Book reviews

The Last Good Day of the Year by Jessica Warman

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About the Book copy

The Last Good Day of the Year20613800
by Jessica Warman

Goodreads
Bloomsbury

A new powerful thriller from the globally-embraced author of Between.

Ten years ago, in the early hours of New Year’s Day, seven-year-old Samantha and her next door neighbor, Remy, watched as a man broke into Sam’s home and took her younger sister, Turtle, from her sleeping bag. Remy and Sam, too afraid to intervene at the time, later identified the man as Sam’s sister Gretchen’s much older ex-boyfriend, Steven, who was sent to prison for Turtle’s murder.

Now, Sam’s shattered family is returning to her childhood home in an effort to heal. As long-buried memories begin to surface, Sam wonders if she and Remy accurately registered everything they saw. The more they re-examine the events of that fateful night, the more questions they discover about what really happened to Turtle.

Master storyteller Jessica Warman keeps readers guessing in this arresting page-turner.


About the Book

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HOLY MOLY GUACAMOLE MACARONI THIS BOOK WAS INTENSE

Damn, I have to read more thrillers if they leave you this speechless.

This book is definitely the page turner. From the beginning, you’re drawn in as Sam tells her witness of her own little sister’s abduction. It’s agonizing reading about how a family is stricken by a kidnapping but nevertheless, you can’t stop flipping through the book. A combination of The Lovely Bones and any crime show out there, I dare you not to make sure your windows aren’t locked at night.

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Turtle’s kidnapping seems fairly simple from the beginning. Sam witnesses the whole thing so you’d think that the real bad guy would be put away but as the story unravels and Sam’s family come back a decade later, everything becomes a hot mess.

The most interesting part of the story for me was definitely Sam’s family. I have to say that I’m a little jealous of the fact that every member of her family is a blonde, leggy model. They’re definitely not your all-American family, though. They’re lower middle class with a their own domestic struggles as well as also coping with the loss of one of them. Sam is the good one of the family, her older sister Gretchen is the trouble-maker and Hannah is deemed Turtle’s ‘replacement’. I may be missing a sister but for the sake of me, I cannot remember. Each of them play a key role in Turtle’s kidnapping – even more so after reading that intense ending.

When the Myer family return to their old home and the site of Turtle’s abduction, everything comes rushing back. Sam begins to reconnect with old best friend Remy who’s been trying to forget the whole incident and the whole family realises that they are unable to connect in the same way with their old friends as before. As the reader, nothing much actually happens throughout the whole book but every small element finally adds up to the ending. Wrong people are accused of the crime and the right people are overlooked completely.

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It’s very different how the book doesn’t actively focus on Sam’s efforts to delve into her sister’s kidnapping. It focuses more on how her and her family members cope with moving back and moving on and somehow all the other puzzle pieces slowly click together. It ensures that you are the one filing all the clues in your head and putting them together. It was pretty cool how it includes the reader into the whole mystery. A big thumbs up from me!

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That ending though!! No spoilers but if you’ve read it, you probably know what I mean by saying that it really was a HUGE info dump. I didn’t actually mind it but it did meant that I had to read each sentence pretty carefully and match it with all the previous hints I was given.

All in all, a gripping story about how a kidnapping affects a whole family and how the people you’re supposed to trust the most can actually be the most dangerous.

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