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The Last Good Day of the Year

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,335 ratings  ·  238 reviews
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 Gret
Hardcover, 278 pages
Published May 19th 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published May 12th 2015)
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Faye, la Patata
This... was an interesting read, indeed.

The blurb talks about how this is a powerful thriller, but a more apt description would be a "quiet" thriller that sends ripples of emotions to the reader in frequent, yet small doses. This is actually the first time I've read something like it, because when I see THRILLER, I expect SUSPENSE! MYSTERY! TWISTS AT EVERY CORNER! But Last Good Day of the Year is anything but. The first 90% is all backstory, and the actual "thriller" part comes almost at the ver

“People always say the worst thing would be to lose everything. If you lose everything, you have nothing left to live for. But they've got it all wrong. The worst thing is to lose almost everything, because then you have to keep going for whoever’s left down there with you in the steaming bog of shit that life becomes.”

First of all you have to know that you are not facing a 100% thriller. Here on Goodreads is marked as “Young Adult” too and I think that it’s better said like that.
This w
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Jun 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bloomsbury
3.5 Stars.
The Last Good Day Of The Year was an incredibly compelling read. The storyline begins on New Year's Eve ten years prior, when a man in a Santa costume lifted then four year old Turtle from her sleeping bag, lying between Sam and next door neighbour Remy while their parents celebrated the new year. By the time her parents understood what had happened through their drunken stupor, Turtle had vanished along with the man who had taken her. Ten years later, and the family are once again fac
One of the main reasons why I don't like reading synopsis' beforehand is because it tends to leave me with big expectations. That was the case for this book, and I went in thinking I was getting a lot more than what was delivered. The Last Good Day of they Year certainly has great writing and an interesting storyline, but I feel like it didn't hit the mark for me and I didn't get the "powerful thriller" aspect that was promised.

It took me a long time to finish reading the book because I had a h
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
What can I say about this book without giving away everything....... It reminded me of the Ramsey case and that was very scary because I remember my parents telling me to always lock the door and never ever go anywhere unless you go with someone else.

Sam and her best friend Remy watch as someone kidnaps Sam's little sister Turtle. As the police look for the kidnapper Sam's family decides to move away for awhile to heal. But not even moving can heal them so they move back to the old house and try
Miss Marple
Jul 08, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: thriller, ya
Someone needs to explain to whoever wrote the blurb for this book what thriller means. Because this book is most certainly not that. There's nothing even thrilling about it. And when will publishers learn that lying to the readers in the summary only sets them up for huge disappointment?

That's not a very promising start for this review, but it will explain why The Last Good Day of the Year made me so mad by the time I finished it. The truth is this is not even a mystery novel, and if it's meant
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Devoured in one sitting! I really interesting story that aroused a lot of emotions. Highly recommend if you are a fan of YA mystery. 4.5 Stars
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, creepy
Addicting fast paced mystery! Loved it!
Erin Lynn
My full review can also be found on my blog, The Hardcover Lover.

In accordance to FTC guidelines, I must state that I received a free copy of this book in exchange for review purposes.

When I first requested The Last Good Day of the Year by Jessica Warman, I really thought I had no chance for approval. I don't really read thrillers, so why would Bloomsbury take a chance on me with no solid evidence of me reading the genre? Spoiler alert... I don't... well I didn't until now. I was shocked when
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Grade: B+

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 death row for Turtle’s murder. Now, Sam and her family have moved back to the home from where Turtle disappeared and she starts t
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tabitha?? Turtle?? The westing game anyone??
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was New Year's Eve when Sam, her sister, and their friend Remy were sleeping in the basement. Someone dressed as Santa came into their house and stole Sam's sister. Although someone was charged for her kidnapping, Sam has to live with knowing she saw this happen and then remembers details for the next ten years of her life that have a lasting effect. Will anything ever be the same again?

**Some mature content and foul language**
Okay, so here's the main problem with this book: it suffers from an extreme case of a deceptive blurb. The blurb implies that it's a hard hitting thriller in which the protagonist realises she was mistaken about who's responsible for the disappearance of her sister 10 years ago and she decides to investigate.

And TECHNICALLY, that's what happens.


The first 200 pages of this book flip flops between 1986, when Sam's little sister was abducted, and 1996 when the family moves back to that sa
Amanda Lusskin
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is not a book I would normally read, but a friend of mine recommended it to me so I decided to give it a try.

It is about a four-year-old girl that is kidnapped from home. Usually I don't enjoy mystery novels but this book may have me reading more.

This story is very intriguing from the beginning. It pulls you in from the first chapter but then drags a little. The ending is rapid and it comes to the point that you can't put it down. It is a very quick read so it is a book I would highly recom
May 19, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book had the potential to be good but it failed so miserably. The entirety of it was pretty much just backstory and then the plot twist was just thrown in at the end with absolutely no build up to it. I found it really stupid and disappointing. And I wasn't shocked at who the real murderer was and it wasn't because the ending was predictable cause it wasn't at all. It was because it came completely out of nowhere so I was left extremely confused. It was a big waste of my time and the main r ...more
Noa Bash
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
The Short:
This book is just irritating. Its less than 300 pages, but nothing happens until the last six chapters. I was so and reading this book because I kept reaching milestones of 50 or 100 pages, and there would still be no plot development. I didn't find any of the characters very well made or relatable, and there was honestly no point to this book other than to marginally frighten you. I got to the point where I had ten pages left, and I was still contemplating giving up on this book. I
Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tbr-2015
YES!! Go read this book!!

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 it 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 wa
The creepy teddy bear on the cover does not lie about the contents of this book. This is definitely one book where the cover accurately portrays its creepiness. Sure, it isn't a gory mess, but anything involving stalkers in Santa costumes tends to creep me out a bit.

I'm just going to go straight to what started it all, the abduction. Samantha Early, at age 7, spends a lot of time with her best friend Remy, and her little sister Turtle (Tabitha), who she may or may not love fully. One Christmas E
~Angela Marie~
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
The ending seemed very rushed, especially after reading 90% of the book that ended up being nothing but back story. Some characters weren't necessary at all. The main character didn't need to have two love interests and it was a bit annoying.
I read this book in about three hours. On a Friday night. While on deadline. You do the math.

Really though, if you like psychological thrillers full of quasi-sympathetic and unreliable characters (and if you're following me then you probably do), overlook the atrocious cover and read this.
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Just a horror/who done it story. I was entertained certainly, but nothing about it is fabulous. I did not like the big reveal at the end and the whole "throw Darla into it" seemed like an off hand unnecessary anti-twist. Warman has an okay tone, but this wasn't anything special.
Jun 24, 2015 rated it liked it
3,5 stars actually, mostly cause the ending was really good
Renita D'Silva
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this amazing book. Could not put it down. Skilfully plotted and tense. Brilliant.
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When I picked up this book I didn’t expect it to impress me as much as it did. The base plot is simple enough, it being about a young girl who gets kidnaped with doubts circling about whether or not the guy who was blamed and jailed for her disappearance is really to blame.

Following this book you get sucked into Jessica’s unique style of writing where she places you smack bang in the characters thoughts, sometimes completely changing in the next paragraph just to show the fluidity of ones think
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'd give this 3 1/2 stars, but I'm rounding up because I really liked Between. I didn't realize this was the same author until I started reading this. A lot of people are salty in their reviews because this was marketed as a thriller and they don't think it is one. I don't know, my copy of the book doesn't say thriller and the summary on the back is pretty accurate. It kept me turning the pages, and though it's dark and I felt it could have gone a bit deeper, overall I enjoyed it.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: unhauled
2.5 stars. Solid book, but I was hoping for a much more fast-paced thriller. I guessed the ending from the beginning but the clues leading up and the other suspects kept the story interesting.
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Definitely a good one. I liked that it was suspenseful without being scary. Plus being told from different time periods helped too
Jun 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Damn, I have to read more thrillers because 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
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it

I love "scary" books. I think this one hit the nail on the head. It's not exactly "scary" as in "AHHH" scary, but it definitely is creepy, and mess with your mind scary. Make sense????

This family has gone through so much. Especially Sam.

Sam and her best friend Remy were shoved downstairs with the "little" kids while their parents were upstairs partying and celebrating New Years Eve. The kids are overwhelmed by the smoke and noise coming from the upstairs. They can hear every
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Does a family ever recover from the disappearance and/or death of a child? Many times we can read about a child disappearing and we can sympathize but we really have no idea how it is for the families left behind.
On New Year's Eve/day 1986, while their parent were still welcoming in the new year, seven year old Sam and her best friend Remy tried to appear asleep as they watched in terror as Santa Claus came through the back yard, opened the sliding glass door and kidnapped Sam's four year old s
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Jessica Warman is the author of Breathless, which received three starred reviews and was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and Where the Truth Lies. The idea for Between came from an incident in her childhood, when a local boy went missing after a party on a yacht (he was eventually found, alive).

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