Book Review: Last Girls by Demetra Brodsky

PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book on a topic you know nothing about (doomsday preppers) Other PS 2020 reading prompts...

PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book on a topic you know nothing about (doomsday preppers)

Other PS 2020 reading prompts this would satisfy: A book that's published in 2020, A book with a bird on the cover, A book with at least a four-star rating on Goodreads

TW: Sexism, blood, violence, death, abduction, animal death

When I first read the description of Last Girls, I knew I had to read it. I even rounded it up in a SheReads post about 18 must-read YA books of 2020. I was lucky enough to snag a copy straight from the author herself, and she even signed it for me. (Regardless, all thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Honey Juniper and her sisters, Blue and Birdie, are not normal teenage girls. Their entire lives, they've moved around with their mother living the lives of doomsday preppers. Now they've landed in Washington State as part of a doomsday compound, alongside several families living the same lifestyle. When an incident at school leads Honey to exposing a bit of her lifestyle to her classmates, things start to unravel at the compound. And the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI) may be coming sooner than anyone could have ever realized. 

Honestly, while reading this book my biggest complaints were the typos and errors that are common for an ARC. For some reason they felt really prominent to me, but they are not something that would be in the final print copy.

This book is so good. It was hard to get into at first because there are a ton of acronyms. And yes, they are explained and spelled out at times, but it is definitely confusing and made it more difficult to understand at times. I would have to flip back and forth to try to remember some of the acronyms, but the majority of the time, the main acronym in the chapter would actually be the title of that chapter, so it helped. But honestly, the acronyms make total sense because it is about doomsday preppers, and I would assume they use acronyms often.

I really loved the characters - I think the only thing that would've made it better for me would have been to have chapters from each sisters' perspective. I really liked Honey and think having her as the lead protagonist was smart, because she's the oldest of the trio. But I really liked Birdie, and especially Blue, so I would've loved to hear from there perspectives as well. Blue is so odd and mysterious, so it would've been so fun to get inside her thoughts. And Birdie's kind of an emotional ball of badassery. Truly, all of the sisters are totally badass, while also being flawed and sensitive. I also really liked Rémy. He was such a wonderful character and I wish I could've gotten to know him better as well.

The descriptors in the book were wonderful, and the writing was really beautiful. I loved the little tidbits of beautiful prose throughout the book. I would definitely read another story about the Juniper sisters.

Lastly, I really loved the story this novel told. There were many times I wasn't sure what direction the book was going to take, but eventually things became a bit predictable. I saw most of the big ending twists coming, but somehow it didn't take away from the story. I wasn't surprised about where the story went or how it ended, but I actually loved it even more for that. This book will have you on the edge of your seat, while also feeling quite cozy about the core familial storyline at the center.

"We've all been taught that the black sheep is a deviation from acceptable standards and something to be avoided. Still, when you see it amongst a herd, its lack of conformity is what steals your breath and captures your attention." - Last Girls, Demetra Brodsky

I absolutely loved this book. I loved the characters, I loved the writing, and I loved the beautiful story about what it means to be a family. It's full of action and adventure, and the female characters are phenomenally brave and strong. The acronyms were difficult to get used to at first, and while there were some twists, a lot of the story was a bit predictable, though that didn't take away from the story-telling. If you're looking for a book that shares the horrors of doomsday within the society we know, a story that's not dystopian but truly captures how far sisters will go to protect each other, I'd highly recommend Last Girls.

Goodreads rating: ★★★★☆

*Thanks so much to the author for sending me a free copy to review. All opinions are entirely my own.

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