Author: Hanna Jameson
To Be Published: April 9, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 19- April 2, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
For fans of high-concept thrillers such as Annihilation and The Girl with All the Gifts, this breathtaking dystopian psychological thriller follows an American academic stranded at a Swiss hotel as the world descends into nuclear war—along with twenty other survivors—who becomes obsessed with identifying a murderer in their midst after the body of a young girl is discovered in one of the hotel’s water tanks.
The Last by Hanna Jameson is an apocalyptic novel from an American’s perspective (Jon) who is stuck in a huge hotel in the middle of nowhere in Switzerland after nuclear bombs fell and whole countries are gone. Jon keeps a daily journal or as he calls it “A Narrative Chronicle of the Initial Post-nuclear Months by Possibly the Last Living Historian”.
This is a character driven novel with a side of murder mystery. The Last is written in first person perspective, and I was pulled in from the first line. Jameson shows what could happen in the world whenever the bombs fall. Of course, there is panic and we keep up with the news until it is no more. Then we are in seclusion with 20 strangers and the mystery: a dead girl. Jon becomes determined at all costs to figure out who killed her.
Everything felt realistic with The Last: From the fear of the unknown, adjusting to a new world with strangers, to thoughts of ‘should we stay or leave?’ We get to experience a variety of situations that occur and the consequences of those decisions in this new world. The Last is like an episode of The Walking Dead but without zombies. There is a little action, but the story focuses on the people and their situation.
I really enjoyed The Last. The ending is ambiguous, so it could be the end of the story or it could continue if Jameson decides to write more.
The only negative for me was a big one, and why I rated it four stars: The mention of politics and characters blaming each other based on if they were American and if they voted for the president. The president’s name is not mentioned, but you know who he is based on what is said. I like my fiction to be free from politics (unless I happen to be reading a politically charged book) or it is necessary to the story, so these instances were not enjoyed. Let’s keep politics out of our fiction!
The Last is recommended. Special thanks to Atria Books for granting me an e-arc copy via NetGalley. I really enjoyed it!
Author: A.J. Grainger
Published: February 12, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Seventeen-year-old Lil’s heart was broken when her sister Mella disappeared. There’s been no trace or sighting of her since she vanished, so when Lil sees a girl lying in the road near her house she thinks for a heart-stopping moment that it’s Mella.
The girl is injured and disorientated and Lil has no choice but to take her home, even though she knows something’s not right. The girl claims she’s from a peaceful community called The Sisterhood of the Light, but why then does she have strange marks down her arms, and what—or who—is she running from?
This was a surprise find and am I glad I found it! Ivan told me to go to Barnes and Noble and get myself a book for Valentine’s Day (he had to work so he wasn’t slacking!). The cover is beautiful and the title is interesting so I picked it up and read the synopsis. Omg, there’s a cult!!! I love cults!!!! So I got it and read it in one sitting! It’s simple and easy to read, yet the story is unique and engaging.
I liked Lil a lot; she’s realistic and very teenager-ish without being annoying. I guess the difference is that she wasn’t actively idiotic, she just had some immature thinking. It hurt that she held back from Kiran because of her guilt. But Kiran . . . Love him so much! He’s so cute and sweet and kind and believable and adorable and tall! He’s easily my favorite character in this book. Seven is an interesting little girl that I strangely identified with. Her sheltered upbringing and general cluelessness about the world brought me back to may days right out of college, when real life kicked me in the butt! The Sisterhood of the Light sound like a fascinating cult of all women who venerate the Light. The compound is small, the scope is condensed and I would love to go to Wales to study them. Overall, this was a great read! No swearing, completely appropriate for teens, and a simple, unique thriller plot!
Author: Alice Feeney
Published: March 23, 2017
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.
Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth?
Whoa. This book was nuts! I found it cheap at Ollie’s and I love the cover. I picked it up for a quick read and it was indeed quick, but whoa! I mean twists and turns and crazy spirals and surprises. Amber starting out in a coma was an interesting interpretation. I was fascinated and horrified all at the same time. All I could think was, “is that really what it’s like to be in a coma??” I almost went to the hospital to volunteer to read to coma patients! And it all started from page one! I don’t really want to say much about this book, because I don’t want to give anything away! All I can say is that I loved it and I might just have to read it again! Ok, I will say that I liked this book better than Girl on a Train. Amber is a much stronger protagonist than that chick was. Definitely a good book for those who like psychological thrillers . . . and believe me, it’s thrilling!