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Last Things

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When strange things start happening to local music idol Anders Thorson, everyone blames his number-one-fan, Thea. But is she out to hurt him? Or protect him? High school senior Anders Thorson is unusually gifted. His band, Last Things, is legendary in their northern Minnesota hometown. With guitar skills that would amaze even if he weren’t only eighteen, Anders is the focus When strange things start happening to local music idol Anders Thorson, everyone blames his number-one-fan, Thea. But is she out to hurt him? Or protect him? High school senior Anders Thorson is unusually gifted. His band, Last Things, is legendary in their northern Minnesota hometown. With guitar skills that would amaze even if he weren’t only eighteen, Anders is the focus of head-turning admiration. And Thea Malcom, a newcomer to the insular town, is one of his admirers. Thea seems to turn up everywhere Anders goes: gigs at the local coffeehouse, guitar lessons, even in the woods near Anders’s home. When strange things start happening to Anders—including the disappearance of his beloved cat, then his sort-of girlfriend, and, somehow, his musical talent—blame immediately falls on Thea. But is she trying to hurt him? Or save him? Can he trust a girl who doesn’t seem to know the difference between dreams and reality? And how much are they both willing to compromise to get what they want?


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When strange things start happening to local music idol Anders Thorson, everyone blames his number-one-fan, Thea. But is she out to hurt him? Or protect him? High school senior Anders Thorson is unusually gifted. His band, Last Things, is legendary in their northern Minnesota hometown. With guitar skills that would amaze even if he weren’t only eighteen, Anders is the focus When strange things start happening to local music idol Anders Thorson, everyone blames his number-one-fan, Thea. But is she out to hurt him? Or protect him? High school senior Anders Thorson is unusually gifted. His band, Last Things, is legendary in their northern Minnesota hometown. With guitar skills that would amaze even if he weren’t only eighteen, Anders is the focus of head-turning admiration. And Thea Malcom, a newcomer to the insular town, is one of his admirers. Thea seems to turn up everywhere Anders goes: gigs at the local coffeehouse, guitar lessons, even in the woods near Anders’s home. When strange things start happening to Anders—including the disappearance of his beloved cat, then his sort-of girlfriend, and, somehow, his musical talent—blame immediately falls on Thea. But is she trying to hurt him? Or save him? Can he trust a girl who doesn’t seem to know the difference between dreams and reality? And how much are they both willing to compromise to get what they want?

30 review for Last Things

  1. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    **3.5-stars rounded up** Anders Thorson is a rock god. Okay, not actually a rock god...yet, but he is the front-man of a band, Last Things, and they do have a regular gig at a coffee shop in their Northern Minnesota town. Not bad for a high school kid. Thea Malcolm is the new girl in town but has quickly become Anders number one fan. She shows up every where he goes, never approaching, just quietly lurking in the background. When bad things begin to happen to Anders and those closest to him, the fi **3.5-stars rounded up** Anders Thorson is a rock god. Okay, not actually a rock god...yet, but he is the front-man of a band, Last Things, and they do have a regular gig at a coffee shop in their Northern Minnesota town. Not bad for a high school kid. Thea Malcolm is the new girl in town but has quickly become Anders number one fan. She shows up every where he goes, never approaching, just quietly lurking in the background. When bad things begin to happen to Anders and those closest to him, the first suspect on everyone's list is Thea. What's her deal anyway? She's so quiet and she lives alone with her mysterious Aunt who everyone suspects of being a witch. But Thea is harmless, right? Told in alternating perspectives between Anders and Thea, the reader is quickly tuned in to the fact that there is a lot more going on in this town than meets the eye. Let's talk about the woods. Yes, 'the woods'. The woods play a prominent role in this story. You definitely feel early on that something is out there. It takes on a presence all of its own. It's dark and eerie and we all know, that's my aesthetic. The atmosphere of this book definitely amped the story for me. I loved getting tiny tidbits of insight into what was really going on without having everything revealed. That may not make much sense but if you read the story, you'll get it. This was a fast, fun read. It reminded me a bit of the movie Megan's Body mixed with a bit of Stranger Things; not a bad combo. I would say it reads on the younger side of YA and may be a great introductory book for someone looking to get into more paranormal reads. Overall, I was impressed with Jacqueline West's writing and I would definitely pick up more books from her in the future. This being said, I did feel the ending was a bit rushed. I could have done with a bit more explanation of the powers involved in the resolution. Thank you so much to the publisher, Greenwillow Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate the opportunity to get my hands on this early and provide my opinion. This is out now guys, so grab a copy today and let me know what you think!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    Last Things by Jacqueline West is a standalone young adult fantasy read that just oozes mystery and intrigue along the way. The story is told with a dual point of view alternating between the two main characters of Anders Thorson and Thea Malcom. Anders is a teenage rock god… well an aspiring one. Anders fronts the band Last Things with a couple of his friends. The guys have a permanent gig at a local bar and have gained a huge following for their small neck of the woods but have made a pact to n Last Things by Jacqueline West is a standalone young adult fantasy read that just oozes mystery and intrigue along the way. The story is told with a dual point of view alternating between the two main characters of Anders Thorson and Thea Malcom. Anders is a teenage rock god… well an aspiring one. Anders fronts the band Last Things with a couple of his friends. The guys have a permanent gig at a local bar and have gained a huge following for their small neck of the woods but have made a pact to not move on until after graduation. Anders and Last Things certainly have their share of fans packing the place when they play and even a few outside of their gigs. Thea Malcom is one of the girls that always seems to be around and being a bit of a loner some find Thea a bit strange. When things begin happening around and to Anders and those closest to him Thea becomes a suspect in what is happening. Being set in northern Minnesota with plenty of woods around this one certainly had that creepy, atmospheric vibe to it almost as if those woods were another character in the story. While it’s also a slow burn story that takes a good long while soaking in an air of mystery before heading the reader to the darker fantasy it still did a good job of holding my attention along the way and I rather enjoyed it when it was all said and done. I received an advance copy from the publisher via Edelweiss. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  3. 5 out of 5

    ✩ Ashley ✩

    First: who else is getting Stranger Things vibes from this?! *Yessss* Second: if that wasn’t enough, it takes place in northern Minnesota! Uff-da, it better live up to my now FREAKISHLY HIGH expectations!! 😂

  4. 5 out of 5

    Christie«SHBBblogger»

    Title: Last Things Series: Standalone Author: Jacqueline West Release date: May 7, 2019 Cliffhanger: No Genre: YA fantasy Jacqueline West explains in the author's note that this story is inspired by the legend of blues singer Robert Johnson, the man who's told to have sold his soul to the devil for his musical talent. She gives it her own metal band spin with a high schooler who has rocketed to fame in a small town in Minnesota. I'm not a metal fan, but those who are will find a lot of references in Title: Last Things Series: Standalone Author: Jacqueline West Release date: May 7, 2019 Cliffhanger: No Genre: YA fantasy Jacqueline West explains in the author's note that this story is inspired by the legend of blues singer Robert Johnson, the man who's told to have sold his soul to the devil for his musical talent. She gives it her own metal band spin with a high schooler who has rocketed to fame in a small town in Minnesota. I'm not a metal fan, but those who are will find a lot of references in the book to enjoy. Thea Malcom adds an extra level of mystery and creepiness as the second protagonist with ambiguous intentions. After reading the first chapter I was immediately disturbed by her behavior and curious if she was a morally grey character, a villain, or a hero in disguise. The story was a shade slow moving in the beginning, but once it gains momentum, it's pretty compulsive reading. Anders Thorson is one third of the band Last Things and unarguably the mega talent that has them hanging on the edge of stardom. Patrick, the drummer, and Jezz, the bassist are decent but can't compare the the awe inspiring performances Anders has quickly become known for. First impressions of him tell you that he's typically a quiet guy who's not entirely comfortable with people praising his talent. When he steps onstage he dons his alter ego. The boy that has lightning fast hands on the strings, and an aloof rock star edge that makes the girls in his school crazy. At first he seems humble. Unable to take compliments or reach for fame and fortune because he hasn't properly suffered as an artist. He seems to drown in Self-recrimination and shame. The truth is far darker. It's a secret that he convinces himself is only his wild imagination, but constantly wears on his conscience regardless. You can’t be the lead in something without it putting other people in the background. And you can’t just keep taking what you didn’t earn. You need to pay for it somehow. I don't want to say too much about Thea for fear of spoiling the mystery surrounding her. Be prepared to wonder if she's a sick in the head stalker who has become unhealthily fixated on Anders. She exhibits all of the traits of someone like that, but there's always a little niggle of doubt about her true objective. There are dark and sinister creatures lurking in this tiny town that give more dimension to the story. Thea and her Aunt Mae are the only ones who seem to be aware of them, both gifted with supernatural talents. Mae is widely distrusted and gossiped about for odd occurrences she was tied to in the past, and as a result Thea is given a wide berth at school. Everyone sees her intense interest in Last Things, but more specifically Anders. She's even jokingly called his stalker for showing up at every single one of their shows and staring him down with laser focus. But when a local girl disappears it's no longer a joking matter. West constantly attempts to cast doubt on the motivations of Thea, pretty far into the book. She also withholds a lot of the character background until later on to maintain a level of suspense for the reader. You're given small pieces of history and character development, but nothing concrete until around the last third of the book. While I understood her reasoning for that, it caused Thea to feel somewhat two-dimensional for a good portion of the plot. That being said, once her truth was revealed I was impressed with how distinct this was from anything else I've read. There were a couple of things that were not at all what I was expecting before opening up the book. Most notably, the small romantic sub-plot. However, I wouldn't categorize this book as romantic, really. It has a strong horror/paranormal feel that permeates every page. The dark things aren’t quite real, anyway. Not on this side of the cracks. But when you’re empty inside, dark things will find a place inside of you. Like water. Like air. Dig a hole. There will always be enough darkness to fill it up. The seemingly ordinary town is crawling with malevolent things that the townspeople are completely unaware of. Some glaringly dangerous, others hiding behind a facade. The only question is, who will come out victorious in the end? I appreciated West's lyrical writing style and her ability to create a dark, atmospheric setting that almost becomes a character in and of itself. If you're looking for a YA fantasy that's a little different than what's being offered right now, give this one a shot. FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline West

    A biased review, I admit -- but this is honestly my favorite book I've ever written, and I'm thrilled that it will be heading out into the real world very soon. Thanks, readers.

  6. 5 out of 5

    FTLOReading

    This was ok. The first half of the book is incredibly slow. Once we hit about 53% into the book it finally starts to take off. Full review to come

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I LOVED this book! It gave me the same creepy feelings as when I read The Hazel Wood. I loved the character development, the superb writing, and the focus on music. I do wish the cover better portrayed the sophisticated writing and storytelling--it looks too cartoon-ish and doesn't match the tone of the story. Regardless, Jacqueline West's writing is so compelling. I don't know about you, but so much of why I love a book is how immersed I feel while reading. Let me say, I was on cruise ship whil I LOVED this book! It gave me the same creepy feelings as when I read The Hazel Wood. I loved the character development, the superb writing, and the focus on music. I do wish the cover better portrayed the sophisticated writing and storytelling--it looks too cartoon-ish and doesn't match the tone of the story. Regardless, Jacqueline West's writing is so compelling. I don't know about you, but so much of why I love a book is how immersed I feel while reading. Let me say, I was on cruise ship while I read Last Things and I still felt like i was in a small town surrounded by dark, sinister woods. I'm so thrilled Jacqueline West took a break from her bestselling middle grade books to write another one for teens. I hope she does many more!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nia •ShadesOfPaper•

    “Each note is a scream The drone is deafening Beat beat beat Until the truth is beaten.” I thought the premise of this book sounded absolutely brilliant and I went into it with such high expectations, and I was so let down by it, unfortunately, because even though the concept sounded incredible and like something that I would love, the execution of the book was quite underwhelming. It took me a while to get used to the writing style that was in Last Things, because descriptions are kind of off so “Each note is a scream The drone is deafening Beat beat beat Until the truth is beaten.” I thought the premise of this book sounded absolutely brilliant and I went into it with such high expectations, and I was so let down by it, unfortunately, because even though the concept sounded incredible and like something that I would love, the execution of the book was quite underwhelming. It took me a while to get used to the writing style that was in Last Things, because descriptions are kind of off sometimes and it reads more like a middle grade than YA. Once I reached the half mark I started to become a bit more engaged with the story and could look past that, but at the beginning it threw me off a bit. The conversations at times were a bit wonky as well, and I felt they would need more descriptions and less dialogue between the interactions between the characters, since at times there was nothing between some lines of the conversation and I think it made me disconnect with the story a bit more. I enjoyed how whimsical and dark everything felt. There was this atmosphere during the whole entire time because we were kept in the dark that it seemed as though there was more to what was happening than what we were seeing, and there was this odd and eerie vibe that made the book sometimes be quite interesting. Something that I also really liked was how focus the story is on music. There were song lyrics that I believe had something to do with what was going to happen next in the book or were related in some way to the male character that composed them, but I think that was such a nice addition because it made it appeared more real in some way and added a little bit of something to the novel and made it more unique. When it comes to the characters I have to say that they didn’t really have any evolution until the last 20 pages. It’s true that Anders changed his behavior and personality a bit as I continued with the novel, but overall there wasn’t any development in his arc until the las 10 pages, where we were reaching the end. Their POVs became a bit repetitive at times, because nothing was really happening and there wasn’t a lot of information given to us, so it became a bit boring and underwhelming. “He doesn’t appear until the very end. Because the moment he steps onto the stage, everything changes. The taste if coffee. The lights. The air. It’s an energy that can’t be sustained.” What bugged me a little while I was reading Last Things was that even though there are two perspectives and I can understand why these two characters haven’t interacted yet and it can make sense, it took more than 60% of the novel for them to interact and their storylines to connect, because before we reached that mark they only had one interaction with each other and nothing more, and I couldn’t see where their arcs would connect, and it seemed as though we were following two different storylines instead of one. When it comes to the plot of the book, I have to say I was a bit disappointed. Because the author was purposely keeping us in the dark there wasn’t any plot nor we know what was going on until the last 10% of the novel, which was a bummer because I think the concept of the story was so interesting and I think this would have been a great story had things have been done differently. There were some elements that I really enjoyed and kind of redeemed the book a bit for me a made me not hate it, but I think the execution of certain things plus the lack of plot during more than half the book were pretty disappointing. There was no explanation about the magic system that was introduced in Last Things nor the creatures that were in it. It seemed as though we’re thrown into this story expecting to know these different dark things that were the villains of the story, but there wasn’t any moment that was used to explained to us why they were there or how that magic worked and didn’t affect every person. Overall, though the concept of the book seemed something quite unique and interesting, I was so let down by its execution and how lineal everything was. The character arc was barely there and though there were some things I enjoyed, those didn’t redeemed the mixed thoughts I had while I was reading it. “This is where I fail, even when I win. I’m not good at letting go.” TW: murder, mention of suicide, kidnapping I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t affect my thoughts or opinions about it. ... I had such high hopes with this book and I thought I was going to love it but it ended up being such a HUGE disappointment, sadly.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    The premise of the book seemed really captivating, but when I began reading I couldn't help but find Thea was a bit stalker-ish and a lot creepy. I know the author wanted to unveil her mistery bit by bit, but I don't know, all it conveyed to me was an obssession with the main male character, Anders. While the writting isn't bad, I have to say that ythe characters lacked depth for me, and all of them were quite archetypical: hot guys who is famous but who struggles, awkward girl with powers there The premise of the book seemed really captivating, but when I began reading I couldn't help but find Thea was a bit stalker-ish and a lot creepy. I know the author wanted to unveil her mistery bit by bit, but I don't know, all it conveyed to me was an obssession with the main male character, Anders. While the writting isn't bad, I have to say that ythe characters lacked depth for me, and all of them were quite archetypical: hot guys who is famous but who struggles, awkward girl with powers there to help him, cheerleaders types of characters that insult the lead girl, misterious familiar full of secrets criticised by the rest... As I put my main focus when reading on the characters, I have to say this book failed to captivate me, as I didn't care for the characters. I was intrigued by the mystery of who Thea is and why he has super strenght, seems to talk/ sense trees and all of that, but wasn't enough for me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ann N.

    This was excellent! West’s descriptions are so vivid that I will be walking around with her settings (especially the woods!) and characters in my head for weeks now. Set aside some time to read this one without interruptions. The entire story is absorbing and suspenseful, but once you hit the last 100 pages you won’t be able to set the book down.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Olivia Farr

    Find my full review here: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yaficti... LAST THINGS is a YA fantasy that follows two teens, Anders and Thea, in alternating points-of-view. Anders is the vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter for the metal band, Last Things, which also includes his BFFs Patrick and Jezz. Anders’s talent is world-class, bigger than the small town where he lives and plays. Together (but mostly with Anders’s feelings), they decided not to make any money from their playing until after they gr Find my full review here: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yaficti... LAST THINGS is a YA fantasy that follows two teens, Anders and Thea, in alternating points-of-view. Anders is the vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter for the metal band, Last Things, which also includes his BFFs Patrick and Jezz. Anders’s talent is world-class, bigger than the small town where he lives and plays. Together (but mostly with Anders’s feelings), they decided not to make any money from their playing until after they graduate high school, when Anders plans to take a year off while they try to make it big. Thea is potentially a stalker. She follows Anders around town and goes to every show (though pretty much all the teens in town go to all the shows). She knows there is something darker at play here, hiding in the woods. No one else can see what she sees and she lurks in the shadows, not really drawing attention to herself. She lives with her Aunt Mae, who maybe has visions of the future, and who most of the people in town have written off as insane. They barely have enough money to get by. Whether Thea is actually a stalker and what the darker things mean for Anders is slow-building with reveals and more information coming slowly, mostly towards the end of the book. The book is well-written, making the reader question what they know and who knows what throughout. What I loved: This is a light thriller which is shrouded in mystery, and as such, it is quite the page turner. I was completely driven to find out what was going to happen and who everyone really was. The pacing is quite artistic, slowly increasing throughout the book to the intense ending/escalation. The premise and characters were really fascinating- I could easily have spent more time in this well-crafted world. What left me wanting more: As a small thing, there are still some unanswered questions in the book While this was most likely intentional and allows one to draw their own conclusions on some things, I did want some more information on certain characters. I will say that most of the plotlines are drawn to a close and we get many answers in the book, so it is not a cliffhanger or open ending. Final verdict: Overall, this is a masterfully paced YA fantasy/light thriller that will keep the reader guessing and second-guessing. I would highly recommend for fans of supernatural books with shrouds of mystery.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Matt Pavloff

    Last Things is a Faustian tale told in through two perspectives. Anders is a local rock legend. Only 18 years old, he's already garnered nationwide attention for his incredible skill on the guitar, songwriting prowess, and perfect voice for the metal scene. But Anders' gift wasn't earned--it was given. And now he's seeing that this gift comes with a heavy price. We also have Thea, a mysterious newcomer in town who seems like the newest obsessed fan--but she's much, much more. Her goal is to save Last Things is a Faustian tale told in through two perspectives. Anders is a local rock legend. Only 18 years old, he's already garnered nationwide attention for his incredible skill on the guitar, songwriting prowess, and perfect voice for the metal scene. But Anders' gift wasn't earned--it was given. And now he's seeing that this gift comes with a heavy price. We also have Thea, a mysterious newcomer in town who seems like the newest obsessed fan--but she's much, much more. Her goal is to save Anders from the darkness that is coming for him. But how far is she willing to go to save him? And does he even want to be saved? I had mixed feelings about this story. There were parts of it I enjoyed, and I don't regret having read it. I find deal-with-the-Devil stories fascinating, and Thea's brand of magic was a lot of fun. I love the way West doesn't quite let us know what she can do, how powerful she is, her past, etc. We only learn as much as we need to by the end of the story, and that's surprisingly just fine. On the other hand, I found the story lacking in so many ways. The dialogue was frustratingly vague: Anders spends most of the story referring to a mysterious incident in the woods, which anyone can tell is his Faustian moment, but isn't directly mentioned until nearly 3/4 through the story. And in Thea's parts, she tells everything factually, adding hardly any personal thoughts, which feels really disingenuous for a first-person perspective. It feels overtly like the author is telling us how mysterious Thea is and how we don't know her motives, but through Thea? It just felt unpolished. The setting--this could have been delved into a explored so fantastically, but it just wasn't. Small town, surrounded by deep forest, class differences, somebody always watching...should be deliciously atmospheric, but ended up mostly glossed over. Not huge, but I just thought the whole "somebody's always watching" motif could have really stuck there, and it didn't. (view spoiler)[The bargain scene really lost something in the story as well. There was no sense of sacrifice or huge decision for Anders to make. He simply stumbled into good fortune, but he didn't sign up for it or offer part of himself. There was no indication that there would be a price to pay, which I think really robbed him of some important character development. (hide spoiler)] Which brings me to probably the hardest part of the story for me: how flat the characters were. Anders' identity ended up becoming such a huge part of his story. So much of his conflict was between who he was and the rock star persona that he throws on, but we never get to know anything about the "real" him. I can't think of a single adjective to describe his personality. All we really get is "rock star," and no indication of what is left when that's stripped away. The only real insight we get into him is in the end, (view spoiler)[when he chooses to burn his hand in order to save his family and friends. But that moment, which should have been momentous, fell flat since we don't really know him. (hide spoiler)] All told, the story was fine. Nothing amazing, but I would certainly recommend it to someone looking for a fun, quick YA read. There were some decent scary parts, and enough mystery to keep up the intrigue and want to see how it ends, for me at least.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Okay friends, this book was a ride! Let's start with that, because I'm still trying to put together all my thoughts into a coherent review and that's forefront on my mind. It's always a breath of fresh air to read something outside the lines, to read something that is atmospheric and intriguing. That's this book, perfectly described. Last Things is what I've been waiting for, and it was a darn good way to start the month. Let's talk characters. Anders Thorson is now one of my favorite male charac Okay friends, this book was a ride! Let's start with that, because I'm still trying to put together all my thoughts into a coherent review and that's forefront on my mind. It's always a breath of fresh air to read something outside the lines, to read something that is atmospheric and intriguing. That's this book, perfectly described. Last Things is what I've been waiting for, and it was a darn good way to start the month. Let's talk characters. Anders Thorson is now one of my favorite male characters. Why, you ask? He's a teenage boy, in a rock band, who isn't a brooding jackass. Anders is sweet. He loves his family, and his cat. He loves his guitar, his band, and is adorably humble when it comes to his talent. He isn't the kind of guy who uses girls, but instead is genuinely interested in one and too shy to reciprocate anything. In other words, Anders is an excellent character. I loved him from the moment I met him and, even as his dark secrets started to spiral into the open, I was 100% behind him. He's a character you can root for, and that makes this book such an easy read. Add in the fact that he's also the "damsel in distress" in this book, and you have my heart. Yes friends, the woman saves the man in this book. Thea, if it's possible, is an even more intriguing character than Anders. I love how the story starts out with her shrouded in mystery. It's not obvious whether she's stalking Anders, or protecting him. As the story progresses though, and you start to see into Thea's past, things get more layered than I could have hoped for. Thea is strong. There's no two ways about it! She's the type of character who will give up everything if necessary, for the good of someone else. Watching her interactions with the world around her, and with Anders, was just perfection. The link between them drove the book forward, and I both helplessly and eagerly held on. The fact that this story also revolves around music, and the ties that it has to emotions, made me so happy. As West wrote out Anders' songs, I could actually hear them in my head. I could feel the emotions that were pouring out of him, and I could sense the energy in the room when he performed. This is a book that is rife with atmosphere. The pages crackle and sizzle, the woods press in too close and too dark. It fascinated me that I flew through this book, and yet I felt connected to it too. Such a wonderful way to read a story. Long story short, this was a lot of fun to read and I'm highly recommending that you put this on your TBR if it isn't there already. It's well worth your time!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Edge. of. my. seat. Flipping pages until 2am. This story simply hummed! Everything about it was electrifying. I loved the metal song lyrics. I loved the progression, the way that it unfolded. The characters, the dawning, the realization. Even if you don't like mysteries, or if you don't like metal music, you will still want to read this. It's not a mystery, per se. It is simply a story of a boy. He's got some skills, shall we say. He may have made a mistake. Everything is not as it seems, and neit Edge. of. my. seat. Flipping pages until 2am. This story simply hummed! Everything about it was electrifying. I loved the metal song lyrics. I loved the progression, the way that it unfolded. The characters, the dawning, the realization. Even if you don't like mysteries, or if you don't like metal music, you will still want to read this. It's not a mystery, per se. It is simply a story of a boy. He's got some skills, shall we say. He may have made a mistake. Everything is not as it seems, and neither is everyone. The dark is a character here too. And if you live on the edge of civilization, if you have been in the woods at night, you know how that is possible. I loved it. There was not a false note. Not a single place where I thought, oh, no way. Then the ending. Light and dark and just when you thought - okay. I mean, it was possible to see it going that way, but really? Really? You just don't know. You know even less than you thought you did. I wasn't sure about Thea. I wasn't sure about Flynn. I wasn't even sure about Aunt Mae. But that's nothing to how shell shocked Anders is when he finds out the truth. Get ready for a wild ride. I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Watch for my post on Tuesday as Last Things hits shelves!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This was a unique, well written plot, book with suspense and mystery. This book is on the creepy/thriller side which is a genre I don't usually read, but by the time it got really creepy, I was already hooked and had the know how it would end.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    In a small town deep in the northwoods, metal guitarist Anders Thorson and his band, Last Things, are about to be the next big thing. But there’s something uncanny about his ability, and there’s something in the woods. This is freaking great!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    I got a really creepy vibe from this book, but also found it very fun to read. I liked the supernatural elements throughout the book, I thought it brought a lot of different aspects to the story. I also enjoyed the inclusion of a lot of the lyrics from the songs they were singing at the Crow’s Nest. The story is told in alternating perspectives, one being Anders who is the lead singer of the band Last Things, the other being the new girl in town, Thea. Anders is the typical brooding musician at t I got a really creepy vibe from this book, but also found it very fun to read. I liked the supernatural elements throughout the book, I thought it brought a lot of different aspects to the story. I also enjoyed the inclusion of a lot of the lyrics from the songs they were singing at the Crow’s Nest. The story is told in alternating perspectives, one being Anders who is the lead singer of the band Last Things, the other being the new girl in town, Thea. Anders is the typical brooding musician at the beginning of the book. I enjoyed reading from his perspective especially when songs would “come“ to him. Thea is one of the most interesting characters I’ve gotten a chance of reading the perspective from. There is a lot of talk about her aunt Mae who she lives with and in turn her. I enjoyed the story overall and found myself having a hard time putting the book down because of the way each chapter ended. This book was written so well, I can’t wait to pick up another book by this author!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    I got offered an ARC without even knowing what title it would be. This book showed up a couple weeks ago. It sounded interesting and is out soon, so I plopped down with it about 2 1/2 hours ago. I couldn't put it down, as it teases the reader perfectly with the mystery behind the male protagonist Anders and him being a music prodigy leading a metal band.Then there is Thea, who is super intriguing and has her own interesting past. Jacqueline West describes since with the right amount of detail th I got offered an ARC without even knowing what title it would be. This book showed up a couple weeks ago. It sounded interesting and is out soon, so I plopped down with it about 2 1/2 hours ago. I couldn't put it down, as it teases the reader perfectly with the mystery behind the male protagonist Anders and him being a music prodigy leading a metal band.Then there is Thea, who is super intriguing and has her own interesting past. Jacqueline West describes since with the right amount of detail that helps the reader truly capture the scenes as they unfold. And while the story of someone wanting so much out of life, they unknowingly trade a piece of themselves isn't original, it works so well with this story. This was a nice standalone book, but I wouldn't complain about future adventures of Thea should it happen, and a super fun, enjoyable read. I definitely recommend it if you want a good combo of YA, supernatural, and metal music.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    Amazing. The perfect blend of frightening and musical. Jacqueline's poetry background shines in the lyrics, and her real-world metal band inspirations are evident in the band she's created. It's a love letter to the North Woods, as well as to off beat metal clubs and the kids in that scene.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alex Pippenger

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. When I first heard about this book, I was really excited to read it. Having read it now, I'm just disappointed. Nothing happens until, like, 80% into the book. Not even weird things, or strange things, to up the atmosphere and darkness. It's just Thea going around being cryptic and stalkerish, and Anders thinking about the band. I think there is one or two mildly strange little tidbits in there, but they don't help progress the plot and just get absorbed into the nothingness. Its just a bit bori When I first heard about this book, I was really excited to read it. Having read it now, I'm just disappointed. Nothing happens until, like, 80% into the book. Not even weird things, or strange things, to up the atmosphere and darkness. It's just Thea going around being cryptic and stalkerish, and Anders thinking about the band. I think there is one or two mildly strange little tidbits in there, but they don't help progress the plot and just get absorbed into the nothingness. Its just a bit boring. The author sets up a few interesting, mysterious moments surrounding Thea but they don't go anywhere. Also, Anders just felt whiny. I understand where he was coming from, but to have that be his only (maybe not only, but he was just constsntly whining to himself) talking point and strong character trait was so tiring. Aside from that, the climax felt extremely rushed to be the only thing that actually happens. The ending also just didnt do it for me. You go through most of the book and it feels like within 20 pages the story just ends. It just wasn't interesting. The writing style was beautiful, but it slowed down the story to a crawl. Also that kiss at the end?? Why? I get that maybe Thea developed feelings for someone she was essentially stalking for a long while, but why did he kiss her? It didn't need to go there. It just cheapens the story. I would be really interested to see what the author writes next, and give that a try. This just didn't do it for me. Tldr; the writing was beautiful, but didn't help the plot in any way. Thea was overly cryptic, and Anders is whiny. Nothing happens until way too far into the story, and then its all resolved in 20 pages. It was mildly interesting.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge: A book with no chapters/unusual chapter headings /unconventionally numbered chapters Dude. DUDE! THIS BOOK. I think Jacqueline West may actually be magic, because she managed to tap into my adolescent brain. This book felt EXACTLY like something I would have dreamed up as a 15 year-old (although, you know, well written and an actual book instead of "oh wow this would be a neat idea"). It is so good. It bypassed my regular book brain and dove straight into the place Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge: A book with no chapters/unusual chapter headings /unconventionally numbered chapters Dude. DUDE! THIS BOOK. I think Jacqueline West may actually be magic, because she managed to tap into my adolescent brain. This book felt EXACTLY like something I would have dreamed up as a 15 year-old (although, you know, well written and an actual book instead of "oh wow this would be a neat idea"). It is so good. It bypassed my regular book brain and dove straight into the place in my head where the books I really loved as a teenager live. I'm obsessed. The story isn't new. There's a gifted musician, almost unbelievably gifted, a teenage boy who lives and breathes his music but is also wary of the gifts. It isn't very long before we find out why, but if you've read any books or heard any legends about unbelievably gifted musicians, you've probably already guessed. That's Anders. Then there's the girl who watches him, or, as she tells us, watches over him. She's kind of a Luna Lovegood meets High Plains Drifter with a bit of Tiffany Aching thrown in. That's Thea. Anders doesn't know about her, but she knows all about him. As for the rest, you should probably just read it and find out.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stacy Fetters

    ”But when you’re empty inside, dark things will find a place inside of you." What would you give up to have everything you have ever dreamed of? Anders wanted fame, fortune, and to be a guitar master. One day, he got exactly what he asked for but it came with a dire price. Last Things has potential to be one of the largest bands in the world. All of their shows bring people into this small coffee bar that’s located near the woods and people come from all over to see Anders. Thea sits in that coff ”But when you’re empty inside, dark things will find a place inside of you." What would you give up to have everything you have ever dreamed of? Anders wanted fame, fortune, and to be a guitar master. One day, he got exactly what he asked for but it came with a dire price. Last Things has potential to be one of the largest bands in the world. All of their shows bring people into this small coffee bar that’s located near the woods and people come from all over to see Anders. Thea sits in that coffee bar every week to watch them play and to watch Anders closely. She’s known as his stalker but she never gets close enough to talk to him. No one is sure what she’s up too but they know who she’s related to. When strange things start to happen, people start to blame the new girl in town, Thea. Is she really there to help Anders? Or is she there to ruin his life? All things come at a cost. Is Anders willing to sign his life away on the dotted line to get what he wants? Last Things was amazing. Most of this book had me on the edge of my seat and I didn’t know what was coming next. It was a lot different than what I imagined and surpassed my expectations. A lot of people keep comparing this to The Hazel Wood and I wish they wouldn’t. This book is so much more epic than that one. If you’re looking for not your typical fantasy and badass metal, then this is definitely your next read!!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne

    I received this Arc from Greenwillow press. Thank you for a copy in exchange for a fair review. Thea seems obsessed with Anders, she goes to every show and she follows him after every show. No one really knows who she except that she is related to the crazy lady on the woods. But Thea knows that there were dark things in the woods and only she can save him. Or can she? Andrea doesn't even think of his stalker, he just wants to play music. He will do anything to be a star. Or would he? I have to be I received this Arc from Greenwillow press. Thank you for a copy in exchange for a fair review. Thea seems obsessed with Anders, she goes to every show and she follows him after every show. No one really knows who she except that she is related to the crazy lady on the woods. But Thea knows that there were dark things in the woods and only she can save him. Or can she? Andrea doesn't even think of his stalker, he just wants to play music. He will do anything to be a star. Or would he? I have to be honest I didn't know what to think. As I read I really didn't know where it was going. I didn't even know if I would like the book. I was drawn in. I really wanted to know what would happen. I liked it, but I am still processing how I feel about the reveals. I will say I am fan because I am super picky about books with these elements in them and I either love them or hate them with very little inbetween.

  24. 5 out of 5

    gelowmichael

    This was a surprise because I liked it a lot. I kinda felt a Dark Placesvibe because of the theme it tackles and the whole drive of this novel. I really liked the characters especially Thea and Anders. I thought this would be another cliche YA because it is kinda YA within 40% of the book but creepy at its best till the end. I am surprised by what the author intends for Thea's character. I never thought that major twist. I kinda felt a Stephen King twist at the end but it is not. Last Things was This was a surprise because I liked it a lot. I kinda felt a Dark Placesvibe because of the theme it tackles and the whole drive of this novel. I really liked the characters especially Thea and Anders. I thought this would be another cliche YA because it is kinda YA within 40% of the book but creepy at its best till the end. I am surprised by what the author intends for Thea's character. I never thought that major twist. I kinda felt a Stephen King twist at the end but it is not. Last Things was a great read. Just tucked your sheets on and don't look on your windows at night.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

    A small town brimming with secrets is the setting for Jacqueline West’s dark YA thriller about the cost of talent and the evil that lurks at the margins. Fans will have a hard time putting this one down.

  26. 5 out of 5

    ♠️ TABI ♠️

    I smell faeries

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    Interest Level: YA Imagine you are small town famous rock star and you are still in high school. Imagine that you know you and your group will be famous one day soon. Now imagine that all of this talent and fame was unintentionally given to you by an evil that you can't see and don't even understand. Anders Thorson is the lead singer and guitar player for a rock band, Last Things. He plays the guitar like no eighteen year old should be able to play, and song lyrics and music just come to him. How ​Interest Level: YA Imagine you are small town famous rock star and you are still in high school. Imagine that you know you and your group will be famous one day soon. Now imagine that all of this talent and fame was unintentionally given to you by an evil that you can't see and don't even understand. Anders Thorson is the lead singer and guitar player for a rock band, Last Things. He plays the guitar like no eighteen year old should be able to play, and song lyrics and music just come to him. However, Anders knows something that his two best friends/band members and all of the adoring fans don't know - this is not a gift he was born with, it was given to him and at a very high price. Thea Malcolm is new to town and has moved in with her crazy, drunk aunt who it is rumored around town that she is a witch. Thea seems to be a groupie because she is everywhere Anders is, but Anders doesn't realize she is trying to protect him from the evil... or is she? As Anders tries to refuse the evil, everyone and everything around him that he loves is in danger. His life is spiraling out of control - his band breaks up and his girlfriend goes missing. Can Thea save him or is she actually behind it all? Are the evil things in the woods really the cause of this or is it a teenage girl? Will Anders get his fame and fortune or will he be lucky to get out of Minnesota alive? Read this absolutely incredible book to find out these answers and so much more!!! For me to read a 400 page book in a day and a half is mind-blowing! From page 1 to page 399 I could not put this book down!! I also love my sleep so for me to wake up at 3 am to finish this book is unheard of. This book will grab you from the very beginning and won't let you go even after the last. It has twists and turns all through it and it will put you on the edge of your seat!! Do not miss this new book by the amazing Jacqueline West! It is a must read for 2019!!! Follow me: Blog - Blazer Tales - https://blazertales.com/ Facebook - Laurie’s Library Place - https://www.facebook.com/LauriesLibra... Instagram - laurieslibrary - https://www.instagram.com/laurieslibr... Twitter - @laurieevans27 https://twitter.com/laurieevans27?lan... Goodreads - Laurie Purser - https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1... Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/auburngirl2... YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCulD... Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurie-ev...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    It got 2 stars soley because i managed to not dnf'd it. This book could have been good. It was stranger things meets some extremely bizarre indie flick. Im having a hard time understanding how i just read a book by a ny times best seller. The book overall was a rip off of the movie Jennifer's body. A band becomes famous because of a deal they make with the devil. I cant even talk much more about this book without giving spoilers because not much is explained throughtout 3/4 of it and not much ha It got 2 stars soley because i managed to not dnf'd it. This book could have been good. It was stranger things meets some extremely bizarre indie flick. Im having a hard time understanding how i just read a book by a ny times best seller. The book overall was a rip off of the movie Jennifer's body. A band becomes famous because of a deal they make with the devil. I cant even talk much more about this book without giving spoilers because not much is explained throughtout 3/4 of it and not much happens. Its all a build up to make u understand what the story is about. By the time it all finally starts to make sense and something actually happens..its over and not in a good way either. The end was like....... "really?" Thats were we are going to just stop? Sigh.. i just cant.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Karyn Silverman

    Just my speed. Very anxiety producing. Comp this to The Replacement or The Accident Season but with heavy metal. Two thumbs up.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Foley

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. "Music followed me everywhere. I could literally feel it thumping in my bloodstream. And that was all I wanted: to be a part of it. To be a conduit for it. To be one tiny piece in whatever it was that made it real." Probably more of a 2.5 than a 3. This book was not exactly what I expected. The concept for the story was intriguing: a boy who was amazing at music, a girl who was seen as his stalker, a disappearing girlfriend, and potential supernatural forces. What's not to love? Quite a lot hones "Music followed me everywhere. I could literally feel it thumping in my bloodstream. And that was all I wanted: to be a part of it. To be a conduit for it. To be one tiny piece in whatever it was that made it real." Probably more of a 2.5 than a 3. This book was not exactly what I expected. The concept for the story was intriguing: a boy who was amazing at music, a girl who was seen as his stalker, a disappearing girlfriend, and potential supernatural forces. What's not to love? Quite a lot honestly. I did enjoy this story, but I found myself lost at times. Let's start with the music. One thing I thoroughly enjoyed about the novel was West's use of lyrics. During Last Things' concerts, she inserts the lyrics to Anders' songs. The lyrics are actually really well written, and I could hear the songs playing in my mind. Throughout the first chapter, however, I felt like the lyrics were distracting. Three songs were written in this 15 page chapter, and I would have liked to have gotten a better idea of the characters. Next, I'd like to talk about Thea. Thea is Anders' "stalker." She follows him around trying to protect him from the evil lurking in the woods. It took me about 200 pages to enjoy Thea's chapters. In the beginning, she is very repetitive. She mentions the woods moving in closer enough times that I wished she'd move on. I also wanted a little more backstory to her BEFORE the very last part of the book. I understood that she thought she was protecting Anders, but her side still honestly read like an obsessive stalker, making it really difficult to get through her chapters. I didn't really get a full grasp of how she was helping until the last 100 or so pages. I also was a little disappointed in her powers. I found them fascinating, but I wanted to know exactly what they included. I know her powers were stronger than her aunt's (and the rest of her family's), that she could glow, had super strength and speed, could see what others could not, and could erase memories. I would just like to know exactly what her limits are. Anders was my favorite character in the book. He was a music lover, and it was refreshing to read a book from the perspective of a fellow metalhead. One aspect of him I was not a fan of was his unwillingness to take payment or record deals. He was so insistent on waiting until he was out of high school to accept any kind of payment that it was hindering his band mates. He not only refused to take payment, but he also refuses to acknowledge that he deserves anything. At one point in the book Anders thinks, "If life's trying to give me what I want, why don't I just freaking take it." I literally closed the book and thought, "Finally!" And then he continued to do the same thing. I also just had a lot of trouble believing some of the praise. It was quite excessive how many times his music was claimed to be perfect, and how almost everyone focused on just him and not the band. I saw towards the end that a lot of it had supernatural undertones, but it was... a lot. Now, I would like to talk about the story in general. I feel like the beginning was very slow. I didn't start to really get into the book until about 200 pages in. However, once it picked up, it really picked up. The last 200 pages really saved this book for me, and I genuinely enjoyed it from there on out. I also had some issues with the "deal-with-the-devil" thing, though. I didn't figure out until close to the end that this is what was going on. Basically Anders was given a trial run, and then if he didn't sign the contract and sell his soul, the creatures in the woods would take everything he loved away. I wish it had been explained a little better, as I was confused about what was actually going on, and Thea did not like to give any hints. There were also two things that I didn't quite understand. When Anders' amazing music skills are taken away, I was a little confused by it. I would have thought that either all of his guitar playing skills were taken or that he only lost the supernatural side of it. He knew the chords, which showed that they did not take away his ability to play in general. However the sound was off. If he'd really been learning for 9 years, he should have been able to play songs, just not as fast and perfectly as before, as well as not being able to have songs just appear. But he couldn't, which would lead me to think that he shouldn't still remember the chords and that ALL of his skill should have been drained away. The next was that no one in this could talk. When the band fought, everyone jumped on each other and resorted to pure anger. At no point does Anders wait until he is more calm and actually explain why he did things and what happened. If he had, then Patrick and Jezz would have understood. Also, Jezz and Patrick always assumed the worst in him in terms of interviews. They never gave him a chance to answer their questions before jumping on him. These fights seemed blown up and unrealistic. They were supposed to be his best friends, but it made their relationship hard to believe. There was also the incident with Sasha. Sasha blames Anders for Frankie's disappearance and confronts him in the hallway at school. This entire encounter was unrealistic. She wasn't speaking in a way that anyone would speak in real life. It just made the situation seem fake and uninteresting. While I wasn't a huge fan of the book, I did enjoy quite a lot of it. I loved reading about Anders' love of music. I also thoroughly enjoyed the ending, and I was happy with the way things turned out. Frankie's character was also very believable. She was cute and sweet, and she was pretty easy to understand even though she was really just a side character. The dark things were also pretty cool. I loved how they possessed the humans who sold their souls and used them to try to convert Anders. Overall, this book was a pretty good book. It just wasn't necessarily the book for me.

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