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Sam & Ilsa's Last Hurrah
Cover of Sam & Ilsa's Last Hurrah
Sam & Ilsa's Last Hurrah
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The New York Times Bestselling duo behind Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist and The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily return with twins out to throw the party of a lifetime—or at least the best party...
The New York Times Bestselling duo behind Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist and The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily return with twins out to throw the party of a lifetime—or at least the best party...
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  • The New York Times Bestselling duo behind Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist and The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily return with twins out to throw the party of a lifetime—or at least the best party of high school!
    Siblings Sam and Ilsa Kehlmann have spent most of their high school years throwing parties for their friends—and now they've prepared their final blowout, just before graduation.
    The rules are simple: each twin gets to invite three guests, and the other twin doesn't know who's coming until the partiers show up at the door. With Sam and Ilsa, the sibling revelry is always tempered with a large dose of sibling rivalry, and tonight is no exception.
    One night. One apartment. Eight people. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, we all know the answer is plenty. But plenty also goes right, as well...in rather surprising ways.

Excerpts-

  • From the cover One

    ILSA

    My brother is way too obsessed with our grandma’s sex life.

    “I think Czarina has taken a lover,” Sam says, holding out his hand to me. “Spatula. Stat.” My job is to maximize the chef’s surgical efficiency by passing him the gadgets he requests. I hand him the spatula. “That’s an egg-­turner spatula. The spoon spatula, Ilsa,” he says, like it’s so obvious. “Observe!”

    I look at his bowl, filled with cheese and spinach. Seems like any old spatula could work in that bowl, but if it were up to me, we’d order takeout from Zabar’s and not bother with DIY cooking at all. Sam’s an amazing cook. But all that work! No, thank you. He gets me for a half hour as sous-­chef, and the rest of the meal is on him. My job is planning fabulousness, not catering it. I should have been the gay man, not my twin brother.

    I hand Sam the spoon spatula. “What makes you think Czarina has taken a lover?”

    “She’s gone to Paris three times in the last six weeks.”

    “She’s a fashion buyer. That’s her job.”

    “There’s something different about these trips. I feel it. Did you notice how . . . nice she seems when she gets back? It’s upsetting.”

    “What are you really upset about? That she’s been nice, or that she took Mom and Dad and not you to Paris with her for the weekend?” I love when Czarina goes away and lets us use her apartment. Then I get to be the queen of her castle, and not have to share Sam with her.

    “That’s the thing! She never takes Mom and Dad anywhere. Says they’re bourgeois bores.”

    “I love ’em, but they kind of are.”

    “Don’t be bitchy.”

    “Don’t ask me to be anything other than who I am.”

    Sam laughs, then raises an eyebrow at me. “Aren’t you just a little concerned? Czarina even said we didn’t have to leave her bedroom door locked. Of all the dinner parties she’s let us host in her apartment, her one and only strict rule has been”—­and here Sam mimics Czarina’s gangster-­worthy growl—­“ ‘no teenage miscreants shall miscreant in my bedroom.’ ”

    “Yeah, that’s why she always shows up during dessert, despite saying she was taking a night out to go to the symphony, and even when she’s locked away all the liquor. The control freak can’t take our word for it that we won’t let anyone in her bedroom or break into her booze.” I reconsider what I just said, and then amend my statement. “I mean, take my word for it. She knows Sam the Saint won’t break her rules.”

    “Not true. Remember the party when #Stantastic wanted to see Czarina’s vintage Dior gowns?”

    “You texted Czarina and got her permission to go into her closet. That’s not rule breaking.”

    “#Stantastic had a beer!”

    I let out a sigh. “Scandal.”

    What constitutes legit rule breaking? Perhaps that party two years ago when Parker and I jimmied our way into Czarina’s brandy collection and then ended the party making out on her bed, with the bedroom door locked so no one else could get in. Best aperitif ever. Miscreants, and proud! Czarina was in Milan, so I knew for a fact she wouldn’t be barging in. My parents say I’m too reckless, but even I know not to expose myself to Czarina’s in-­your-­face wrath....

About the Author-

  • RACHEL COHN is the author of critically acclaimed YA novels Very LeFreak, You Know Where to Find Me, Cupcake, Shrimp, Gingerbread, and Beta. A graduate of Barnard College, she lives and writes in Los Angeles. Find her online at rachelcohn.com and @rachelcohn. DAVID LEVITHAN is a children's book editor in New York City, and the New York Times bestselling author of several books for young adults, including Boy Meets Boy; Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green); Every Day; and Another Day. Follow him at davidlevithan.com and @loversdiction.

    Rachel and David's first four collaborations were Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, and The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 29, 2018
    Nearly 18-year-old twins Ilsa and Sam are throwing a final dinner party at their grandmother Czarina’s rent-controlled apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The party is final for two reasons: Czarina has finally agreed to sell her lease for an outrageous sum of money, allowing her to move to Paris, and the twins are graduating from high school. Described by Sam and Ilsa in alternating chapters, the dinner does not turn out as either anticipated. The twins and some of their guests are harboring secrets and grudges, and by the time the evening is over none of the relationships is quite the same. In their fifth collaboration, Cohn and Levithan (The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily) present another love letter to New York City while exploring a complicated sibling relationship. The duo excels at creating witty characters who deal with real-life struggles in heartwarming, humorous ways, but this novel’s funny moments rely less on sharp banter than on snarky comments made by a sock puppet named Caspian, undercutting some of its emotional impact. Ages 12–up. Agent:
    (for Cohn) Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, William Morris Endeavor; (for Levithan) Bill Clegg, Clegg Agency.

  • AudioFile Magazine Michael Crouch and Sophie Amoss narrate Sam and Ilsa's viewpoints in alternating chapters. The 18-year-old twins are hosting an extravagant dinner party to honor their grandmother--whom they lovingly refer as "Czarina"--who is giving up her rent-controlled apartment in Manhattan. The six eccentric guests bring big personalities, Dolly Parton action figures, and a sock puppet that is treated like a story character. Fans of Cohn and Levithan's other books will likely enjoy this story, but they may find the audiobook confusing. There are lengthy sections of dialogue where the narrators don't differentiate the characters' voices effectively enough for listeners to tell who is speaking. Additionally, the same characters are voiced by two different narrators, which makes the characterizations seem inconsistent. S.P. � AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine

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