May 12th, 2017


Book #18 of 2017: The Last One

Before I get to the review: WTF LJ? Under the tag selection window is now "Feel free to use hashtags! The # symbol is precedes the tag followed by one or more keywords that will properly lead individuals to conversations and discussions pertaining to a specific topic or theme." How is that different than how tags work now? Also "is precedes"?

#book review

Edit: AH HA! You can use them in the post now, not just in the tag field. That's pretty cool. (Too bad about the space issue though.)

Edit 2: Oh, it links to everyone's use of that hashtag, not just your use. That's a whole lot less cool. How is one to know if everyone is going to use book_review, BookReview, Book-reviews, or something else?


The Last One by Alexandra Oliva
Rating: Loved (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

I'm so glad to be done with this amazing book, because now I can sleep. Every single night since I started it, I've stayed up way too late reading it. That never ever happens! Usually I'm good about getting to bed on time, but this book was so good I just could not make myself put it down.

Set in current times and the real world, a woman gets cast on a reality TV show. One of the "cut off in the wild" ones, like Survivor, but without voting people off. The only way to get off the show is to quit, and so the show was really hard on the players to try to force them to tap out. As reality shows tend to be, the producers not just were hard physically on the players, but manipulated without care to their feelings to get a good show.

The author knows just how reality shows work, that viewers really don't care about the players' names, they just need one defining trait for that person. So the main characters were people like Air Force, Engineer, Waitress, Black Doctor, etc. That alone made me fall in love with the book -- it was so reality TV-ish! They were full, complete, interesting characters, and so calling them by just that one trait further demonstrated how messed up reality TV can be.

So, while the players are all trapped out in the woods, alone except now and then a cameraman, something bad happens in the real world. (I'm not sure if the something bad is a spoiler or not, so I'm going to be vague just in case.) The plot of the reality show alternates with plot about the something bad, and it comes together perfectly to show how a person can mentally break. The show manipulated a woman so badly that her brain started to fool her about what was really happening with the something bad. It was SO COOL, such a perfect, believable, realistic glimpse at how someone can go insane.

For all that seems like a dark story, mostly it wasn't. The first three-quarters of it really weren't all that dark. The end of it got dark and depressing (which makes perfect sense, with the something bad). The ending of the book didn't work for me, but I'm not sure why. I wouldn't at all let that ending stop me from recommending this book though! (Especially since I was exhausted and distracted by RL while reading it, so I might not have enjoyed it for non-story reasons.)