Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Book Review: Last Things by Jacqueline West

Media Type: Print Book (ARC)
Title: Last Things
Author: Jacqueline West
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: Hardcover; 416
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Source: FFBC Tours / Publisher
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Content Screening: Mild Violence

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who love dark, atmospheric stories that keep you guessing right up until the end.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
When strange things start happening to local music idol Anders Thorson, everyone blames his number-one-fan, Thea. But is she out to hurt him? Or protect him?

High school senior Anders Thorson is unusually gifted. His band, Last Things, is legendary in their northern Minnesota hometown. With guitar skills that would amaze even if he weren’t only eighteen, Anders is the focus of head-turning admiration. And Thea Malcom, a newcomer to the insular town, is one of his admirers. Thea seems to turn up everywhere Anders goes: gigs at the local coffeehouse, guitar lessons, even in the woods near Anders’s home. When strange things start happening to Anders—including the disappearance of his beloved cat, then his sort-of girlfriend, and, somehow, his musical talent—blame immediately falls on Thea. But is she trying to hurt him? Or save him? Can he trust a girl who doesn’t seem to know the difference between dreams and reality? And how much are they both willing to compromise to get what they want?

Okay friends, this book was a ride! Let's start with that, because I'm still trying to put together all my thoughts into a coherent review and that's forefront on my mind. It's always a breath of fresh air to read something outside the lines, to read something that is atmospheric and intriguing. That's this book, perfectly described. Last Things is what I've been waiting for, and it was a darn good way to start the month.

Let's talk characters. Anders Thorson is now one of my favorite male characters. Why, you ask? He's a teenage boy, in a rock band, who isn't a brooding jackass. Anders is sweet. He loves his family, and his cat. He loves his guitar, his band, and is adorably humble when it comes to his talent. He isn't the kind of guy who uses girls, but instead is genuinely interested in one and too shy to reciprocate anything. In other words, Anders is an excellent character. I loved him from the moment I met him and, even as his dark secrets started to spiral into the open, I was 100% behind him. He's a character you can root for, and that makes this book such an easy read. Add in the fact that he's also the "damsel in distress" in this book, and you have my heart.

Yes friends, the woman saves the man in this book. Thea, if it's possible, is an even more intriguing character than Anders. I love how the story starts out with her shrouded in mystery. It's not obvious whether she's stalking Anders, or protecting him. As the story progresses though, and you start to see into Thea's past, things get more layered than I could have hoped for. Thea is strong. There's no two ways about it! She's the type of character who will give up everything if necessary, for the good of someone else. Watching her interactions with the world around her, and with Anders, was just perfection. The link between them drove the book forward, and I both helplessly and eagerly held on.

The fact that this story also revolves around music, and the ties that it has to emotions, made me so happy. As West wrote out Anders' songs, I could actually hear them in my head. I could feel the emotions that were pouring out of him, and I could sense the energy in the room when he performed. This is a book that is rife with atmosphere. The pages crackle and sizzle, the woods press in too close and too dark. It fascinated me that I flew through this book, and yet I felt connected to it too. Such a wonderful way to read a story.

Long story short, this was a lot of fun to read and I'm highly recommending that you put this on your TBR if it isn't there already. It's well worth your time!

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FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

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