Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Last Good Day of the Year by Jessica Warman-- I checked my locks after reading this

The Last Good Day of the Year

Ten years ago, Sam's little sister was kidnapped right in front of her and her best friend Remy-- they ID'd the kidnapper as her older sister's boyfriend, Steven, and he's on death row now.

Now, Sam is back in her old house, slowly reconnecting with her old BFF, and wondering what really happened all those years ago.  Did they get it right??  Did they really see what they said they saw??

This book is definitely going to be on my end of year favorites list.  This is just the type of Mystery/Thriller I like, and I'm kind of mad this wasn't shoved in my face earlier!!

The first thing that jumped out at me was the setting.  This whole thing takes place in a town called Shelocta, which is a real town located about 15 miles from where I live.  I always find it fun to read books that are set in Western PA-- it gives me an instant connection to the book.  Also, this was set in the 90's!!  The references weren't enough to put my 90's nostalgia into high gear, but it was cool to go back in time a little.

Then, there's the characters.  Remy, the boy next door, was my fave.  I don't know why I like the kinds of book boys that are aloof, but you know that if the m/c breaks through their outer shell they'll be adorable, but I do.  Remy is the kind of character that is frustrating, but worth sticking with.  Sam wasn't someone I super connected with, but the mystery was enough to keep me with her.

The Mystery: I wanted to know what happened to the sister.  I wanted to know why in the hell someone would dress as Santa Claus on New Year's Eve.  If Steven was supposedly innocent, I wanted to know how/why there would be 2 people dressed as Santa Claus after Christmas.  There was so much grief and pain to wade through to get the heart of what happened, but once we got there, there were more answers than I was expecting.

Bonus: Mixed in are police interviews and excerpts from a true-crime book about the case.  I love a good epistolary element to break things up & these ones added a lot to the book.

I gotta talk about that ending!!!  I won't give any spoilers, but AHHHHH.  This ending totally messed with my head and freaked me out.  I don't usually sit around thinking someone is going to break into my house, but the night I finished this, I jumped at every creak and shadow.

OVERALL: A+ YA Mystery/Thriller!!  This is just the kind of Mystery/Thriller I like-- very character driven, deals with issues beyond the actual mystery, deep, and twisted.  I totally, 100% reccomend to anyone looking to get lost in a good mystery.

Date Published: 5/19/2015
How I got this book: I bought it
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 5/5


  1. I love finding books like this. Thanks for the review--just added it to my TBR. I finished an Agatha Christie style mystery/thriller this past week called The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (I received an ARC for review) and this debut did have some murder scenes, but nothing even squeamish me couldn't handle, and it was FUN to read.

    1. Oh wow, I just got done reading a Groundhog's Day-type book and LOVED it!!! I would definitely be down to read another one which has murder included!!

  2. This sounds so good! I love a good mystery/thriller.

    1. It was SO GOOD and I'm really picky about Mysteries!!

  3. HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS BOOK?! *Immediately adds to Goodreads TBR*