Though I’m not sure I would call Kyle emo, he was into darker clothes and had long hair, and he was an awesome artist. He took the blame for the larger part of a crime to save his best friend, and ended up going to a summer work program to keep his record clear. While there, he fell in love with the farmers’ son, Sam, and they started a romance.
Sam was the typical boy next door kind of guy. Cute, outgoing, and friendly. He had a much more ideal upbringing then Kyle did, which lead him to be more comfortable with himself.
There were a few things in this book that worked for me and a few that didn’t make a lot of sense to me. I loved Kyle’s character, and really enjoyed watching him grow. He has a hard life and it took a lot of time for him to learn to trust. I can completely understand that. I also loved the romance between the boys. They were sweet, and I didn’t feel it was rushed like some of the books I have read. I enjoyed watching how Sam helped to bring Kyle out of his shell.
Here are the things that didn’t work for me:
First, there was Sam’s mysterious sister. This promises to be a good story, but the author never tells us what happened with her. That was very frustrating to me.
Second, though Kyle is super worried about public displays of affection, after he was beaten up at the fair, he goes on like that never happened. In the beginning, Kyle didn’t want to touch Sam at all where anyone could see them, but as he grew more comfortable this changed. After getting beat up at the fair, I would think that would confirm his fear and he would go back to no touching in public. This did not happen. They continued right where they left off before the beating.
Third, there was an almost-rape scene that the story really didn’t need. I understand the author used it to introduce the reasoning behind the football player’s sticking up for Kyle, but I’m sure this could have been explained in a better way.
Fourth, Kyle saw Sam in a dream before ever meeting him, and drew an almost exact portrait of him. I find this hard to imagine. In a paranormal or fantasy story this would be cool, but it took some of the ‘real’ out of the story for me.
My last complaint is that the story ended right when I was sure it was going to get good! I had to shake my kindle to see if it ate part of the story!
Besides those things, the story was great. It was written well and the author told the story well. I would recommend the book to anyone who is willing to overlook the things I listed above. ~Timmy
Last of the Summer Tomatoes by Sherrie Henry
Available in Print and eBook
About Last of the Summer Tomatoes
Kyle Jackowski, typical sullen emo teen, struggles to find a way to deal with his sexuality and finds himself in trouble with the law… again. But instead of being sent to a juvenile detention center like he expected, he is given a chance to commute his sentence by working on a farm for the summer.
Enter Sam, son of the farm owners, who shows Kyle what he feels is perfectly normal and that he doesn’t have to hide from his feelings. In turn, Sam’s parents show Kyle that his abusive stepfather and battered mother are not the norm. With their love and support, Kyle finds his place in the world—by Sam’s side.