I absolutely fell in love with this novel. Violet, the descendant of a lone shipwreck survivor, is filled with all of the angst, sarcasm, fear and confidence a 16 year old in NYC can possess. When her younger brother, Sam, tries to kill himself Violet is shipped off to Maine to spend the summer with her Uncle Toby. She arrives in Maine intent on disappearing but instead finds herself volunteering at an aquarium, slowly making friends with a local band of misfits and embarking on an impossible mission to find her grandmother’s shipwreck. Violet is a wonderful, flawed protagonist and her search to find the truth about her grandmother leads her to discover the ability to forgive her parents, her brother, and ultimately herself.
-Chrissy— From Chrissy's Recs
Fall 2019 Kids Indie Next List
“Exiled by her family to the small town of Lyric, Maine, after her brother’s suicide attempt, Violet is determined to fulfill his childhood dream of finding the shipwreck the town was named after. Her search for answers begins at the town aquarium, where she finds new friends (and even serenades a lobster). Julia Drake’s debut is that rare book that will take you from tears to laughter with a single page turn. You will be completely swept away by this beautiful story of love, healing, and forgiveness.”
— Abby Rice, The Briar Patch, Bangor, ME
Shipped back to Lyric while Sam is in treatment, Violet is haunted by her family's missing piece -- the lost shipwreck she and Sam dreamed of discovering when they were children. Desperate to make amends, Violet embarks on a wildly ambitious mission: locate the Lyric, lain hidden in a watery grave for over a century. She finds a fellow wreck hunter in Liv Stone, an amateur local historian whose sparkling intelligence and guarded gray eyes make Violet ache in an exhilarating new way. Whether or not they find the Lyric, the journey Violet takes -- and the bridges she builds along the way -- may be the start of something like survival.
About the Author
Julia Drake grew up outside Philadelphia. As a teenager, she played some of Shakespeare's best heroines in her high school theater program, and their stories would stay with her forever. She received her BA in Spanish from Williams College, and her MFA in creative writing from Columbia University, where she also taught writing to first-year students. She currently works as a book coach for aspiring writers and teaches creative writing classes for Writopia, a nonprofit that fosters love of writing in young adults. She lives in San Francisco with her partner and their rescue rabbit, Ned.
2020 CCBC Choices List—-
"As warm and bright as a beach bonfire on a hazy summer night, The Last True Poets of the Sea will lift you up on a tide of love and lyricism, and carry you away, laughing and crying."—Jeff Zentner, Morris Award-winning author
*"Drake's enthralling debut doesn't shy away from the big stuff. The Last True Poets of the Sea explores themes of identity, mental health, romance and family with grace and gravitas."—BookPage (starred review)