This is the 28th and final book in the Making Out series (known as Boyfriends and Girlfriends in the USA). It was published in 1998. I became hooked on this series which started in 1994 when I was 13 and still am.
In this book, the Chatham Island kids (apart from Lucas who’s working on his dad’s boat) are at Uni.
Zoey is at uni in California and sees an ad asking for a writer. Adam, a guy she meets, persuades her to apply. Mr and Mrs Passmore (Zoey’s parents) are still suffering from the effects of the fire in book # 25 and Zoey and Ben are still as understandably distraught as they were in book #26, Zoey’s Broken Heart.
Zoey and Nina have driving lessons and the instructor is so fed up with their attitudes that he scores them 7/20 and passes them anyway so he won’t have to tech them again.
Lucas sees Zoey kiss Adam on the top deck of the ferry the group of teens and other islanders use to get between Chatham and the mainland. Zoey comes back from uni early to help look after her parents as does her brother Benjamin (known to everyone throughout the book series as Ben) and ends up getting a job interviewing retired sailors. Finally, her dad comes out of hospital and he’s really tired but glad to be alive and out. Zoey’s mum is still there. There are some references to Lara, Ben and Zoey’s half sister who was killed in the fire at the Passmore family home in book #25,Don’t Forget Lara. She’s in the books from book # 16 Lara Gets Even onwards. Although this book is mainly about Zoey and her family, Aisha seems to be having a tough time. She’s at university too and is room mates with a girl called Felicia. Felicia seems nice at the start but Aisha suspects something’s going on between her and Aisha’s boyfriend Christopher. Aisha and Christopher were an item since book # 8: Aisha Goes Wild , and made a cute couple. I get the feeling they would have stayed together if it wasn’t for the fact Aisha went off to university and Aisha’s suspicions that there was something going on between Felicia and him. The driving lesson scenes between Zoey and Nina provide a little bit of humour against what is quite a sad book I feel. I was sad to start reading the book, and even sadder as it ended as I knew there wouldn’t be any more. Having said that, despite all the years that have gone by, I still haven’t finished all the books in the series- I started buying them when I was about 12 and bought as many as I could until I went to uni. I stopped as I wanted to read other authors’ books, and thinking back to the time, I suppose I didn’t have much time to read (very unusually for me!) because of my own studying. I know I own at least the first 16 books consecutively plus books 25, 26 and 28, so I have some catching up to do. The books spent a lifetime in my parents’ attic after I’d read them because I basically had too many books and not enough bookshelves, making me a classic avid reader. Now we’re well and truly into the digital age though, it’d be amazing and much appreciated by me if someday all the Making Out/ Boyfriends and Girlfriends series and also the Summer series, also by KA Applegate’s, were converted to ebooks just as her more recent ones have been. I know the Making Out/ Boyfriends and Girlfriends series has a fresh look with revamped paperback covers in cute pastel shades, but I’m sure I’m not the only fan who’d appreciate being able to have them on their iPad. When I finished the book, I still had unanswered questions:
Do the group of friends all graduate?
Does Zoey’s and Ben’s mum get out of hospital? What’s the Passmore family’s life like from then on?
Do Aisha and Christopher get back together?
What about Zoey and Lucas?
As this series is for teens, it’s appropriate for the last book to be set at the time they go off to university, as this is when one is living their last years of teenage life. I’d have preferred at least a few more books to round the number of books in the series up to 30 and see how their lives pan out after the first year of university. I’ve given this four and not five stars as it didn’t completely round off the series for me, but that said was a good book. This series for me is one of the best written for teens I’ve ever read.