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A mysterious worldwide epidemic reduces the birthrate of female infants from 50 percent to less than 1 percent. Medical science and governments around the world scramble in an effort to solve the problem, but twenty-five years later there is no cure, and an entire generation grows up with a population of fewer than a thousand women.

Zoey and some of the surviving young women are housed in a scientific research compound dedicated to determining the cause. For two decades, she’s been isolated from her family, treated as a test subject, and locked away—told only that the virus has wiped out the rest of the world’s population.

Captivity is the only life Zoey has ever known, and escaping her heavily armed captors is no easy task, but she’s determined to leave before she is subjected to the next round of tests…a program that no other woman has ever returned from. Even if she’s successful, Zoey has no idea what she’ll encounter in the strange new world beyond the facility’s walls. Winning her freedom will take brutality she never imagined she possessed, as well as all her strength and cunning—but Zoey is ready for war.

386 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 1, 2016

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Joe Hart

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,620 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,403 reviews9,537 followers
June 19, 2017
MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

I got this book free through the Kindle First program.


I thought this book was great and it really ticked me off what these people were doing to these girls.

Supposedly, this virus/plague came through and did something to where there were hardly any females born, so this group of jerks in the government (naturally) goes through and nabs all of the baby girls, or young girls they could find and bring them back to the compound. They kill a lot of people that were fighting and protesting against them.

"The Dearth," Penny reads from the chapter heading. "Late in the year two thousand sixteen, a noticeable drop in female births became apparent across the globe. At first it was by only several percent but soon after, in mid-two thousand seventeen, the rate dropped to well below half of the previous year's. By fall of the year two thousand eighteen, despite an unprecedented, scientific undertaking by the National Obstetric Alliance, female births were recorded at less than one in one hundred million.

These girls are kept in this type of mountainside compound for "their protection." Yeah, they are kept in cells and they can't have any contraband, which is books, gum... you know normal stuff. The only thing these girls know is the same stupid book they have to read for class every day about why all of this stuff is going on, rules, blah blah, stuff like that. They have no freedom to leave their cells unless their assigned cleric (young guy usually) takes them out to go to the cafeteria and to walk around to get some exercise. If they act up, they get thrown in solitary. I mean really, these people are supposed to be protecting you.

Supposedly, at your twenty-first birthday you get to go into The Program where you meet up with your parents and are taken to the safe zone. Bwhahahaahah... safe zone.

Like all of the girls believe that, there are not that many of them, but the smart ones are like.. hmmm.. yeah..

Zoey is the main character and I love her. She takes care of another girl named Lily that seems to have a disability, she does the best she can to help her. She has Meeka and Terra as friends too, but as the story begins Terra is being sent to the "SAFE ZONE."

There are a few other girls that are the bad girls and they do some evil things, but we always have those people. There are some really nice guards and clerics and some evil ones.

At one point some things happen to Zoey and she decides she is going to try to break out of this compound.. it's called the ARC (all I could think of when they said that was Advanced Reader Copies)..anyhoo, she does manage to get away and find out some really messed up stuff! These people are evil and cruel and bat-shit nuts!

Zoey makes it to this group of people and they find a way back. Zoey is not going to leave what friends she has left behind to go through what she saw when she was breaking out. She came back ready!


I have to say this was just a very sad situation. So many people died in the book, but certain other ones made it. The very end brought a tear to my eye because that's what I do. There was just so much that was so sad, but still a good book!

I very much enjoyed this book and I look forward to the next one in the series!
Profile Image for Always Pouting.
568 reviews696 followers
June 14, 2017
Another dystopian novel where a girl is being held captive and has to escape her fate. Zoey lives in a world where the female birth rate has dropped off because of a plague that eventually mutates and kills everyone. She stays at a compound with the NOA with other girls who have been taken from there parents, and when they turn 21 they are induced which is supposedly them moving to a safe zone with their parents and the other girls who have already been induced. The premise was an interesting one and the story was easy to read and flowed well. I did want to know what happens and easily read through to the end. That said I do think this story lacked anything to make it stand out to me. Maybe I've just read enough books now that it sort of felt very standard the way the plot unfolds and I couldn't really find anything that made the book resonate with me. Also some of it made me feel really skeptical even when I tried to suspend my disbelief. I think maybe if the author had made the story unfold slower or more subtly it might have been better? It's just harder to write good dystopian novels now that there are so many because they start to all seem to follow the same formula.

Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,155 followers
January 20, 2017
'The Last Girl' is not my usual type of book, but I've been branching out a little more lately and trying different genres. I've been lucky enough to find some gems recently as I've explored other genres. Unfortunately, 'The Last Girl' is not one that was a big hit with me. If I had to describe this book in one word, that word would be "underwhelming".

A dystopian-themed book, 'The Last Girl' centers on Zoey, a girl that has been held captive by a militarized, government "research" group. There has been a "plague" that has caused only male babies to be born. The few females remaining are hunted, to be used as guinea pigs...or far worse. Zoey is one of those girls. She has been raised in a research facility as a test subject, in the search for a cure.

Zoey and the other girls at the center have been lied to for all of their years of captivity. They've heard rumors about the horrible things that await them on their twenty-first birthdays, but most choose to believe the fairytales that they are fed. Zoey doesn't believe the lies. She knows that something is amiss and begins to plan her escape.

Eventually, Zoey succeeds and manages to break free of her captors. She joins forces with a group of rebels that want to free the remaining girls at the center. Against all odds, they plan their attack.

While there was plenty of action and suspense in this book, I never really connected with Zoey or the other characters. The story just lacked that special something that pulls you in and holds your attention. I can't think of any one particular thing to point to, but it just didn't work for me as a whole. It was okay, but failed to elicit any real emotion from me.

Overall, this was a mediocre read for me. This wasn't at all my usual type of story, which may have something to do with it. I need a lot more romance and emotion in my stories. This just wasn't that type of story...at all.

Check out more of my reviews at www.bookaddicthaven.com
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,563 reviews5,863 followers
April 10, 2016
I have one of those weirdo fascinations with books with a dystopian theme. That whole end of the world thing just draws me in.
Palm Springs commercial photography

Now just because I read a bunch of them don't think I'm the one to save your bum when the crud hits the fan. I'll probably be dead in just a few seconds. I'm not much for living without coffee and toilet paper.

In this scenario all the girl babies have stopped being born. Some kind of epidemic stuff happens and it changed everything. The government steps in. You know that usually works out just peachy.
Palm Springs commercial photography

There are just a few remaining young girls alive and it looks like they are secreted into a government compound called the ARC. They are taken care of until their twenty-first birthday. That's when they get to be inducted. Induction is told to consist of being back with their parents (who they haven't seen since they were taken) and they get to go on the elusive top floor and live happily ever after.
Palm Springs commercial photography

The main character in this book (Zoey) is fast approaching her induction but she gets the feeling that all is not right in this land. She starts acting up about it and breaking some rules. Which could basically be anything because these girls are allowed nothing.

I have to say this book was very readable. Once the story started (even though at times I rolled my eyes) I kept reading it. Zoey as a main character is pretty much the cookie cutter version of a heroine in most young adult books. She is the one you know is going to survive all kinds of bull and save the day. She didn't stand out in my head though. I doubt I remember this book next week.
I would have gone with 3 stars for this book except for one thing.
Another thing that bugged me. These idiots thought that it was up to the women to have girl babies. Ummm, that's not how that works. Male genetics determine sex of children.

Palm Springs commercial photography

Netgalley in exchange for review.

Palm Springs commercial photography

My friend Dana did like this one. I usually do agree with her on books so this possibly could just be because I just read another dystopian book last week that I liked better and it colored my judgement.
Go check out her review of this one and Dana has the best little thing at the end of her reviews. She calls it her Buy, Borrow or Bin..and I LOVE it.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,125 followers
January 8, 2017
For some reason, there is a common dystopian trend of there being a shortage of females. Women become a commodity and in this case, the last remaining females are locked up in a prison-like environment until they are 21. At the magical age of 21, they are given a ceremony and released to live in a utopian paradise with their parents. I'm just wondering, in this world, what color is the sky? The girls who have survived, are they also somehow missing the capacity to smell a load of bullshit when it is being handed to her?

This book made absolutely no sense. I can allow room for imagination, I don't need perfect "science" to buy a book's premise, but this one....

Here are some of the problems:

The girls are stolen as babies and raised in a prison, treated like animals, punished cruelly, and yet told that they are "special and important" to society. What's the point of treating them so badly? If they are the "hope of the world", why not treat them well? Then, they may not only want to actually live, but they might be happy to help the world out with their magic ovaries.

The whole bit about them being reunited with their parents and living in a wonderful "safe zone" at the age of 21. Why not come up with a more believable story? You can say they will get to pick a husband, that they will donate eggs and then go free, that they will get to board a spaceship and travel to the planet of endless chocolate. Any of those would be better stories than the idiotic one being told.

The idea that the cause of the shortage of female births is somehow related to the females themselves. Um... biology 101: the sperm determines the sex of the child. Why don't they lock up the men and experiment on their sperm instead? It would be more productive than their current plan.

Why wait until the girl's are 21 at all? Once later revelations come out, there is absolutely no reason for this. None.

There were a total of six girls at this facility. With tons of guards, sniper towers, walls and cameras, special forces, and tons of technology to keep them in place. It seems like a lot of over-kill. They could have probably housed these girls in a nice condo in Boca. It was the equivalent of housing a hamster in a penthouse apartment in Manhattan. Just... too much...

But, even if you can somehow wrap your mind around the world, be prepared to just feel depressed. Our 20 yr old girl is as angsty as a pubescent teen.

In other words, if you haven't read it - don't bother.
Profile Image for Jody McGrath.
349 reviews52 followers
October 14, 2016
* I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Zoey is a female. One of the last of her sex. A plague has turn the world on its head when only baby boys are born, no baby girls. Zoey has been raised in a government stronghold, built to protect these females. At the beginning of the story there are 7 girls and one woman teacher. The compound is ran like a prison. They are not allowed anything we would think of as luxuries, like books and gum. They have to read the government sanctioned book aloud in class. When they get to the end, they start over at the beginning. Supposedly, when a girl turns 21, she gets to leave the compound and meet with her parents at a safe place. Zoey doesn't buy it. When things get more dire for Zoey, she escapes, but she cannot leave her friends behind. She is going to rescue them if it is the last thing she does.

The book starts off really strong. I liked the idea of the compound and the brainwashing of these girls. It was a great dystopian horror. Some of the things were a bit off though, but I chose to ignore them. I liked the character of Zoey. She was kind and tough at the same time. She does what she has to to survive, even though she feels the weight of it on her soul. There are othercharacters that give traits to Zoey. One girl is named Lily, who has some sort of mental handicap, maybe Down syndrome, and Zoey took care of her. Lily is innocence. Meeka is Zoey's best friend and always has her back. Meeka is strength. Simon is Zoey's Cleric, which is kind of a personal guard. Simon is love.

After Zoey gets out of the complex, things get harder and harder for her. She is running, but she doesn't know where to. She is seriously injured and going in and out of consciousness. Finally she meets an old man and a dog. She has approached people before, but now she knows she will die without help. This is how she meets Ian. Ian is acceptance. The plot gets a little harder to believe here. It just falls into place to smoothly. But, I do love dystopian fiction though, so I suspended my disbelief. There was a lot of death and tears and horrors, but the end was just waiting for the next book in the series.

I liked this book. It was a quick read with good pacing. Like I said, there was some things that happened that were just to coincidental. The story was strong enough to not necessarily overlook them, but to put them aside for the sake of a good story. Not a bad book, but it could've better, but I really did enjoy it. I am already wanting the second one in the series. I would tell all my dystopian loving friends out there to give it a read!
Profile Image for Sandra.
212 reviews50 followers
June 10, 2019
The Last Girl by Joe Hart is a fast paced dystopian novel.
A mysterious epidemic has reduced the female birth rate to less than 1% and as the years pass, no cure is found. A scientific compound is set up to find the cause.
Zoey and a handful of girls are held in this compound until their 21st birthdays. Most do not remember their families and captivity within the rigid rules of the compound is all they know. They are told that the virus has wiped out most of the worlds population.
Zoey is a great heroine, she is head strong, defiant and believable. As her 21st birthday approaches Zoey feels things are not right, she has her suspicions and is determined to escape...... but she has no idea what is outside the walls.
At the beginning I couldn’t get The Handmaid’s Tale out of my head and I wasn’t sure about the book until the story really kicked in.
I thought it a fun easy read not to be taken too seriously. The Last Girl has its flaws and some of the situations our girl finds herself in are so unbelievable, I kept thinking I’d be in hospital for a month if that happened to me 😂.
However, its an interesting concept and I’m keen to see where the author takes the next book in the series, The Final Trade.
Profile Image for ☮Karen.
1,464 reviews9 followers
March 23, 2016
Sometime in the not too distant future.  Following a war and a plague, female births have declined dramatically for reasons unknown.  Much of the population is gone, especially females,  and  the authorities have locked up several  of the the surviving young women into a large facility where they spend all their  time indoors, being studied, manipulated, and fighting with each other until they reach the ripe age of 21.  Then they are permanently separated out, apparently to get busy having babies or donating eggs, or something like that.

In the beginning, I struggled staying focused with this book and did not much care for it.  It felt similar to The Handmaid's Tale, but not as well written.  I wondered, if re-populating the world is so gravely important, why don't they get busy impregnating these young women rather than wasting so much time drilling them into obeying their dumb rules and regulations?  Most of it seemed implausible not to mention insensitive to females overall.  Aside from the age of 21 thing,  women who had previously carried a female  baby full term were most special.  But why?  High school biology told me that the woman's chromosomes do not determine the sex of the baby, not ever, so why would it matter if a woman had a female baby before?  Why wouldn't these scientists know that? Why weren't they instead locking up the men whose sperm resulted in female births, and subjecting them to dumb rules and threats of being raped? 

The latter half of the book was more exciting, action packed, and moved along at a good clip.  There  were some bad ass women kicking some male butts.  But I couldn't get past some of the author's  word choices and these questions niggling  at me.  2.5 stars.

My thanks to the publisher Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley.
Profile Image for Heather.
510 reviews5 followers
March 12, 2016
I broke two of my rules in choosing this month's Amazon Kindle free preview books and regret it: 1. The long-standing "no first book in a series" rule. 2. No More Books with Girl in the Title EVER! (a new, but soon to be forcefully enforced rule)

2.5 Stars, minimally better than "okay" because it did keep me turning pages to find out what would happen, but there was just too much pulling me out of the story while reading to rate it up to 3.

Nothing added up in the book. Everything was "explained" but there were so many holes left in the explanations that it reminded me of listening to a politician explain how s/he is going to end the deficit: sounds great until you actually think about what they're saying or pull out a calculator. (A lot of what left me completely baffled would be considered spoilers, so I will keep it to myself, except this much which shouldn't be: what was happening outside the US?! This was meant to be a worldwide epidemic, but everything in the story was about the American response except for a single sentence about what happened to those trying to cross into Mexico or Canada. Were we to just assume that what we are told of as the U.S. went, naturally the rest of the world would have gone? Suuuure.)

The writing... oy. This was like a creative writing class assignment where the author tried to throw in everything at his disposal. The metaphors and similes were as relentless as they were ridiculous (I really wish I'd highlighted some of the worst ones, because I remember literally rolling my eyes at one point but didn't take the time to do so). And the overwriting... "Her palms abrade on the rough concrete, pebbles engraining themselves in her skin." There were SO many examples like that and they were all painful and distracting from the plot.

What bothered me the most, though, was that I expected this to be a story about a determined, intelligent, and brave young woman using her wits to escape a post-apocalyptic prison. Instead, it was the story of a mildly plucky, but incredibly violent, girl who survived only by luck and relying on others for every success. The female characters were all basically straight out of central casting for a bad girls in prison movie.

Really, this felt like an (overwritten) young adult novel instead of a piece of adult fiction. The characters may have all been in their late teens/early 20's, but they were definitely written as probably mid-late teenagers developmentally and the lack of complex character development really highlighted this.
Profile Image for Emma.
971 reviews966 followers
February 25, 2016
Chose this as my February Kindle First book.

It was hard work.

One of my favourite themes in fiction is the breakdown of society, so I tend to give books that deal with it a little more leeway, but this had no depth. It had an interesting premise but I felt the book jumped right over the best bits. Before you even hit the prologue proper, you find out that something is happening in society that means female births are declining, there is civil war, nuclear war....so much to interest me....then we move to a hospital like institution where they're holding the remaining girls, obviously stock to rebuild etc etc. There's nothing new here.
Profile Image for Ian.
229 reviews19 followers
February 1, 2016
This book, to quote page 239 "speaks of obduration in its purest form." You might be wondering what that means, since obduration isn't a word. Obdurate, however, is a fancy word for saying headstrong, which this author was with this book's style.

I'm left really confused. Why did the author narrate the whole book in present tense? Outside of literary fiction, this is not a common technique. There's nothing gained from the exercise here, sentences such as "within the next hour, they gather the last remaining items," just read oddly.

I'm not sure if this was intended as science fiction or thriller. There's little science here, we're thrown into a near-future world with little explanation for why or how things got that way. That's fine in theory. But the reader has little reason to care what happens to the main antagonists as we have little idea of their true motivations. If you want to have a better story, give the villains some plausible cause for their actions.

The book is like a stultified mass of haphazardly poured concrete. You're wondering why I typed that. Well, the book is full of such bizarre analogies, particularly in parts where there isn't dialogue. Thankfully the characters talk like real humans, but the narrator is a piece of work.

"Her lungs are two limp bags inside."
"Panic is a living creature in her chest, tearing at her heart and lungs."
"Watching the sinuous way the light rolls through the trees."

If you pick up sci fi thrillers for this sort of writing, you're a very different reader than me. Like this sentence, why write it in passive tense, stick the interesting verb at the end, and use the word arrestment so oddly.

"The arrestment from her fall is so sudden and unexpected she can't breathe."

I was thrown out of immersion in the book to ponder why this sentence was written this way. If you want a microcosm of the book, consider this sentence:

"Hunger is a storm that fills up her insides, and the first inklings of thirst she felt before falling asleep is now a burning that screams to be put out."

Hunger as a storm is a slightly odd analogy, but we can go with it. But the whole effect of the sentence is simply so overwritten. The present tense thing is still annoying me. And we have an errant verb tense... should be are instead of is since there appear to be multiple inklings. Much of this could have been avoided by foregoing the present tense gimmick. It could have worked is there was a purpose to it, but here, it merely hinders the communicative effect of the story.

I gave two stars despite the above comments. The premise for the book is great. Easily the top feature. The back third of the book gets significantly better - the author is much better writing dialogue than narrative - and there is a good mystery driving the plot. But man, you got to work through a lot of unpleasant stuff to enjoy the good parts.

Hopefully as the series progresses, the author will focus more on the elements of science fiction and less on writing in an overwrought way. Unless you're writing literary fiction, you want the reader to be immersed in the story rather than stuck wondering why the writing is so strange.

P.S. Please stop using concussive to mean loud over and over.

Profile Image for Michelle.
1,341 reviews115 followers
December 21, 2020
Popsugar Challenge 2020 - A book that passes the Bechtel test

'There is nothing more important than the continuation of our species, anything else is simply selfish'

Book one of a trilogy that introduces you to a dystopian world where females are few. We are following Zoey who has been brought up in a facility which inprisions captured females in the hope that they will be the key for reproducing baby girls and ultimately saving the human species from extinction. 

Plot lead and action packed this is a page turner and there really is a lot of representation in this book.

Sexuality diversity - check
Racial diversity - check
Age diversity - check
Mental illness diversity - check
Disability diversity - check

However the characters felt very flat to me so while I appreciate what the author was trying to do, it did feel like a diversity check list was being ticked off purely for claps ...BUT .... this is book one of three so there's plenty of time for characters to be explored and development and i'm here for it.

At time of posting this trilogy is on the Kindle Unlimited plan.

3 stars.
Profile Image for Brittany.
842 reviews111 followers
June 10, 2019
3 Stars

Fear feeds the worst in all of us. It drives the most despicable of our natures to the surface.

A mysterious epidemic happens worldwide that causes the reduction in the births of baby girls. Scientists and Governments scramble to find the reason for this. Fast Forward 25 years and there is still no answer and an entire generation grows up with a population of fewer than a thousand women.

Zoey and 6 other women are housed in a scientific compound that claims to be doing research on the girls. For 20 years, she’s been removed from her family, treated as a test subject, and locked away—told only that the virus has wiped out the rest of the world’s population.

Captivity is the only life Zoey has ever known, and escaping her heavily armed captors is no easy task, but she’s determined to leave before she is subjected to the next round of tests…a program that no other woman has ever returned from. Even if she’s successful, Zoey has no idea what she’ll encounter in the strange new world beyond the facility’s walls. Winning her freedom will take brutality she never imagined she possessed, as well as all her strength and cunning—but Zoey is ready for war.

I really love a good dystopian novel. I enjoy reading about how people become survivors and learn to live without all the spoils that we have in reality. This book had a great plot but a lot of holes. It had parts that were really good and others that moved pretty slow. The last 100 pages or so got really exciting and thats what gives me hope for the rest of the series.

I did enjoy this book for the most part. I did not like the fact that these 6 women could not all get along. The more I read it didn't bother me much but initially it sorta didn't make sense for them to fight, rather- maybe have them ban together and team up?? I dont know... but that was my main issue. The characters also lacked something Im not sure what maybe a little depth? It took most of the book for me to care a whole lot for these characters.

I think this was a decent enough start to what could be a great series. I am looking forward to trying the next book and see where it goes!
Profile Image for Dana.
440 reviews290 followers
March 23, 2016

Phew what a wild ride. I am a huge Dystopian/ Post apocalyptic fan so of course I really enjoyed this. Zoey was a great protagonist, and the moral quandaries in this book were absolutely insane! I loved the idea of what would happen if women could no longer produce female babies, what the government did was pretty realistic in my opinion.

The suspense in this story was right on point, and I was on the edge of my seat for a lot of moments. There was only one moment where I felt like the story had over the top drama, but for the most part this book was an engaging look into humanities response when pushed to the brink. I look forward to the next book in the series! 4/5

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

Check out more of my reviews here

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,090 reviews1,508 followers
March 21, 2016
The Last Girl is a dystopian story taking place in the very near future. In 2017 there is a significant drop in female babies being born with the percentage falling to near one in one hundred million babies rather quickly. Rebels rise up against the government and how they are handling the birth rates.

Several years later we meet Zoey, she is a twenty year old young woman being kept inside a government facility along with a handful of other women. The last in society and hope for the future they are there under the impression that they are being protected until they can help save society. They are told that the virus that had caused the drop in female births had become deadly killing a big portion of the population and that these girls upon their 21st birthday would be led to a safe zone.

The idea behind this book is one that I would normally love to read about. Unfortunately with The Last Girl the more that I read the more that I thought the entire story, setting and plot was full of holes that made a piece of swiss cheese appear solid.

The first section of our story starts in a setting that I'm not personally a fan of so I got off to a rocky start with the book from there. I don't really like when we have a situation of the character/characters being in any type of asylum/hospital/prison type of setting and then tossing in sadistic treatment on top of it. The girls being supposedly the last in the world you would think they would at least be treated well being kept locked away but there are so many little things that I found irritating and questionable right off the bat such as not even being able to read a book.... why?? Then punishments and things tossed on top didn't help my interest to grow any. Not to mention that with only six girls we have them divided into half with a mean girl clique against our heroine and her friends, really?? Six women can't get along?

Then we move into the mid-section of the book where I think great this is going to pick up and I should start liking the story more! Unfortunately that was still not the case. I had a brief moment it looked up but then it just became a bit too far fetched and unbelievable for me to get behind.

Getting to the last section I thought I'd give this a shot to redeem itself a bit with a really great action packed ending. What was I rewarded with? Possibly the worst ending of a book that I recall off the top my head which left me extremely disappointed in the entire novel.

There are plenty of people loving this book but unfortunately I'm not one of them. In the end I would give it 1.5 stars with a half extra star being given simply because I stuck it out until the end but due to all the things I thought were just too ridiculous along the way that hadn't made a bit of sense to me I can't go higher. I don't want to involve spoilers so I will just leave it at that instead of making any arguments against certain specific events.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,405 reviews989 followers
March 6, 2016
Wow, The Last Girl seems to have divided the readers, a real love hate relationship going on with this one – me I’m on the “love” side of the fence mainly because I could not put the darn thing down once I’d started it, to me always the sign of a good book, whether that be a commercial novel or literary fiction and no matter the genre.

This is honestly addictive – I was right on board with Zoey from word one and it was an interesting premise executed well. In a world where the female population has been decimated, Zoey lives in a compound with other girls, protected but also caged, as the story unfolds and we discover what might be in store for her, it is not hard to get behind her wish to escape.

Joe Hart has written a thriller rather than a book chock full of social commentary – whilst he does explore the idea of how a world might treat its women when they are so few in number, he concentrates more on one girls determination not to be a guinea pig and given us a main protagonist who questions everything around her and does not go willingly to her fate.

Whilst Zoey is not literally the last girl, she is one of them and this brings a great edge to proceedings – as a reader you can question both her choices and that of those who seek to contain her. Yes the bad guys are bad and the things they do are unquestionably wrong, but when survival of the human race is at stake, who knows where the line would or should be drawn. Well we do obviously and Zoey does too, so begins her fight for survival and her emergence into a wider world she knows nothing about.

It was engaging and although often predictable, always fast paced and intriguing…when I had finished it I immediately wanted the next – another sign for me of a good story. I will look forward to seeing what happens next. The ending gives the author a chance to be quite brave moving forward, with regards to the ability of his characters so we’ll see where that goes. Overall though a great start to a trilogy I will be sticking with. Bring on book two
45 reviews
February 2, 2016
This was a Kindle First read for February so I got to read it for free. Here's the deal on this - it was a very engaging read. In fact, it was such a page turner that I stayed up late last night. I'd read the next book in the series. The problems, however, are REALLY irritating (SPOILER-ISH):
1. I understand keeping the girls under lock and key. I even get that they're in a military installation under lock and key. But WHY waste time psychologically torturing them when they break a rule? That just made no sense. Why even waste time building the technology to do that? Like they don't have anything better to do?
2. Like they'd seriously have tampons? I know that's a nit to pick, but civilization has fallen. They have tampons left to give the girls?
3. (SUPER SPOILER) Why bother to keep the girls alive at all if they're just harvesting the eggs and growing babies in big tanks?
4. These are GIRLS. Stop calling them women. The oldest one turns 21 during the book.
Profile Image for Blake Crouch.
Author 77 books44.5k followers
March 14, 2016
What if there were only 1,000 women left on the planet? This is the conceit of The Last Girl, and it’s the kind of premise I live for. Part Children of Men, part The Count of Monte Cristo for the modern age, Joe Hart has written a rapturous, thought-provoking, impossible-to-put-down thriller that is destined to become the first BIG BOOK of 2016.
Profile Image for Hannah G.
34 reviews1 follower
March 2, 2016
Only slightly better than awful. Sneaky advertising led me to select this book as a Kindle First, even though I just KNEW it was going to be another dystopian, faux-mighty female driven disappointment.

Firstly, you can definitely tell that this book was written by a man. The main character Zoey is completely unbelievable as a woman. Even though at 21, she's still just a girl. Somehow she is miraculously is the gun whisperer, having an innate knowledge of various weapons and is a stellar markswoman. This strikes me as odd what with her lack of all other basic knowledge that they aren't taught in the ARC.

The science is flimsy, at best. Though the author explains things through various narratives, there are still gaping plot holes where the lack of female babies is concerned. Why would the 'scientists' further endanger the future of the women and babies with psychological torture, unnatural incubation, and physical abuse? In a desperate attempt to repopulate the earth with babies--male or female, one would assume that the women would be treated with the utmost care, pampering, and respect to cultivate a better environment for bringing children into the world.

Don't even get me started about the author's handling of the character, Lily.

Oddly enough, I also find that when an author uses a classic novel as a motif, in this case, The Count of Monte Cristo, I begin to hate it that much more because it suggests that this work is as important/influential as that particular work. I hate, hate, hate that! The only function this motif served was to point out how much this novel pales in comparison.

I appreciate that the author was descriptive and added flourishes to his writing, but there IS such a thing as overdoing it.

I don't recommend it. Sorry.

Profile Image for Cecilia.
10 reviews
February 3, 2016
Terrible book. The premise was interesting enough but the narrative flow is just off, doesn't work and there's no depth to it.
Profile Image for  Charlie.
477 reviews215 followers
March 25, 2016
The Last Girl – Book One The Dominion Trilogy by Joe Hart

Published by Thomas & Mercer

An old fashioned, science fiction cat and mouse story that combines all the now ‘traditional’ tropes of the YA post apocalyptic dystopian genre with a horrifying premise and super hero like protagonist. Whilst the first half of the book is quite tempered and focused on world building, the second half really opens up and has more action than your average Tom Cruise movie.

There are no female babies being born due to a virus that has mutated and started killing adults as well which is not really good for anyone. Apart from the obvious risk to the existence of the human race, with so many men running around the world has no doubt turned into a gigantic idiotic unwashed pile of testosterone, alcohol and excrement. So some clever people/psychotic scientists grabbed whatever young girls, the youngest they could find, locked them up in a mysterious compound and fed them a story to believe in about the fate of the outside world and their duty.

Zoey does not see things in such black and white realities and as punishment for her dereliction of duties she spends three days in a dark box that seems designed to put her through an immense amount of physical and mental discomfort. Instead of breaking her, the darkness gives her a realisation of self and allows her to conquer her own fears leaving her feeling she has nothing to lose and unleashing her inner Rambo. Every instinct she had about the world about her is proved right as she uncovers lie after lie and makes her decision to escape. At this point the superbly written action takes off and it does not really let up for the rest of the book

That’s really it. The Zoey character, and her arc so far, is I’m afraid to say one we have seen before, urged into action to protect someone weaker than her, shooting skilfully despite never holding a gun, surviving helicopter crashes with minor injuries and leading the first stages of what may be a revolution. It seems her biggest challenge is over coming the logic of the situations she is placed in. She is told she is important and the last hope for saving the human race yet is roomed with two girls who want to kill her. She and other girls are punished for breaking the rules by being thrown in a box of absolute darkness that can physically and mentally destroy them. It’s like Ender’s Game but instead of the end goal being the creation of a wise young man who will save the human race as he has learnt too never rely on anyone else but himself, here Zoey is just subjected to shitty management. Any idiot would separate them entirely, especially as the abundance of space is constantly referenced, but no this group decides to punish the aggressor and then let them hang out unsupervised later on.

Hart seems to give a bit of a nod to the fact that he is checking off the boxes of what makes these books so popular at the moment even going so far as to have one character introduce themselves like this “I guess you could say I’m an old man living in the mountains’’ which means he’s given us the wise and skilled parental type and that would make Zoey ‘Katniss/Tris’, the ARC is W.I.C.K.E.D. and well you get it.

The Last Girl starts with a great idea and some fantastic action sequences but draws too much from the already established series that are now dominating our cinema screens without bringing anything truly original to the table. That being said there is every chance this could be the new generation’s “Hunger Games”. 3/5

This book was provided by the publishers and did not affect my review.

Profile Image for Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews.
492 reviews49 followers
March 29, 2016
Of all the viruses that could lead to the extinction of humanity, this one takes the cake. No more baby girls. I can’t think of a more prolonged, hopeless way for people to be wiped from the face of the earth. To say that I was intrigued was an understatement. Government conspiracies, people being reduced to test subjects. Where do I sign up!

Joe hart did a fabulous job of building Zoe’s character. As a reader, I was pulled into her life of captivity and I was appalled at how people could (and most likely would) reduce the lives of the few remaining young women to prisoners and guinea pigs. I connected with her need to rebel, escape, to find a better, more human life.

The story was well written, it had a good flow and I really got into the inventive twist that Joe Hart has put on his apocalypse. It was something new and different, it stands out as possible and plausible in the dystopian genre.

While the virus was unique and the protagonist very well written, there were certain elements of The Last Girl that I felt like I’ve seen before. There was a bit from Fahrenheit 451 that left me wondering, “But why?” And the whole bland uniform that seems so prevalent in dystopian books. I get that it is a unifying factor that removes individualism, plus there is the practical aspect. But giving these girls yellow dresses would have helped to separate The Last Girl from the rest of the pack that little bit more.

All in all, The Last Girl is an excellent book with an intriguing concept. There was a smooth flow to the plot and a diverse cast of characters that pulled me into the story.

*I received a copy of the book from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for  Simply Sam ツ.
567 reviews77 followers
February 7, 2017
***2.5 Stars***

This book was a string of poorly thought out, rash decisions. The plot, the setup, the whole shebang just wasn't logical. Had there been an alternate motive, had the author took this in a different direction, had there been more then maybe, just maaaaaybe, it would have jived better.

Unfortunately, it was not meant to be.

The "bad" guys were bad in a way that made no sense. Like none. Their actions were completely counter to their supposed goal.

Our protagonist is an annoying 20/21 year old who acts like a 15 yo yet somehow manages to be the most bad ass out of the characters.

Really? Really?

How much is a life worth?

I don't know about a life, but I can tell you my time is worth a helluva lot more than this book.
Profile Image for Karen’s Library.
1,048 reviews159 followers
June 18, 2017
My favorite genre is post-apocalytic, so I did enjoy the premise of this book.

Zoey is one of 7 young women at a facility trying to solve why women can no longer give birth to females. The problem is that the girls are prisoners, and although they are told how special they are, are treated like subhumans. No freedom, no books, no special treats of any kind.

I read this quickly, and the action in the last half had me on the edge of my seat. There were some brutal scenes in here and I think there are more to come in the next books of the series. I'd like to find out what happens next so will continue on.
Profile Image for Eric Allen.
Author 3 books729 followers
December 2, 2016
Present tense. Fuck that shit. One star on general principle! Returned to Audible.com for a refund. Any author that writes entire books in present tense can fucking choke on it.

A book I can't finish gets one star by default. A book written in present tense will usually piss me off so badly that I can't get past the first chapter. I absolutely despise the use of present tense in books. it annoys me so much that it utterly ruins nearly every book that uses it, making it completely unreadable to me. I refuse to read books written in present tense and I refuse to support the careers or authors that use it for an entire fucking book, rather than just dream sequences and such. I like dystopian books a lot, but since the Hunger Games came along, it seem that every single one of them is written in present tense because the Hunger Games was. I'm not thrilled with the change toward trying to emulate some of the most badly written, generic schlock I've ever had the displeasure to read in a genre I enjoy. Anyway, I couldn't get past the first chapter because the whole present tense thing annoyed me far too much. If you, like me, absolutely hate books written in present tense. Avoid this one.

*dusts off the soapbox*

Show publishers that you do not want to read crap written in present tense by not paying money for it, returning books for refunds that you buy that turn out to be written in it, and giving feedback on their web pages/other applicable social media. Most of the time, when I say I really dislike present tense in books, I get blank stares. After I explain what that means, I usually get agreement that yes, they don't really like it either. There are a few that don't really care, or don't really know the difference. But people who do outnumber them by a fair margin in my experience. Soooooooo, if you don't like it, don't pay money for it, don't read it, don't support it, and let the publishers know that this is not what you're looking for in a book. Don't simply tolerate it because there is no other choice. There IS a choice. You can choose not to buy or read it. You hold the power. Without your money the publishers can't continue publishing books. Their entire existence depends upon your support. You can make a difference. You can make them change their ways. Don't just buy it and suffer through because there's no other choice. There is a choice. Don't buy it at all. Don't read it at all. Send them the message that you're sick of this crap and don't want to see it anymore. The publishing industry is a business and if enough people stop paying money for this crap they will stop publishing it. If enough people send them the message that they do not want crap like this in their books, rather than tolerating it and grumbling to themselves over it and still paying out for it, they'll get the message, and they'll stop buying books written in this style to publish because they are no longer profitable. You have the power to change the publishing industry. All you have to do is stop paying money and reading books written in styles that you don't like. The sheer number of people I've spoken to who either find present tense annoying or outright hate it, but yet still read it and pay money for it is ridiculous. Why are you supporting and paying for something you find to be annoying or just flat out hate? Stop it, and the publishers will stop publishing books written that way. It's that simple. The reason publishers keep publishing books written entirely in present tense, is because people keep buying them. If you don't buy them anymore, they'll stop publishing them. All you have to do is stop supporting authors and publishers that put out books in present tense, and they will go away.

Fuck present tense, fuck authors that write entire books in it, and fuck publishers that keep publishing books that try to clone the events and writing style of the Hunger Games.

If you don't really mind books written in present tense, well, enjoy your books. There's a lot of them out there, especially amongst the dystopian genre. But if you're like me, and really dislike it, or even mildly dislike it, LET THE PUBLISHERS KNOW BY NOT SPENDING MONEY ON IT AND TELLING THEM THAT YOU WOULD PREFER THEY STOP PUBLISHING BOOKS WRITTEN THIS WAY!!!
Profile Image for Heather.
1,151 reviews11 followers
March 8, 2016
SPOILER NOTE: I can’t review this book without including some details from later in the book, although I’m not going to give away everything that happens, or how things end up.

Evil people in this book are stereotypes. There might have been one handsome devil if I remember correctly, but by and large all the bad guys follow the truism of evil = ugly. It made them seem a cartoon evil. Also, given the ratio of violent assholes to actual people who care about what happens to the girls, I find it hard to believe that the girls housed in the ARC weren’t having a much rougher time of things.

The ARC puts on an elaborate fiction for these girls. They’re constantly surrounded by guards, but their personal guards (‘clerics’) were with them long enough that most of them had some feelings for the girls they’re protecting. They seem to be the only ones. The girls go to ‘class’ where they learn from one sole book that they’ve been studying from for years. It’s everything you expect when you hear the phrase, ‘the winners write the histories.’ The girls are told that when they’re 21 they get to go home. There’s a ceremony and a white dress and everything. There are two major problems with these charades. One, they’re unnecessary. Why are these evil people bothering to pretend the girls will be able to leave, that they’re really there for their own protection? Frankly, if they’d just built it as an actual prison, with all the safeguards that entails, it would keep the girls safer without all the money the bad guys must spend on faking everything. Two, why all the happy mysticism built up around going home at 21? It should be obvious to all the girls, given how many eeeevil people they deal with who constantly leer at them, that no one’s going home. There’s no gain to be had by housing girls until they’re 21 ‘for their protection’ and then turning them out into the world, so it should have been obvious to them that something was amiss.

Instead, of course, that’s the age at which the bad guys start trying to breed them to see if they can birth girls. Given that they’re basically doing test-tube babies, they could just keep all the girls together throughout their lives and simply extract eggs from them on a routine basis. The entire compound is constructed in a manner that makes little practical or economic sense to me whatsoever.

It’s good that Zoey has her sympathetic ‘cleric,’ Simon (and his attractive son Lee), and that she eventually meets a handful of good guys later. Otherwise I’d think all anyone had their mind on any more is rape, rape, and more rape. Good god, I realize there are some fairly evil people in this world, and that women are in awfully short supply, but I was starting to feel like there was a male = rapist thing going on for a while.

Speaking of the threat of rape: two guards conspire to rape Zoey and one of her friends. Now, apparently they can get away with it because the guard watching the videos likes to sleep through his shift, and they’re going to take the girls down to a camera blind spot way off in the machine room. For some reason it never seems to occur to them that the girls’ rooms also don’t have cameras and are much easier to break into (not to mention the girls would have no way to run out on them because the girls can’t open their own doors).

Hell, all the ARC had to do if they really just want eggs from these women is to set up a safe housing area where families that include living women (who these days have to stay hidden so they don’t get kidnapped) will be protected as long as the women allow eggs to be extracted. Then not only would they not have to use all these shenanigans to keep them under control, but they’d have a much wider pool of genetic material to pull from.

NOTE: Book provided free by publisher for review
Original review on my site: http://www.errantdreams.com/2016/03/r...
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sandra "Jeanz".
1,154 reviews162 followers
March 18, 2016
This one sounds like a mix/mash up of a dystopian genre & post apocalyptic genre, which are both genres I love. In this book, women are a rarity, making them a high value commodity. I really like the blurb of this one.
I downloaded an e-copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. The cover shows a rather desolate looking landscape with a lone female walking towards the horizon.
Would the cover make me pick this book up from a book store shelf? Yes, I would pick this one up from the shelf, to read the blurb and then it would be going straight to the checkout to be purchased!
This book begins with an explanation of "Before", in 2017 there has been a "drought of females born". This situation worsens so much that in 2018, any female who has given birth to a female baby in the last five years is asked to join a voluntary program. However soon this program is made mandatory. In fact females are actively searched for and taken from their families to Advance Research Compound. Naturally this forces many to attempt to hide their daughters, sisters etc. The lack of females being born is blamed on a virus called T1F3 as researchers say this virus is responsible for causing changes in pregnant women allowing them to only successfully carry and give birth to males. This time in history of ever decreasing female births is given the name of "The Dearth"
There are seven girls in the section of the Advance Research Compound, which is under the rules and guidance of the National Obstetric Alliance (NOA). These seven girls live in the lower section of the Advance Research Compound, they attend "lessons" with an older woman called Miss Gwen, almost everyone else in the facility is male. Each of the seven girls has a cleric assigned to escort her and "keep her in line". Most of the cleric's have their sons living with them at the facility too, yet none of them have a "wife".
Terra, is the eldest of the seven girls, she is coming up to her 21st birthday which means she will move on to the next level of the Advance Research Compound program, where she will obtain the dream that keeps all the girls going and be reunited with her parents and go on to live a great life and have children. Zoey is the main character in the book and she is best friends with Terra. In fact Terra has helped to shield both Zoey and another girl Lily from the bullying from Rita, Sherell and Penny. Naturally Zoey doesn't want to lose her friend but Terra tries to make things seem better saying that Zoey doesn't have so long to wait until it her turn. The girls live an isolated life, escorted everywhere when they are out of their rooms, by their own personal cleric. Zoey's cleric is Simon, and he has a son called Lee who has a soft spot for her. In fact when against the rules someone leaves books for Zoey to read her first thought is that Lee has sneaked them in for her, but he denies it and we learn later who left her the books.
Zoey has a sharp mind and doesn't just accept what she is told like the majority of the other girls do. So when a chance presents itself when she has secretly been in a conspiracy with Lee, planning to escape, she goes ahead and grabs it.
Zoey is then on the run, with literally just the clothes on her back, she meets a group of survivors which include two older women, the first Zoey has ever seen other than Miss Gwen. One of these survivor's is Merrill, he has a daughter called Meeka who he believes is alive and living in the very same facility that Zoey just escaped from. Merrill puts a scheme for rescuing his daughter and the other girls in the facility and Zoey agrees. It had always been her aim and within her plan that she wanted to rescue all the girls, even Rita, Sherell and Penny.
I could seriously go on and on about this book. It has a well developed description of "Before" and then the whole "Dearth". The book is a fantastic mixture of a post apocalyptic setting with many dystopian elements, which I have barely touched upon in my review. This book has definitely been well thought out from it's setting, the brilliant characters of all the girls, to the detailed information about the work the National Obstetric Alliance decrees should be carried out, as well as the Advanced Research Compound.
There is always something happening within the book, which keeps your attention and interest. At times the action in this book has you teetering on the edge of your seat!
Did I enjoy the book? I really loved it from beginning to end and had a hard job writing this review, stopping myself rattling on and on about it!
Would I recommend the book? Definitely yes!
Would I want to read another book in this series? Oh yes, I am certain I want to read The Final Trade (expected September 2016) and of course the final book in the Trilogy whenever that is released too.
Would I want to read more by this author? I've been on Goodread's checking out the other titles available by Joe Hart. I'd certainly want to read anything sci-fi/post apocalyptic/dystopian he writes!

What a brilliant read from beginning to end...can't wait for book 2! I highly recommend reading this one!
Profile Image for Fabi.
1,009 reviews144 followers
April 19, 2017
So much tragedy. So much emotion. This is a spellbinding story of survival. An action packed, emotion filled dystopian with shades of apocalypse. A heart-stopping, thrilling ride with our heroine.

Zoey, oh sweet, strong Zoey. So much destruction. So much pain.

4.5 stars for this superbly well written story. I'm keeping half a star back for a plot twist that I wish had gone in a different direction. Nothing but personal preference. It worked well the way it was presented.

This is how a book should be written and edited. Flawless. I read so much indie work that I've gotten to the point where less than half a dozen typos is ok. A point where a few minor plot holes are forgiven. Then, I read a book like this one. One the author can take pride in. One where the reader feels honored to have read it. Then, I remember why I fell in love with reading in the first place. I remember why I shouldn't accept "almost good enough".

Authors and editors, no more 5 stars for "almost good enough". If I see typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, pacing issues, etc. I WILL CALL YOU OUT.
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