Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Review - - One Last Summer

One Last Summer
by Kate Spencer
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: June 11, 2024
Reviewed by PJ

Clara Millen’s life is spiraling out of control: her dream job is a nightmare, she’s resoundingly single, and it’s been years since she’s taken some time off. Thankfully, the last problem she can fix—this year she’ll join her friends on their annual summer vacation to their beloved childhood sleepover camp for a much-needed escape.

But when Clara arrives at Pine Lake Camp, she faces yet another unwelcome change: the owners are retiring and selling the property. The news turns her plans for revelry into a night of reminiscing . . . and prompts a surprise heart-to-heart between Clara and Mack, her old camp nemesis and constant competitor, who's still just as annoying (and 
annoyingly handsome). 

Soon the campfires aren't all that's throwing off sparks. And when one wildly passionate night turns into two (then too many to count!), Clara begins to wonder if she and Mack could have a future together. But when Clara's boss finally offers her everything she's worked so hard for, Clara will need to decide if the life she's always wanted is the life that makes her feel truly alive. 

PJ's Thoughts:

Sometimes, we have to revisit the past in order to figure out the present and find the right path for our future. That's what happens to Clara when she's forced into a break from work that she doesn't want and doesn't think she needs. What follows is a week of reunion that brings nostalgia, growth, mending of friendship fences, personal challenges, a frenemies-to-lovers romance, and, possibly, a new direction in life. 

This newest book from Kate Spencer checks so many boxes for me. Who among us hasn't burned out at some point? I know I have. Clara, desperately in need of a reset without realizing it, is such a relatable character. It put me firmly in her corner, urging her on as she slowly begins to confront each aspect of her life that needs to be addressed. 

I love the bonds of friendship among the former campers in this book. The relationships bring to mind people in my life who I may not see often but with whom I share memories, experiences, and the ability to pick up like no time has passed even if it's been years since we've been together. They also remind me to nurture those friendships.

Spencer put me smack dab in the heart of New Hampshire with her sense of place in this book. I could smell the crisp air, hear the calls of the loons, see the dark, star-filled sky, and feel the chill of the lake. It took me straight back to my own summer camp experiences and some of the happiest, adventure-filled weeks of my young years. I even found myself humming some of those tunes we would sing off-key around a roaring campfire and feeling the urge to toast up a gooey, melty, change-your-life, campfire banana boat. 

I enjoyed these characters, who are all well developed and have storylines of their own that are woven together with Clara's. The story is told from Clara's viewpoint and it's clear that she's the primary character but at no time did her friends feel "lesser" to me. I found myself invested in all of them. 

If you're looking for a feel-good story of friendship, taking stock of your life, and personal growth, with a light sprinkling of romance and a conclusion that leaves you smiling, add One Last Summer to your summer reading list. 


  1. I'm a fan of Kate Spencer from In a New York Minute and have been looking forward to this book. Thanks for the review, PJ!

  2. This sounds like a good read. I never did attend summer camp, but we had a camp on a mountain lake in. Northern NY. Our times spent there were some of the best in my life. I would give anything to be able to sit out on the dock and just soak in the sun and cool air.

  3. My experience at looking back at the past is HUGE. My experience at summer camp, or any camp is non-existent. It generally sounds like such fun - I always think of The Parent Trap with Hayley Mills. I have not read anything by Ms Spencer but this does sound like a good story. I am a fan of being out in Nature with all the beauty and amazing sights. Thanks for this review. It does sound like a good book.