Review: The Last Good Day of the Year by Jessica Warman

Book Title: The Last Good Day of the Year
Author: Jessica Warman
Published Date: May 19th, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s USA
Genre: YA Mystery
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A new powerful thriller from the globally-embraced author ofBetween.

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.

Disclaimer: I received this ARC from Bloomsbury Children’s USA, in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book, I was excited for it, but I was also really nervous to read it. It was definitely slow in the beginning, and it took me awhile to really get into it. I actually picked it up and put it down a few times before I just read it all the way through. I am really glad I did this as it just got better and better as I kept reading.

We’re introduced to Sam’s family, including her older sister Gretchen and her younger sister Hannah. Hannah was born five years after Tabitha “Turtle” was kidnapped. Everyone knows that Hannah was conceived just to pull their mom out of her deep dark depression, and from early on, we learn that Hannah is already learning that being pretty makes things better. That, right there, gave me the creeps. She was a small child who really shouldn’t need to worry about that stuff. Not only that, but Hannah is still unaware of Turtle’s existence.

Steven was looked at as the prime suspect from the beginning. Not only did Sam and her best friend, Remy named him, but also because Steven had had arguments and disagreements with Gretchen’s father. Things between Gretchen and Steven ended abruptly when Steven was arrested for murdering Turtle.

I know Steven’s mom was standing by her son, but I gotta say, her derogatory language about her son’s girlfriend was definitely something that pissed me off. She clearly didn’t think her beloved son could have done anything wrong. She may have turned a blind eye to the truth because even if Steven didn’t kill Turtle, he was not totally innocent. As the book went on, I began to realize that even if he didn’t kill Turtle, he was still a creepy guy, borderline obsessive.

There was an odd little love triangle thing, Sam feels a connection to Noah because she met him at a support group for people whose have had a family member murdered. But she is also still connected to Remy. Remy represents her childhood and all the carefree things that happened before Turtle was kidnapped.

As the book continues, more suspects pop up, including an Amish guy by the name of Frank Yarrow and an old family friend. This is when things start to get a little crazy. Secrets come to light and we find out who was really a part of this whole mess. I guessed the twist before it was revealed, but I didn’t mind that at all because I didn’t figure out the entire story.


The ending was insanity, I wrote this review the day after I finished this book and I was still thinking about it. Still thinking about one certain part that I would love to talk about, but can’t because it’s massively spoilery. I do recommend this book, but only if you are patient enough to read it because the beginning is definitely slow, but it is definitely worth it. I am giving it 4 stars because the story and how everything is weaved together is done really well.

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