same with her longtime crush, Jesse Ford. And the relationship that they had was completely hot and cold–one minute they’d be fine, the next he would be completely aloof. The chemistry was never there for me. I get that everyone deals with situations in different ways, but it just seemed that Keeley and Jesse were so flippant about the entire ordeal, with almost no other depth to their character to show them in any other light. I felt no sympathy/empathy towards them.
Needless to say, this wasn’t one of my favorite reads. It’s the only Siobhan Vivian book I’ve read, but I have another, Same Difference, sitting on my shelf that I haven’t picked up yet, and The List was popular at my bookstore for awhile, so I’ll give her another chance.
There are some instances of underage drinking, and references to sex, but nothing explicit, so I’d put this one in the high school reading range.
Learn more about Siobhan Vivian
And a little bonus behind the scenes look.