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Julia Drake Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Last True Poets of the Sea (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


Julia Drake

Julia Drake is an American author of young adult books best known for her 2019 debut novel, The Last True of the Sea. She was born and raised Philadelphia and, as a teen played some of Shakespeare’s heroines in her high school theater program, and those stories would remain with her for eternity. She graduated from Williams College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and from Columbia University with an MFA in creative writing, where she also taught writing to first-year students. Julia currently works as a lecturer for Writopia Lab where she teaches creative writing classes and also as a book coach for aspiring authors. She now lives in San Francisco with her husband and their rabbit pet, Ned.

The Last True Poets of the Sea

In her debut novel, The Last True Poets of the Sea, Julia has woven a coming of age story that will have you hooked right from the first page to the last. After her brother unsuccessfully tries to commit suicide, he is sent to a treatment center in Vermont, and Violet is then sent to Lyric, Maine a town that’s funded by their ancestors where her uncle runs a bakery and where she spent her summer vacations as a child. She has decided that she wants significant changes in her life, and she is determined to get rid of her party-girl ways and vanish, shaving her hair and wearing bland clothes.

Rejected and worried about her brother, and unsure of whom she wants to be in life, Violet starts a journey of self-discovery and finding family. Meeting with friends who a few friends who have theories about the founding of the town by her ancestors, she finds a new purpose in life. Violet and her brother have always been interested in the shipwreck that made their great-great-great grandma first-wear dress like a boy, meet a man, live in Lyric and have three children. The ship was never found, and with new evidence, Violet may be the only person to find the wreck for her dear brother and herself.

What you will love about this book is the fact that the heroine comes into her own in this story, addressing all the important turning points in her life that have led her to this point. She is broken, and so is her family. Her partying ways served as a blanket to cover up her deeper issues, but now she must begin to single them out and confront them. On the other hand, her family also needs time to heal as a unit and individually. While Violet begins her journey of self-discovery-a journey of whom she is and everything about her and her people, she also finds new romance in a fantastically beautiful way.

The Last True Poets of the Sea is a brilliant read; the characters are well-drawn, likable, and so flawed that they come to life throughout the pages in the book. Violet is so hurting at the first few pages of the story, but as she digs deeper into finding herself and her family, she starts to heal. Julia Drake does a beautiful job of portraying the theme of mental illness and how it affects not only the victims but also those close to the victims. The secondary cast are beautifully crafted, especially Liv, whose mother died in a car crash years before and whose family has since struggled as a result of the death. It’s hard not to fall in love with the whole cast of characters here- from Violet, her uncle, Orion, Liv, they are all fantastic characters. You will also enjoy the LGBT representation in this book and how Violet’s sexuality is depicted and revealed throughout. This novel is just all-around excellent.

The Last True Poets of the Sea is a classic retelling of What You Will or Twelfth Night, a romantic comedy by William Shakespeare, which is believed to have been written in 1601-1602. Julia Drake’s editor described the novel as a tale about swimming up when it’s easier to swim downwards- and that’s a perfect description that truly matches Violet’s story about survival. The book is filled with delectable, deliberate prose and evocative prose. Overall it’s a touching and gripping coming of age story about family, grief, and forgiveness.

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