Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: November 5th, 2019
Synopsis: It all started out as a game.
Just a way to have fun. We figured as long as we had rules, it wouldn’t be a problem.
Rule #1: Only break into one another’s houses.
Rule #2: Only take stuff that can be replaced.
It worked for a while. Whoever’s turn it was to break in got a rush, and the rest of us got a laugh over the trophies they brought back. But then someone went too far. Lives got ruined. Someone is dead.
And I might be next.
The Last to Die is one of those books that I dread reviewing because while it’s not a stellar read, neither is it so horrible that I can vent by ranting. No, it falls somewhere in the middle and has me feeling a bit frustrated.
My first issue is with the characters who I couldn’t relate to at all. I know what you’re thinking. “But Kim. These are teens and aren’t you in your 50s?” Okay. First, thanks for the reminder of my advancing years. Second, as most of you know I read and review a fair few of YA novels and there have been plenty where I related to the characters. With this story I tried. I really, really, REALLY tried. But alas, despite my best efforts I couldn’t sum up any strong feelings toward these teens except for extreme dislike. Harper and the others are cookie cutter characters who display the worst personality traits that many adults attribute to teenagers. While I don’t have to like a character(s) to enjoy a book, these are completely bland and shallow with no intriguing layers or depths to them. There is one exception and that’s Harper’s younger sister Maggie, who’s deaf. I loved her, but unfortunately she’s a minor character.
I did find the plot interesting, which is what saved the book for me. The mystery is a tad predictable, as is the final outcome, but I still enjoyed the way events unfolded. The pacing is consistently fast and this coupled with the book’s short length, makes this an easy and quick read.
Overall, I don’t think The Last to Die quite lived up to its potential. However, this is the debut by author Kelly Garrett, and I did enjoy it enough that I will most likely check out her next book.