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.
They Both Die at the End
Series: Death-Cast #1
Author: Adam Silvera
Published: September 5, 2017
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 19-22, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.
On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today.
Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.
This was a re-read with the prequel coming out that I have been highly anticipating! I ordered the Barnes & Noble Special Edition months ago when I found out about it and was very happy when it arrived! I can say I loved They Both Die just as much the second time around. No crying again, but it does leave you thinking about the book and these characters long after you have put the book down.
I can’t say much more than what I said with my first review, which is here as a double review with Kim. I do want to add this time around that we ‘see’ other people that Mateo and Rufus come into some sort of contact with during their last day. We see these people before and after the contact, so we see how their day goes, whether it is their last day as well or not. This also shows how connected we are as people and even a little contact can have after affects.
This one will be a re-read every few years and I cannot wait to read The First to Die at the End! I have a few books to get to first, but it WILL be read by the end of the year! I wanted Rufus and Matteo’s story fresh in my head going in for the prequel as it is said that their younger versions make an appearance!
This is a novel I feel that everyone should read.