The Last One to Fall / Gabriella Lepore / Book Review

When Savanna gets a text from her next-door neighbor (and longtime crush) Jesse asking her to come out to the old warehouse on the wharf, well, Savanna can't say no. But she probably should have. Because she arrives just in time to see a body falling through the air. She arrives just in time to hear the crunch and to make the call to 911.

And now she's a suspect. All of them are. Because it wasn't just Savanna and Jesse at the wharf. Six friends, five potential suspects, and the motives are all strong. With the police circling, Savanna knows this investigation could go wrong so quickly... especially when she starts receiving threatening texts from someone she doesn't know.

Everyone has secrets, and they'll have to come to light for the truth to be told. 



Thoughts

This book is easy to read. It's got the right chilly atmosphere, a good amount of red herrings, and the tenuous friend group to pull it all together. It wasn't particularly unique, but its a solid read anyway. 

Pros

  • Chilly Atmosphere: There's something about opening on a cold, dark wharf just outside an abandoned warehouse that is particularly compelling. The freezing November sea spray and small-town-under-darkness vibes are just the perfect atmosphere to open up this thriller. The beat of the waves and the crunch of the body: how can you say no to that?
  • Relationship: I really enjoyed the slow development of the relationship between Savanna and Jesse. Savanna is a girl outside of the loop, not part of Jesse's friend group--not one for whom he has to throw up a fa├žade. She's the neighbor girl, and they've both been watching each other at a distance for some time. Sure, it's a classic girl-and-boy-next-door setup, but it's classic for a reason. 
  • Turns: This book doesn't have "twists" so much as "turns." Twists are unexpected, groundbreaking, revolutionary... and that's not what we get here. Because all of these characters are equally valid suspects. They all have their reasons. They're all a bit unreliable. They're all hiding things from each other (and themselves). So new evidence doesn't create a twist but a turn, a shift in focus from one suspect to the next to the next and back again. And I like that. These turns keep us readers on our toes. 

Cons

  • Familiar: I had a really hard time picking comparable books for this work mostly because, well, it is so incredibly similar to most of what is on the YA thriller market. There's no problem with generic--the flashbacks, the bad friend group at the center--but that also means that these characters, this particular plot, are likely to fad into the background noise. 
  • Police Records: On the one hand, I really did like the police records that were interjected between significant chapters here. It adds character. It adds consequence. The concept is sound, but the execution felt iffy to me. It was little, nitpicky issues that would stand out to me, make me think "Oh, yeah, this isn't a real police record." And because of that, I was pulled out of the story. They didn't feel real enough, official enough, and because they fell flat, that part of the narrative felt a little bit... off-key. 
  • Why So Guilty?: Everyone is a suspect, and they all have pretty good motives... so I wasn't sure why everyone (including the cops) was so ready to pin this on one particular character (whose name is redacted for the sake of spoilers). Maybe the "friends" have motive to pin it on someone else--they're suspects too, right?--but the cops shouldn't be in on it. It made no sense for all eyes to land on one guilty party in this instance. It was irritating. 

Rating

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
7/10

Fans of Jennifer Lynn Alvarez's Friends Like These will enjoy these bad friends and worse consequences. Those who enjoyed Jesse Weaver's Live Your Best Lie will love dredging through old drama and forgotten friendship wounds. 

Details

Publisher: Inkyard Press
Date: May 9, 2023
Series: N/A
Add to Goodreads
Buy It HERE

Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.

Comments

  1. The atmosphere sounds perfect! It's too bad the police reports didn't feel real. That would throw me off too, especially with a thriller. Great review!

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  2. It sounds like an interesting book for sure, a bit of a fun read. I love this genre!

    Corinne x
    https://skinnedcartree.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I haven’t heard of this book before. This sounds interesting. Thank you for sharing.

    Lauren - bournemouthgirl

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  4. I haven't heard of this book, but it does sound like an interesting thriller even though it's not that unique.

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  5. Thrillers are a genre I tend to go for, but my aunt adores them (including YA) so I'll let her know about this, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh this sounds like a great book! Thanks so much for sharing your review of it too!

    ReplyDelete

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