The Last Girls Standing
Author: Jennifer Dugan
Narrator: Mia Hutchinson-Shaw
Published: August 15, 2023
Audiobook: 9 hours 39 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: August 31- September 7, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars
Sloan and Cherry. Cherry and Sloan. They met only a few days before masked men with machetes attacked the summer camp where they worked, a massacre that left the rest of their fellow counselors dead. Now, months later, the two are inseparable, their traumatic experience bonding them in ways no one else can understand.
But as new evidence comes to light and Sloan learns more about the motives behind the ritual killing that brought them together, she begins to suspect that her girlfriend may be more than just a survivor—she may actually have been a part of it. Cherry tries to reassure her, but Sloan only becomes more distraught. Is this gaslighting or reality? Is Cherry a victim or a perpetrator? Is Sloan confused, or is she seeing things clearly for the very first time? Against all odds, Sloan survived that hot summer night. But will she survive what comes next?
This one sounded interesting to me and I loved the idea of the aftermath of two girls surviving a massacre: Unfortunately, for the most part it didn’t really work for me until that final twisty ending! It was a slow-moving novel that was hard for me to get into. I was just interested enough to want to see what happened to finish the book. I didn’t really connect to the characters.
Sloan and Cherry met at the summer camp where they were to work for the summer until the massacre happened and they were the only two who survived. They formed a bond and are in a relationship, but it is very toxic. Sloan has survivor’s guilt and also doesn’t remember what happened that night, and begins to doubt what Cherry says happened that night. We do get to go back in time and over the course of the novel find out what happens. A cult also becomes involved with a supernatural element which didn’t really work for me. If it had been just the cult, I would have enjoyed the book more. I didn’t need a supernatural type element added to the mix. The ending is really what saved the book for me and added .5 stars to make my review 3.5 versus just the average 3 stars.
The Last Girls Standing was also a homage to 80s slasher films, Dugan must be a fan of them! Even the cover seems to be a homage to those type films. The cover is what drew me to want to read this one.
Though it was not totally for me I would give Dugan a try again if another of her book interests me.