The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen

A passionate summer love story about a girl, her childhood best friend recently released from juvie, and the small-town lies that have kept them apart. A teen romance debut with a dark edge.

Liz Grant is about to have the summer of her life. She and her friend MacKenzie are getting invited to all the best parties, and with any luck, Innis Taylor, the most gorgeous guy in Bonneville, will be her boyfriend before the Fourth of July. 

Local teen convict released early.

Jason Sullivan wasn’t supposed to come back from juvie. A million years ago, he was her best friend, but that was before he ditched her for a different crowd. Before he attacked Innis’s older brother, leaving Skip’s face burned and their town in shock. 

“Everything is not what you think.”
Liz always found it hard to believe what they said about Jason, but all of Bonneville thinks he’s dangerous. If word gets out she’s seeing him, she could lose everything. But what if there’s more to that horrible night than she knows? And how many more people will get hurt when the truth finally comes out?

“You’re the one person who believes in me.”

Leah Konen’s southern romance swelters with passion as it explores the devastating crush of lies, the delicate balance of power and perception, and one girl’s journey to find herself while uncovering the secrets of so many others.

The Last Time We Were Us is an unusual story. It’s a contemporary, but it’s not your average summery, fluffy contemporary. It starts out a bit like that, but with seeds of something more.
It’s a quick, easy read, full of entertaining and loveable characters, along with a bunch of chracter GROWTH and a super cool plot.
I loved out lead character, Liz/Lizzie. She was complex and lovely and easy to care about. She had so many thoughts that I know I’ve thought before.
Then there’s Jason. From the beginning, it’s hard to dislike him. He’s cute, witty, and Liz’s former best friend. Also he’s a convicted felon.
The romance was slow and built up to a burning crescendo. It’s a forbidden romance, which makes it more appealing as well.
BUT; this book is definitely YA. If an adult read it, they’d think the character an idiot. As a teenager, though, I understand Liz.
I loved the names in this. Liz is more common, yes, but we also have Genevieve, Lyla, Innis??? I love it.
So let’s talk about the finale. Don’t worrrrry. No spoilers. I don’t do that. (be like me)
SO SOMEONE GOT MAIMED. A++ about that. NO ONE ever really gets maimed in YA contemporary these days. I was glad to see some of it in here! 😀
Also, I SHIP JASON AND LIZZIE SOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOOOOO MUCH UGH. They are relationship goals. (minus the whole felon thing, plus the maiming thing)… They are so strong as a couple. ❤ ❤

Intimacy – Lizzie sleeps with two people, but not a ton is shown. It mostly focuses on the emotions. Mild kissing. Talks of sex, also fondling.
Cussing – This has, like, fifteen cuss words?

Violence – It has a fair amount. Plusssssss… MAIMING.

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