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The Last Word

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  215 ratings  ·  88 reviews
1861. Miss Lucinda Leavitt is shocked when she learns the author of her favorite serialized novel has died before completing the story. Determined to learn how it ends, Lucinda reluctantly enlists the help of her father’s young business partner, Mr. David Randall, to track down the reclusive author’s former whereabouts.

David is a successful young businessman, but is overwh
Hardcover, 258 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by Swoon Reads
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  215 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader < Full Review

A delightful read for any fan of Victorian tales, but definitely a brilliant aim at YA readers. Hastings gives us a fantastic female protagonist who not only has a strong will but is realistically limited for most of the story by her gender, she's also a protagonist with a head for numbers. YES to this. We need more female characters interested in STEM. Lucinda was such fun to read about and I loved her wit and David was just adorable. The st
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, july-2019
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight .

I hadn't really been sure I would read this when I found it in my FierceReads package. It seemed awfully cute, which isn't bad, I just didn't know if it was my "thing". Anyway, after reading a ton of books set in the future, I was jonesing for some historical fiction (and fine, something relatively short, don't judge). So I grabbed it off the shelf, and I am so glad that I took a chance
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best historical fiction books I have ever read. It was so interesting and easy to read. Lucinda was such a funny character and her response to the things that happened were amazing. I cannot wait to read more by Samantha Hastings. If this is her debut, how amazing will her next books be?!

2020 reread;
I reread this because;
1. YASS. I love this book so much. Why? I honestly don't know. It's so out of my comfort zone.
2. I just preordered The Invention of Sophie Carter and I CANNOT
Eileen (BookCatPin)
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's been a while since I last read a historical romance and I've been eager for a new one. The Last Word was a short story but it did hit most of the marks for me.

I quite liked the setting of The Last Word. Societal expectations described in the book had my veins throbbing but I was glad to see the issues being tackled. The speech and action of the characters felt accurate to the time period. Though the writing style didn't much stand out, the characters were well-developed and easy to root for
Sarah {The Clever Reader}
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was so lovely! Lucinda’s spunky personality mixed with her independent nature made her one of my favorite female MC’s! She is not afraid to stand up for way she believes and what she wants. I enjoyed getting to know her!

David! He is so adorable & the banter he has with Lucinda makes for some of the best flirty in a YA Historical I’ve ever read! They are so much fun together!

If you love historical romance than you’ll definitely love this one!!
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
actual rate: 4.25 stars 🌟
Samantha (WLABB)
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, romance, ya, historical
It wasn't easy being a young woman in 1861. All Lucinda wanted to do was contribute to her father's business, but society dictated that she belonged in the home, bored to tears. When one of her favorite authors died before finishing their book, Lucinda was determined to get those last pages. This search for the "ending" resulted in more than Lucinda had ever anticipated.

• Pro: I rarely read historicals, but for some reason, the majority seem to be set during this time period, and I always enjoy
Katherine Paschal
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, mystery, teen
*Review can be found at

I was not really sure what direction Samantha was going to take the story in when I first started but right from the beginning I was on board for the ride. Over the last few months I have heard nothing but good things about The Last Word, so to say that my expectations were high is very much an understatement. Add in the fact that The Last Word is historical fiction which is usually not my jam, I was a touch hesitant when I began the b
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THE LAST WORD is lovely, fun, and absolutely swoon-worthy! What a phenomenal debut by Samantha Hastings!

Main character Lucinda is a heroine that will have readers applauding the whole way through the book. I adored her spirit, her sass, and her heart.

I was blown away by the wonderful feminist themes throughout this book, and Hastings delivered them with such a witty punch. Lucinda is the type of heroine girls need to read about!

The romance is absolutely swoon-worthy! For a clean, historical nove
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
This was a very Swoon Reads publication. By that I mean, very British, super quick read, with a predictable cast, plot and morals.

I really liked Lucinda. She was more modern for the time period but didn't stick out like a sore thumb the way some do when putting a forward thinking woman in this era. The romance was very predictable but cute and sweet. I love that she found someone who is also a feminist. I think that's the only way I would have liked her ending up in a romance (and who are we kid
Shohinee Deb
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a portion of the review on my blog
Just 15 pages into ‘The Last Word‘ and I already knew I wanted to be Lucy’s best friend. Samantha Hastings has created a positively adorable character in Lucinda Leavitt.

An intelligent and capable woman who bravely keeps holding on to whatever snatches of freedom she can have within the stifling bars she has to live in just because she is a woman.

There would be many in that situation who might think “Ah, If only I was born a man” and that would be an un
T.H. Hernandez
Reminiscent of Jane Austen, THE LAST WORD combines neoclassicism and romanticism along with a healthy dose of humor and wit to bring Lucinda’s and David’s story to life. The two are childhood friends who meet again after a four-year separation to find the other both the same and yet infinitely different than the person they remember. Throw in a big misunderstanding and a young woman ahead of her time, constricted by the customs of 19th century England, and sparks fly higher than between Emma and ...more
Kimberly Gabriel
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was really wanting a swoony romance with a strong, witty heroine and this book went beyond my expectations fulfilling that. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the witty banter between Lucinda and David. Both main characters (just like the secondary characters in this book) were fully fleshed out to the point where I find myself missing them now that I'm done reading. I LOVE the setting and the fact that Hastings made this a historical fiction book. Being a Bronte and Austin fan (both of whom are mentioned ...more
Jenni Walsh
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a fun novel. I really got into the Victorian details, which were aplenty. The premise was top-notch (and I like the author's inspiration for her idea. See author's note at the end), the banter was excellent, and the ending was completely satisfying. A sweet romance, for sure! ...more
Olivia Wildenstein
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reminiscent of a Jane Austen romance!

A sweet story that’ll keep a smile on your face throughout, that is, when you’re not laughing... Lucinda’s chaperone cracked me up. 💕
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
*I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

As someone who has started a series only to realize it would never finish because the author died, this book struck a cord with me. Through in a childhood friend on the outs who is badgered into going on impromptu journeys to find out how the story ended and I knew I wanted to read this book.

The Last Word is a charming book with a sweet slow building romance. It's one I've been looking forward to getti
S.M. Koz
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Last Word is a charming (and swoonworthy) read that left me wanting to look up other historical romances! David is the perfect gentleman while Lucinda is anything but the perfect lady. I love how she pushed boundaries for the time period, questioning why gender roles had to be the way they were. With a host of colorful secondary characters (I love me some Persephone!), a little mystery, and an unexpected disaster, I ended up reading late into the night to finish this one.

Historical romance
I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

"It's not about the story. It's about unfinished business."

Fresh out of finishing school, Lucinda "Lucy" Leavitt quickly finds some unfinished business that she wants to seen taken care of.

Lucy has been following a serialized novel for years now, and it seems to be getting towards the all important climax. But then--to her horror--she learns that the author died without finishing the story. She recruits her childhood
Jacqueline Firkins
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was loads of fun. It's super fast paced, told mostly in dialogue with a tight group of characters that leap through dances, teas, carriage rides, and house parties while falling in love and finding their places in society. There's just enough family drama and societal conflict to flesh out the world, while the narrative focuses tightly on the romance between its two protagonists. Lucy is a modern heroine in a period setting and I think readers will enjoy seeing how she navigates her world a ...more
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Rosemary
Cover Story: Big Face
BFF Charm: Yay
Swoonworthy Scale: 5
Talky Talk: Dick and Jane
Bonus Factor: Girls Who Code Count
Bonus Factor: Feminism
Relationship Status: Leaving My Calling Card

Read the full book report here.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I don't generally read/like historical fiction, but this was a delight! I loved the characters and the premise was clever. The author's note was fascinating and included information about real serialized stories that were unfinished because of the deaths of their authors. Also included other historical facts included in the novel. ...more
Sam Taylor
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-releases
So behind on my reading—trying to catch up a little on vacation. Read THE LAST WORD in a single day! This is such a fun, feminist historical fiction story. Definitely add it to your TBR if you haven’t picked it up yet.
Allisa White
Oh my gosh! This book is fantastic and so much fun! I read it in a single evening, and I just couldn't get enough.


The premise for this book is fantastic. I've certainly been burned by a book series that was never finished, so I related to Lucinda's plight immediately. The mystery aspect of the plot has some fun twists and goes at a steady pace. I never felt like the mystery was too slow or too rushed at all.

And the romance!!! Oh my word, the transformation from spurned friendship to trusted
Addie Thorley
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Official Comments: Witty, spirited, and utterly swoon-worthy, THE LAST WORD by Samantha Hastings is filled with fierce feminism, impeccable period detail, and a charming romance that's sure to stay with readers long after the last word.

Me, Gushing: OMG this book, you guys! It is So. Much. Fun!! The banter is to die for and Lucinda is the feisty, feminist narrator of my heart. She is so bold and unflinching, and I just loved cheering her on. The side characters a lively and entertaining, and the
Jon David
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Best historical fiction I've read this year, loved it. ...more
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Oh this was such a delight to read! I absolutely loved it! Lucinda and David are such wonderful main characters! It was quite a swoon read as well with those two! I love the concept of the story and setting! Everything fits so well together!

Lucinda is so independent and knows what she wants. I liked her character this was because she clearly would’ve been considered a rebel back in that time period. She never gave up on finding
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it

This book was a fun one! I enjoyed reading about Lucinda and David's adventures tracking down the mysterious author, Mrs. Smith. The banter between the two of them is sharp and entertaining. The strength of this novel is that it is so progressive about women's roles in society. Lucinda aims to be more than a trophy wife of a prominent man. She yearns to take a role in her father's business and prove herself worthy of the job. This is difficult in a time when ladies were made
Danika Stone
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Historical YA is not my usual fare, so I was delighted to discover The Last Word not only lived up to my expectations but went far beyond it. Lucinda is a wonderful, plucky heroine, and her determination to discover what happened to Eurydice when the author of her favorite serialized novel dies prior to the climax, made me grin. Lucinda and her childhood friend, David, embark on the adventure together, rekindling their friendship (and more!) along the way.
Told in alternating viewpoints (Lucinda
Jun 01, 2021 rated it it was ok
I read this book so I would have SOMETHING to read and wouldn't just be staring at the wall the whole day. that is how bored I was. I couldn't find a single book to read so I was STARING AT THE WALL. summer is boring. the book was fine, I guess. I mean, it definitely didn't make any lasting impressions, so now, two days later, I can't even remember the main characters name. something with an "L" I think?? ...more
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Upon hearing that the mysterious author of her favorite serial has died, Lucinda is determined to tract down surviving friends and family so she can find out if the author revealed the romantic ending. Lucinda is hampered by her sex in a time when ladies did not work, own property, and attending finishing school to better their chances of finding a good husband. She finds her father's business partner has grown up just as she has, and he is willing, despite a falling out in their youth, to accom ...more
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Samantha Hastings has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of Reading (Berkshire, England), and the University of North Texas. She met her husband in a turkey-sandwich line. They live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she spends most of her time reading, eating popcorn, and chasing her kids. THE LAST WORD is her debut novel.

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