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The Last 8

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A high-stakes survival story about eight teenagers who outlive an alien attack—perfect for fans of The 5th Wave

Clover Martinez has always been a survivor, which is the only reason she isn't among the dead when aliens invade and destroy Earth as she knows it.

When Clover hears an inexplicable radio message, she's shocked to learn there are other survivors—and that they're all at the former Area 51. When she arrives, she's greeted by a band of misfits who call themselves The Last Teenagers on Earth.

Only they aren't the ragtag group of heroes Clover was expecting. The group seems more interested in hiding than fighting back, and Clover starts to wonder if she was better off alone. But then she finds a hidden spaceship, and she doesn't know what to believe…or who to trust.

357 pages, Hardcover

First published March 5, 2019

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About the author

Laura Pohl

28 books430 followers
Laura Pohl is the New York Times best-selling author of The Grimrose Girls. Her debut novel, The Last 8, won the International Latino Book Awards. She likes writing messages in caps lock, never using autocorrect, and obsessing about Star Wars. When not taking pictures of her dog, she can be found curled up with a fantasy or science-fiction book or replaying Dragon Age. Her favorite Disney princess is Cinderella, and her favorite Disney prince is Kylo Ren. A Brazilian at heart and soul, she makes her home in São Paulo.

She is represented by Kari Sutherland at Bradford Literary.

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5 stars
406 (22%)
4 stars
641 (35%)
3 stars
527 (29%)
2 stars
176 (9%)
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61 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 345 reviews
Profile Image for Laura Pohl.
Author 28 books430 followers
February 2, 2019
if I don't rate if 5 stars who will amirite

Content warning: Clover struggles with both PTSD/depression, and even discusses a suicide attempt.

There are several LGBT characters, and Clover, the main character, is bisexual/aromantic (it's an ownvoices story).

05.28.2018 update: My cover is live! It also has an excerpt from the first chapter if you want to read it.

January 15, 2020

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While reading this book in preparation for the ARC I received for the sequel, I was thinking to myself, "Books like these are why the three-star rating exists." It's a good book but not a particularly memorable; this is the type of fast-paced, brain candy that you consume on a flight or keep in your purse and then immediately forget about once you're done. Does that mean the book is bad? No. Does that mean the writing is terrible? No. It just means that, as fun as it is, it won't be topping any of my favorites lists.

Also, whoever compared this to THE FIFTH WAVE-- no. I see you, blurb writer. And you are wrong. If anything, this book is like Titan A.E. meets Animorphs.

Clover lives on a ranch with her family. They keep to themselves and don't hurt anybody, which makes it extra horrible when everyone Clover cares about-- her family, her boyfriend, the entire human race-- is killed by an invading race of creepy aliens that look half-human/half-metal spider (i.e. my worst nightmare). They have laser guns that turn people to dust with a single hit. Humanity never stood a chance... except, for some reason, they don't appear to see Clover.

Clover spends the next part of the book wandering aimlessly, and contemplates suicide several times. Readers, take note: suicide is a recurring motif in this book, for both depression and self-sacrifice. It is mentioned many, many times with a casualness that's kind of shocking. So if that's something that you're sensitive to, you may want to avoid this book. Luckily, Clover's depression abates to a point when she hears a mysterious broadcast whose cryptic riddle appears to be urging her to Area 51--

And once she goes there, on a whim, she learns that she isn't alone.

I think anyone who enjoys those teen warrior type books will really enjoy this book. That's what reminded me about Animorphs so strongly-- that, and the fact that the creepoid aliens in this book kind of seemed like the types of characters the Animorphs might encounter on one of their side missions. I really enjoyed learning about the backstory of them a little more and why they wanted to invade Earth, although if I'm being perfectly honest, I thought the reason was a bit disappointing.

The parts about the aliens and the invasion could have been fleshed out more and the reason why the aliens didn't "see" Clover felt like a deus ex machina. I'm inclined to be forgiving since this is just a young adult book and it's meant to be in good fun, but I like being shook and this was barely a poke. Honestly, though, it's much, much better than THE FIFTH WAVE, which I didn't like at all. The aliens are cooler and the characterization of the leads was more developed.

THE LAST 8 is a fun book for fans of alien invasion stories and post-apocalypse fiction. Just don't pick it up expecting a mover and a shaker, or for your mind to be blown by magnificent twists.

I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.

3 to 3.5 stars
Profile Image for Rafael Fulanetti.
8 reviews19 followers
May 27, 2018
This book is amazing! I was breathless and I couldn't let go of it until it was finished.

The characters are so real and interesting. I was eager to have more and more information about them and watch their interactions. It's fun, it has drama, a well structured story, aliens , spaceships and friendship.

Go buy this book as soon as it lands the market. I promise you won't regret it!

Profile Image for Iris.
Author 18 books628 followers
October 9, 2017
This book is amazing! Laura has a fresh writing and she managed to create awesome characters. It's diverse, funny, but also emotional. I loved Clover, but my favorite one is Iolanthe. Full of plot twists and almost no romance, it's the alien adventure I wanted. Friendships takes a big role on this book, just like family. There are physics, adventure and spaceships. Everyone is so clever! She put together an incredible group of people with the same goal.

This book is a must read and I can't wait for 2019, so I can talk about it to everyone.
Profile Image for Sofia Soter.
Author 51 books178 followers
November 23, 2018
I knew I was going to love this, but I had no idea how much. the story, the characters, the writing (and some passages in particular) will stay with me for a long time. my heart is now bursting with love, pride and a spark of much-needed hope.

read this as soon as you can, I promise you it's worth it.
Profile Image for laurel [the suspected bibliophile].
1,414 reviews391 followers
March 3, 2019
Trigger Warning: Suicidal Ideations, Suicide

2.5 stars

Clover is one of the few remaining humans left after a brutal alien invasion.

One of eight, actually.

And she wants to fight back. To take back the Earth. Make the aliens pay.

Hmmmmmmmmph. That's my feeling on this book.

On the one hand, it wasn't bad. It had just the right amount of action, intensity and emotion to be enjoyable, with characters who were ethnically and sexually diverse (in addition to being Latina, I think that Clover was also aro and I'm so happy for that rep) and became a rag-tag family. I really liked the first couple chapters, with the build-up to and then the actual alien invasion. The tension and despair and lack of knowing what the blisters was going on was so well done.

On the other, the rest of it just wasn't good. To me anyways. I know that other people will love this.

But I couldn't suspend my disbelief enough to really get into the swing of this book. Sometimes I could, and I found myself enjoying it, and then something happened and I was like lol no. Like air ducts in a spaceship in space. Or the fact that the people at Area 51 kept their planes fully fueled in the hangar, along with fully armed with live ammunition and missiles. What. That sounds like an accident just waiting to happen. Also—when you pull the ejection handle, you remain attached to the seat. The seat is what has the parachute. And also—you're really strapped down in that thing. Can't go jostling around when pulling 7 gees, amiright?

And this is the part where the rest is in spoilers because, uh, spoilers.

Anywho. To wrap up another too long review (why? why am I like this??), I feel like this will be enjoyable to a lot of teens, particularly those who are excited to read a book about alien invasions that doesn't have a romantic subplot taking over the storyline.

For jaded adult me, however, it was a meh. Then again, I'm not the target audience.

I received this ARC from NetGalley and Edelweiss for an honest review.
Profile Image for Rê .
455 reviews56 followers
February 13, 2019

3.5 "Diverse Teen Independence Day” Stars

ARC via NetGalley

Thank you, Sourcebooks Fire

Trigger warning: suicide.

I wanted to rate this book higher, and I would’ve had it not been for the last few pages and how suicide was portrayed near the end.

First of all, this author is Brazilian, so HECK YEEESSS!


I’m going to be the first to admit I’m not a huge sci-fi fan. I know nothing about Star Wars, Star Trek or other TV shows/movies referenced in the book aside from Will Smith’s Independence Day. That one I’ve watched a hundred times—it’s a great movie.


Having said that, I love stories about the end of the world and alien invasions, especially when the characters are so diverse, so I was really excited about this one. Besides, it’s written by a Brazilian author, so, again, YEEESS!!!

It took me some time to get into The Last 8 because I kept expecting more details that would make me feel truly immersed in the world and what was happening. Like the blurb says, aliens invade, everyone is dying and shit is happening, but I didn’t really feel much while I was reading. This is partially because Clover, the main character, is a more practical and less emotional person, but it’s also because the writing didn’t dive deep enough into the setting and the world.

Things really got interesting for me when Clover met the group of teens called The Last Teenagers on Earth and they decided to do something about the aliens. The action scenes were great, especially the ones with Clover doing amazing things while piloting a plane. There were also some really good moments as Clover spent time alone with some of the other teens and opened up to them, or let them open up and listened.

I also enjoyed the big twist that came into play a little after the halfway mark. I could see some of it coming, but not all of it, so I ended up being surprised! Yay!

Now, I have to say that while I LOVE and LIVE for a diverse group of characters (and the diversity here was AMAZING!!!!!!!), they weren’t distinctive enough as individuals. The story was told from Clover’s perspective, so we didn’t get a chance to really get to know the other teens (the last survivors), and while the author tried to give them different jobs/activities, in the end they pretty much sounded the same to me. I kept trying and failing to remember who they were and what they did. The one I liked the most ended up not having the best ending, so…*sad face*

Now, none of the things above would’ve kept me from rating this 4 stars or more, but the thing that bothered me the most was how suicide was portrayed in the end.

With that said, there were some great moments in this book, especially with the action scenes, that reminded me of Independence Day. After all, who doesn’t like to see a group of diverse teenagers and an adorable dog (OMG, MY HEART!) fighting to save the planet from creepy aliens?
Profile Image for Emily.
451 reviews48 followers
June 9, 2019
I cried TWICE reading about teenagers and aliens and friendship so, like, read this too as soon as it comes out maybe?
Profile Image for Vicky Again.
595 reviews817 followers
April 7, 2019
4 stars

I sped through this way faster than I expected, especially given that

(1) I was not in a sci-fi mood (I want to read more romance right now)
(2) I read 50% while sitting in direct sunlight, sweating sunblock and sweat profusely
(3) Did I mention that I really wanted to read a romance novel?

BUT. I actually really enjoyed this. As much as I love romance-focused books, I greatly dislike books with other main plots that decide to pick up romance too, and I wholeheartedly stand by the idea that a traditional YA romance would have deteriorated the experience of reading The Last 8.

Before I get into this though, let me start by saying that this book was great and action-packed and really pulled through in being enjoyable.

I loved the action and the level-headedness Clover kept all throughout the story, which made it really focused on the plot, and let the reader think a lot about the mystery and the aliens and why these teens managed to survive on Earth when everyone else did not.

The action was there, it was present, and even though sometimes it was just Clover driving at the beginning of the story, it was still engaging as there’s a lot of things that had happened with everyone being killed by aliens, and I really enjoyed that engagement Pohl wrote into the story.

This was the book’s strongest point in my mind–I really enjoyed all the entertainment value in it, and that’s what made me keep on reading this novel.

As for the romance, there wasn’t really anything grand or sweeping that took up page time or made me want to tear my hair out, which I greatly enjoyed. None of that “we’re about to die let’s kiss at the WORST POSSIBLE MOMENT” stuff going on, thank goodness.

Plus, this book features a really diverse cast of characters, which was great to see.

What ultimately made me drop a star was how I felt like the characters weren’t dynamic enough. I didn’t think Clover really grew a lot as a character? She didn’t get that YA growth arc, and I personally wish she learned more in the duration of the story.

She’s smart at the beginning, smart at the middle, smart at the end. She knows what to do. And as much as it was nice getting to read a competent main character, I did feel like The Last 8 was missing a bit of the “teens are growing and learning” portion of the equation.

I wanted Clover to be more dynamic–I wanted her to really get that nice growth arc. So ultimately, although I think The Last 8 really pulled through with the plot arc, it was a bit lacking in the character portion.

But I still love the characters, especially the scene where we got to see Clover and some of her almost self-destructive thoughts, already deciding that the other teens didn’t like her and preemptively cutting herself out of the group.

That scene really resonated with me, because I think that sort of destructive behavior is something a lot of people experience and go through with, despite the varying levels of rationality of their conclusion.

Overall, The Last 8 was a super fun read that somehow made me enjoy and speed through sci-fi when I was in a very much Not Sci-Fi mood. I’d recommend to anyone looking for an action-packed story feat. aliens and the last teens on Earth!

NOTE: The author has acted in ways that I don't necessarily condone, (see Cait @ PaperFury's review and Destiny @ Howling Libraries's review), so it's up to you whether you should read. It is a good book, although I'm hesitant to try her future work.

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Sourcebooks FIRE for providing me with a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review!

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Vicky Who Reads
Profile Image for Amber (Ambee's Bookish Pages).
502 reviews56 followers
February 7, 2019
The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for the opportunity to review this book!

I want to start my review off with this: The Last 8 is a book that you aren't going to want to miss this year. This book is being marketed for fans of The 5th Wave and anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE that book and movie with all my heart. The Last 8 exceeded all of my expectations. Filled with finding friendships, aliens, finding yourself in the face of disaster The Last 8 is the perfect way to bring in 2019 and alien invasions.

All of Clover's dreams and actions for working for NASA are thrown of the window when the aliens invade earth and kill off most of earth's population, all except for Clover and seven other teenagers who have been hanging out in Area 51 since the invasion. When Clover hears a radio message that leads her to Area 51 and the other teens, she finally feels like she has a chance to fight back, only: everyone is pretty content with just existing and playing video games and staying safe. Clover isn't having it though and after uncovering some dark government secrets learns that everything isn't exactly what they thought and there might be hope for them after all.

*This paragraph is going to discuss Clover's suicide attempts if you would like to skip a head to the next paragraph!*

I love Clover's character. Clover is a seventeen year old ace/aro pilot who longs to be in the sky even when it is no longer safe. From the beginning of the novel we see how intelligent and resourceful Clover is and how she continues to be through out the entirety of the novel. Though I know not many people are going to take lightly to the talk over Clover's suicide attempts I did actually appreciate them in the novel. Clover doesn't shy away from the fact that she has had struggles since the invasion, that at times she felt like life wasn't continuing. I loved the part where she acknowledges the fact that Adam is developing feelings for and she explains to him how something between them will never happen because she identifies as bisexual and aromantic. I enjoyed the fact that The Last 8 didn't need a romance aspect to move the plot forward.

I never expected a book about aliens to make me tear up but the friendships built between the characters definitely pulled at my heart strings a little bit. The plot of The Last 8 was fast paced and didn't stop for one moment. Each chapter was a new development in the plot to drive it forward. Overall I really enjoyed The Last 8 and I can't wait to see where Pohl is going to take this gang of characters next!
Profile Image for Kathleen.
93 reviews66 followers
December 22, 2021

Umm, where to even start? This book should become a movie.

The plot was really good and the mysterious aspects where very intriguing. This book just wasn’t it for me.

I really don’t know why I didn’t like this book that much. It was such a good book, but for some reason I don’t feel a connection with it. It think it has to do with the characters. I felt like the book was rushed, and I never really got to understand the characters or get to even like them. The main character Clover, ugh I didn’t really like her. At times she was so unreasonable and annoying I wanted to scream.

Don’t get me wrong, the storyline is great. The characters just didn’t back it up enough for me to love this book. I think the reason I didn’t like this one as much is because it just didn’t work for me. I encourage you all to give it a try because maybe you will love the characters and relate to them in ways that I couldn’t.

Anyways, back to my main point. This book is movie-type material. The action, the heartbreak, the surprise. It’s all interesting. I hate to say this, but if this book became a movie, I think I would like the movie better than the book. 🙈
Profile Image for Robson Gabriel.
Author 6 books31 followers
August 1, 2018

Laura Pohl is a breathe of fresh air in YA science fiction, her book should
definitely be on everyone's radar.

With strong and diverse characters, Laura's narrative is something new and unique. It got me always wanting more and more about the Aliens and the teenagers survivors. Theres always a element of suprise in her writing.

The Last 8 is told in Clover's point of view. She needs to deal with the end of the world as she knew it, the loss of her grandparents and her ex boyfriend. In her journey, Clover understands the real meaning of life and it's importance for her and the other survivors.

Laura built a world full of chaos, giving the reader a full survivor story filled with adventure and science. Once you read it, theres no turning back!
Profile Image for Solaine Chioro.
Author 18 books134 followers
October 4, 2017
Profile Image for CW ✨.
644 reviews1,692 followers
October 19, 2020
Woah. You know what, I thought I was over post-apocalyptic YA stories. I didn't like Divergent, The 5th Wave, Under the Never Sky but The Last 8 proved me very wrong - what a phenomenal, exciting, and brilliant book!

- Follows Clover, an aromantic Mexican-American teen who is one of the last survivors on Earth following the deadly invasion of aliens. When she finds another group of teens hiding away in Area 51, Clover will discover that not everyone wants to fight back - until she finds a spaceship hidden away, changing her and the group of teens lives forever.
- Honestly? I was glued to this book the moment I started it. I distinctly remember lying awake in bed, my eyes wide (despite the fact I should've been sleeping) because Pohl's description of the aliens and the ever-present sense of death and desolation were so terrifying and visceral.
- I actually really enjoyed all the characters and thought their developments were fascinating and so interesting, especially Violent and Andy. I also really enjoyed the end-of-the-earth queer jokes?
- The heart of this book is about survival - and what we fight for. But what I feel stands apart from the mediocre post-apocalyptic YA that we see, The Last 8 actually delves into the psychology of survival and how it isn't always as clear cut as it may seem. There were plenty of twists that were exciting and took the story to new heights.
- I just had so much fun reading this book! I picked up the sequel immediately after finishing it because it was THAT good.

Trigger/content warning: death of a loved one, suicide, gun violence, death themes, suicidal ideation, alcohol consumption, violence, murder
Profile Image for Kelli Wilson.
505 reviews121 followers
January 23, 2020
This is a young adult science fiction novel. It's basic premise is bad aliens attack earth, killing everyone and ....wait for it...only 8 survive! (That's not a spoiler folks, that's in the title.) There are a few themes taken from some of the major movies, but they aren't overwhelming or disruptive to the plot. The characters are all interesting making them unique in their own ways. There are no major romances included in the story, which I normally prefer to be included, however, that was not a problem for me in this one.

I have to say, I'm pleased that it leans more towards the adult than younger in YA. And there is lots of cursing, including F bombs, woohoo!! I admit, sometimes the YA's that leave out any cursing can feel too young to me and may kill the book for me. Also, for those who are not major sci-fi buffs, this felt more low key on that element overall, so perhaps you can still give this a try.

This was fast paced, high energy, constant pressure. I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Looking forward to see where the next book goes. (I should note, this book is a Duology.)
Profile Image for Bruna.
67 reviews12 followers
February 10, 2019
Okay. This book surprised me in so many levels. I've read other things from Laura, so I knew I would like it, but this was very different.
This book has everything I love in sci-fi stories: aliens, a realistic narrative, well-developed characters who have to deal with extreme situations...
I love every character and I love their arcs and relationships. I'm looking forward to see them again in the next book!
But I think what makes me love this book so much is that even though it's about literally the end of the world, it's much more about life and what's worth in it than about death and destruction. It's beautiful and it gives hopes in the most unexpected scenario.
Profile Image for Shorouk A.
535 reviews62 followers
November 22, 2018
Okay just WOW, I didn't see all that coming
. The story is brilliant. I will divide the review into two pieces : one for the first 40℅ and other for the rest of the book.

First part of review:
While reading this novel,  I was just thinking that this was the most realistic imagination of what would really happen with aliens. The author had good writing style although sometimes I skipped the details.It was absolutely a fast read .I decided to read the first chapter only and I found myself near 100 pages. The novel made me a little depressed but I think that isn't a bad thing about the novel . Our main character was okay . Up to the mid point, I didn't hate her or love her but I loved her grand father.
When Clover became one of the eight , she annoyed me . She didn't seem to be grateful enough for them.

Second part of review:
Here comes the creativity and uniqueness of the story . The story turned wild here and I didn't skip the details here at all.
I loved the teamwork here. There was some plot twists that I predicted but there were many twists that really shocked me.I loved Adam , he was the best. I think I liked all the characters but Clover was the least for me . I think my opinion of Clover will be unpopular but I just couldn't identify with her.I cried actually while reading this and I wasn't expecting that at all. The ending was good but didn't blow me away.Will I read the next part though?? Definitely.

Overall, I think this a must read for any one who likes sci-fi

One of my strongest reads this year. 4.5 stars.
Profile Image for Shannon (It Starts At Midnight).
1,144 reviews1,009 followers
March 5, 2019
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight


This was fun, and full of excitement! I think the comparisons to The Fifth Wave are perfect, but also, it's still completely different- in a good, yet dark way.

Things I Liked:

•This book could (and should!) be a movie. The author wrote it in such a way that I could genuinely picture Clover and the situations she was in. I could see how flawlessly scenes would change, etc. And sometimes it is just plain fun to read a book that moves so great.

•I love the apocalypse. You can judge me, but I do. I love it because it brings forth all these thought-provoking questions, and makes me really ponder every situation the character is in. This particular apocalypse felt especially terrifying- as you can see by the title, we're working with the assumption that these are the last eight people on Earth.

•The atmosphere was incredible. Continuing on my last pro, the author really made the world feel desperate and awful. You could truly sense the desolation that Clover was experiencing and just... wow.

•Full of twists! There is so much happening, and a lot of it I did not see coming. I read this super quickly, because it was hard to put down!

Things I Didn't Love:

•I had some trouble keeping all the survivors straight. Clover, obviously I knew. But the rest I kept getting confused, and that was hard. So when the focus was on the internal workings of the group, I got a wee bit bored.

•The pacing was a bit off in the middle. This leads back to my last point, because when there was a lot of discussion about the group in general, or infighting, I was kind of lost and my eyes were glazing over. It started out so action-packed, and ended up that way too, that the middle just felt a little underwhelming in comparison.

Bottom Line: A dark and enjoyable end-of-the-world book featuring a ton of diverse characters and some very good twists!
March 6, 2019
Imagine War of the Worlds meets a psychological examination on the survivors of the alien invasion. Imagine the survivors are all teens. This is the premise Laura Pohl brings us with The Last 8. A young Mexican-American teen named Clover Martínez is coming back from her school’s science fair when an alien invasion commences. No one knows what they are or why they’re on Earth, until the aliens start attacking the population. Slowly, but surely, Clover’s friends and family all die, leaving her to her own devices.
Dealing with survivor’s guilt, trauma, and suicidal ideation, Clover travels around the US in an attempt to find any more human survivors. With only a dog by her side, she accidentally comes across a radio transmission from some survivors who are hiding in what was Area 51. She hastily makes her way there, literally crashing her car into the base. As Clover starts recuperating, she realizes all the survivors in the base, including her, are teens: 8 in total. She also begins to realize that none of the kids know how devastating the invasion was, with their fearless leader, Violet, doing everything in her power to prevent Clover from exposing this. The teens are surviving, but not fighting back, which makes Clover incredibly frustrated and leads her to becoming more reckless in order to find out how to defeat the aliens.
There are secrets, deaths, and plot twists that perhaps you won’t see coming, all while still finding pockets of light in a text that could be heavy for some. Mental health is a major theme of the book, especially in terms of trauma and suicidal tendencies. Pohl doesn’t shy away from the realities of the topic, especially how depression tends to be depicted as an individual thing that people suffer from but it affects everyone around you as well. That’s also another major theme in the book: how the decision of one person can affect a collective.
And the collective is stronger together than they are individually, it’s made clear time and time again. Though all of them have individual strengths (for example, Clover is a great pilot/engineer while Avani is great at biology), whenever they try to go their separate ways they seem to be drawn to each other, to seeking each other’s help.
However, because they go they act like such a collective most times, it was kind of hard to discern each character’s personalities. At times they could be so one-dimensional, but it wasn’t until they got one-on-one face time with Clover that we can actually see their differences (I will never forgive Laura for making me read about r*ylo in a published book). Even still, those one-on-ones were my favorite moments of the book: like when Rayen and Clover do the interrogation, or any time Clover and Violet confront each other. The character death in the book is, while unnecessary, necessary in that… the character was just boring. For me, at least.
At some point the book turns from dystopian sci-fi to space opera, which is where the author’s Star Wars influence may have come into play. I have no idea what the second book in the duology will be about, seeing as the ending of the book tied up the narrative quite neatly, even while leaving a lot in the air in terms of the logistics of their escape (I’m being purposefully vague here, I don’t wanna give too much away).
Still, The Last 8 is an enjoyable ride full of twists that leave you with whiplash, while reiterating that though teens are susceptible to live with trauma, they are able to have fun. They go on joyrides and have parties and listen to Hamilton and play videogames. It’s a book that’s chockful of the recklessness and defiance that comes with being a teenager, all brought to the forefront in a world that’s been overrun by aliens. All of this is brought with a diverse cast (I’ll list them at the end), a well-paced storyline that kept me guessing, and harsh realness that has me interested in the next installment of the series.


An eARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Profile Image for Melissa.
560 reviews803 followers
March 7, 2019
If you like aliens, you’ll like this one. I’m not a big fan, but it seemed good, so I wanted to read it... It was somewhat an enjoyable read, with the right amount of action or emotional scenes, but at the same time... many things are unbelievable and left me sceptical. In the end, the sceptical feeling was the strongest, so I’m giving it 2 stars. But like I said, if you like aliens, you’ll like this one.

I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
March 4, 2019
An author that will subtweet you for not leaving a completely stellar review is not worth reading. People have had to delete reviews because of this and that's so trashy.

Let people leave their honest opinions so readers can be informed before they buy.
Profile Image for Aila.
911 reviews32 followers
March 22, 2019
You can find this review on Happy Indulgence!

My abeulo says that there are people who belong to the earth, and others, like us Martinezes, belong to the sky.

The Last 8 is a dazzling, sky-soaring debut from Laura Pohl. Featuring a Latina main character who is bisexual and aromatic (like me!!), it promises a fast-paced, stand-alone sci-fi adventure where eight teens are left standing in the middle of an alien invasion. I believe this book is also #ownvoices, but I’m not sure to which aspects of Clover’s character. While the suspension of belief is needed for this apocalyptic storyline, Pohl delivers with a tight explanation for the events and a satisfying answer to the mysteries surrounding the aliens. With character development from fierce characters and a wonderful exploration of friendship and survival, The Last 8 was fun from start to finish.

Clover was left at her grandparents’ door when she was an infant and grew up in kind of a rural area in Montana. She gained a love of piloting from her grandfather, and sees herself exploring a lack of romantic feelings for her ex-boyfriend, who likes her. In the midst of the introduction, however, we see an amalgam of alien spaceships land on Earth. The race is on.

While her town is left in ashes by these mysterious, impenetrable aliens, Clover somehow is not noticed and escapes. (There’s a good reason for her not being noticed later.) Cue a time skip that’s more than a bit jarring, and we get road-trip Clover, who picked up a dog and hears a radio call to Area 51, where survivors have gathered. Survival story? Check. Now to meet the rest of the gang…… a team of seven teens who somehow found their way together, and are content to live in the safety of the Area 51 bunker. Clover - an active resistor - is not happy with that and starts picking apart the story the team gives. Soon enough, our path to resistance begins.

On our own, we are nothing. Together, we’re the Last Teenagers on Earth. Together, we are Earth itself.

Quick tip: I love how most (if not all?) the survivors were LGBTQ+. I also appreciate the POC representation. It’s subtle, but there. In regards to Clover being bisexual and aromantic, I personally thought the representation was pretty solid, although it was quite light and not a big part of the story (I believe there were two or three distinct scenes with Clover talking about it). Her experiences and feelings were super valid though, I felt. It’s definitely possible to have sexual feelings about people without having romantic attraction, although I do think Clover’s lack of romantic attraction stems to other parts of her personality. (Example: sometimes she comes off as emotionally detached, which only adds to her character being full of purpose.)

While The Last 8 deals with some intense action scenes and revelations, it ultimately reads like a sci-fi movie. The Vine references, as well as the homage to various alien invasion movies, make The Last 8 relatable and laugh-out-loud. I really enjoyed Clover’s personality and her willingness to step up and take action against the mysterious aliens. It’s fast-paced and on the shorter side, making The Last 9 and pretty light story despite the (almost) non-stop action. Sci-fi readers will like this one! Fun, quick, and satisfying, this stand-alone debut will grip your attention from start to finish.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Content/Trigger Warnings: suicide ideation, suicide, murder/violence/gore, alcohol

Thank you SourceBooks Fire and Netgalley for the review copy!
Profile Image for Claudie Arseneault.
Author 18 books397 followers
March 11, 2019
tw suicide and suicide ideation, family deaths, mass extinction

I wanted to love this book. It sounded like good tropy alien fun with a bi aro latina MC and a large crew. I watched each character art & portrait being revealed on twitter with growing excitement, and I started the day it released (I very rarely do that). So I really wish the set-up wasn't my favourite part of it. It's not awful, it just… didn't get me on board, I guess? None of the twists surprised me, I found myself disliking important narrative choices, and it went all in on one of my biggest DNA pet peeve, so that didn't help. I'm certain half the things I didn't like would excite others, though. This book and I just weren't meant for each other.

That said, overall, I rather like the aro rep (and if you know me, you know that's why I picked it up first and foremost). I think it's a great example of how you can thread the line with the "harmful tropes" and give us full, deep characters. Clover is prickly, self-describes as cold, often struggles to make friends with others and puts pragmatism over emotions -- and yes, I do think that for aro readers who have been pigeonholed into 'cold assholes' because of their orientation and despite who they really are, this might be a struggle. We all bring our baggage to a story, and that's okay. But it's not on Clover and Laura Pohl, or on any aromantic character, to represent all of us, and Clover has enough layers and internal contradictions not to feel like a cardboard stereotype of what people think aromantic means. And I love that her story arc is in many ways the reverse of the exile one--from being alone to finding her community. THE LAST 8 has a lot of those good found family feels, especially in the last third. There IS, however, one important aro scene slightly after midpoint that concludes with a … really unfortunate line. I'm absolutely convinced it's accidental, but it pays to be prepared, because it can easily be read as So that hurt, but it's one line in an entire book, and Clover is imo a good aro protagonist.

One final, happier note: I LOVE SPUTNIK WITH ALL MY HEART. We all need more good doggos in our lives <3
Profile Image for USOM.
2,416 reviews199 followers
February 27, 2019
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Clover was like looking at a little piece of myself in the mirror. Clover is an aromantic Latina pilot, but she's a survivor. Forced to survive on her own for six months traveling around the US in the devastated wasteland, Clover arrives in Area 51 used to surviving on her own. Her hope is what has allowed her to survive every day, the loneliness, the hopelessness, the bleak survival. And now that Clover has arrived, she isn't sure that The Last Teenagers on Earth is where she wants to be.

But as the book progresses, we see how Clover stirs the pot. How their lives aren't really living, hiding out under the ground can only last for so long. And Clover is far from happy giving up hope on their planet. But nothing is at it seems. The long awaited company is hiding secrets more dangerous and treacherous than she can even imagine.

full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
Profile Image for J.D. DeHart.
Author 12 books44 followers
October 11, 2018
Perfect for young adult readers (and those of us who just enjoy YA lit), this book has action and science fiction adventure in well-written form. A text I would gladly share with my students or sit back and delve into myself.
Profile Image for tappkalina.
650 reviews400 followers
September 3, 2021
The main story was interesting, but there wasn't any meat in it. No subplot.
They had a goal and rushed there in a straight line.
It just felt flat.
Profile Image for Lisa Mandina.
1,866 reviews417 followers
March 11, 2019
4.5 stars.

This was a really good science fiction story that I'm happy to see is going to have a sequel. It left off in a way that we need it! Although it definitely led up to the very end as if it cold be a standalone, the ending left us hanging, not knowing what would happen! You get a lot of how it starts from the synopsis above. But the way the aliens destroy humans is really pretty terrifying, and then how that in turn affects any humans that they don't kill is scary on its own! We're left wondering why in the world the aliens don't seem to see Clover, why she is left alive. And while Clover wonders that herself, she feels like being alone, not having been able to save her friend or family, maybe she doesn't want to go on. Until she catches by accident a message on the radio calling any survivors to meet up at Area 51. Only once she gets there, it seems as if the other teens there don't trust her or want to give her a chance. At first. They have a leader, who doesn't like that Clover comes in telling the others living there what is going on out in the world. They've basically been hiding there, living on the things that are still stockpiled because of where it is.

But finding other people makes Clover realize there might even be more of them out there. And either way, life is worth going on, and fighting. It takes the death of one of their own for them to finally decide to try to do something, fight back, take back Earth. As you might expect though, there are all kinds of secrets and hidden things at Area 51. Spaceships? Got them. Alien life form? Got it. You just won't believe where they are, and who knows about them, and what all they know.

Definitely pick this up for a page-turning science fiction adventure.

This review first appeared on Lisa Loves Literature.
Profile Image for Katrina.
29 reviews
February 19, 2019
A great sci-fi read with great representation, solid romantic and friendly relationships full of honesty and openness (for the most part), and a suspenseful plot. 4.5 rounded down because the ending was a little slapdash and confusing.
Profile Image for Teri.
Author 5 books142 followers
December 31, 2018
I'm always up for a good alien invasion story.  When you toss in Area 51, a handful of surviving teens, and an adorable canine named Sputnik, it becomes a must read for me.  

This book gives the reader just enough time to care about Clover before throwing her in front of the aliens, so the pacing gets off to a good start.  It slows a bit once she reaches Area 51 due to drama between her and the other teens before picking up again.  I felt like there was some character inconsistency on Clover's part, with comments and actions coming out of the blue based on her prior behavior.  The group of survivors are wonderfully diverse, but some of their voices are similar and I had trouble distinguishing between them.

As a sci-fi geek, the pop culture references to Back to the Future and Independence Day had me doing happy dances.  For me, it's difficult to read or watch any alien story without thinking about Independence Day, and this novel contains some similar elements.

The Last 8 is strong out of the gate, drops intriguing clues throughout the book, and has interesting twists toward the end, but some plot holes and character inconsistencies slowed the momentum for me.    

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.  
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