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The Last Word

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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 overwhelmed by his workload. He wants to prove himself to his late father, as well as to himself. He doesn’t have the time, nor the interest, for this endeavor, but Lucinda is not the type to take no for an answer.

Their search for the elusive Mrs. Smith and the rightful ending to her novel leads Lucinda and David around the country, but the truths they discover about themselves—and each other—are anything but fictional.

258 pages, Hardcover

First published July 9, 2019

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About the author

Samantha Hastings

34 books198 followers
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, having tea parties, and chasing her kids. She writes cozy mysteries under Samantha Larsen.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 94 reviews
Profile Image for Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader.
707 reviews58 followers
July 11, 2019
https://thecaffeinatedreader.com/2019... < 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 storyline is just this perfect small adventure with the sort of ending that leaves you thoroughly satisfied. There is loss, there is a heartbreak of a different sort, and there is strength in being a girl and in knowing what you want. Hastings has given us a true delight in this book and I look forward to reading anything else she ever writes after this.

**Also thank you to the publisher for allowing me to read this via NetGalley, my honest opinion has been given in exchange**
Profile Image for Nathaniel.
Author 21 books115 followers
April 21, 2020
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 WAIT!. Seriously, though... this is gonna be an epic book!
Profile Image for Shannon (It Starts At Midnight).
1,138 reviews1,009 followers
July 23, 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 on it! It's such an unexpected gem! 

Yes, it's cute, but not in a cheesy, sugary way. It's more that yes, there are very swoony moments, and it overall made my insides feel happy, but the characters also went through some junk too. It wasn't just adorableness and magic, it was real. Basically the author did an amazing job of toeing the line between adorable and saccharine. 

The main character, Lucinda, thinks that the nineteenth century norms of treating women like possessions is garbage. I agree with Lucinda, so we were getting along right from the start. While her father wanted her to get married and Idk, trot around in fancy garb (look, I have no idea what women did then, but seems frilly and boring), Lucinda wanted to use her amazing math-wizard brain to help the family business. Her father's partner (and her former childhood pal) David seemed to be down with Lucinda doing some work. Because she was awesome at it and he knew it. 

Lucinda was also pretty bummed because the author of her favorite serial story is dead... and has left no clue to the ending. Lucinda is bound and determined to find out the ending, and she enlists the help of David. Sure, she has to bend the truth a little, but such is life. David doesn't want to get in the middle of family arguments, even though he does seem to agree with Lucinda's desire for independence and purpose. They get along quite well, and you can tell that even when they're on opposite sides there's an undeniable spark. 

Bottom Line: Ultimately, it's impossible to not cheer for Lucinda and want her to break free from the nonsense societal norms. Watching her use her intellect and wit to do just that is an adventure you won't want to miss. 
Profile Image for Eileen (BookCatPin).
740 reviews192 followers
August 19, 2019
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.

Lucinda was a rebel through and through. I loved how she did not conform to society's standard. Her quest got her in trouble more often than not but she was relentless. Lucinda's determination was admirable. While she may have been rash and overeager at times she was always well-mannered and respectful. Even with David she was civilized (most of the time).

I really like that we got a solution to the mystery of the novel's ending! Often times an author would leave things up to the reader's imagination. I always felt cheated since I like solid conclusions so I'm glad Ms. Hastings gave us a definitive end. It was perfect and on par with the theme of The Last Word.

While The Last Word didn't wow me I enjoyed my time with it. It's a quick historical novel with strong characters and a fiercely feminist tale.
Profile Image for Sarah {The Clever Reader}.
527 reviews75 followers
February 5, 2019
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!!
Profile Image for Ro.
323 reviews10 followers
August 17, 2019
actual rate: 4.25 stars 🌟
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,429 reviews234 followers
July 1, 2019
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 it. I was amused, time and time again, by how prim and proper everyone acted, and loved seeing characters toppling social barriers.

• Pro: Her father tried his hardest to turn Lucinda into a proper lady, but she could not keep that much spirit under wraps. It was fun seeing all the little ways she pushed the boundaries, and David's reactions to her shenanigans were priceless.

• Pro: Speaking of David, he was a great match for Lucinda. Unlike most men of that time period, he delighted in Lucinda's mathematical brilliance, curiosity, and desire to do more than write letters and work on her needlepoint. Hooray, for forward-thinking men.

• Pro: Lucinda won my heart. She was fierce, determined, and very much an independent thinker. That girl had moxie, and I loved the way she challenged people and their ideas of who she should be.

• Pro: It was wonderful watching the spark ignite between these two former friends. The interactions between David and Lucinda were sweet and fun and packed with snappy banter. There were these seriously swoony parts too, that just melted my heart. The romance between these two was absolutely precious, and I was shipping them the whole time.

• Pro: I think readers will appreciate the feminist messages permeating the story. Lucinda was definitely a woman ahead of her time.

Overall: A fun and charming romance between a lovely hero and a spirited heroine, which was filled with a little action, a bit of mystery, witty banter, and lots of swoons.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Katherine Paschal.
2,156 reviews57 followers
July 9, 2019
*Review can be found at https://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/

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 book. Well, I am every so happy to report that I easily fell in love with the story and all the characters. Samantha was able to turn a generally (in my terrible opinion) historical fiction into something approachable for all genre and age readers.

“It is no great matter,” Lucinda said. “I can wait in his office. I’ve learned that waiting is what ladies do best.”
Another invaluable lesson from Miss Holley’s Finishing School.

The Last Word was such a cute, fast read that was equal parts adorable and engaging. I enjoyed getting to meet Lucinda and feel the struggle she experienced for having all of her life controlled against her will. Also, as someone who did not get a conclusion to one of her favorite book series, I 100% could relate to Lucinda's need to know the answers. I also wonder if this was just one little things she could control in a world where she had no power as being a woman.

But she was not a well-brought-up young lady— she was a stubborn one. And never knowing the ending to her favorite story was simply unacceptable.

I loved watching the romance between Lucinda and David develop, almost an enemies to lovers vibe. Lucinda and David had been the best of friends growing up until her destroyed her trust and she was sent away to a ladies finishing school. Now that Lucinda is home, she is equal parts the refined beautiful lady her father was hoping she would be and the headstrong, spunky, sightly manipulative (in a totally cute, endearing way!) number wizard she knows herself to be. I loved watching the two interact and verbally spar, and I think I was just as love with David by the end of the book as Lucinda was.

I highly recommend this YA standalone read to anyone who loves romance, mystery, history and a spunky heroine who can save herself- but has a charming love interest to help her if she needs it. This is Samantha's debut book and she set the bar very high. I can't wait to see what she creates next.

Profile Image for Krysti.
357 reviews126 followers
January 21, 2019
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 novel, it really gets the blood pumping! And oh the banter between the two main characters! It is witty repartee at its finest, and I absolutely adored it. Lucinda and David are one literary couple that readers are sure to ship!

I fell in love with the premise for this book the second I read about it, and learning about its inspiration in the author’s note made me appreciate it even more!

The authors writing style is charming. Her voice is clear and full of personality, and it made for such a fun read.

This book was everything I’d hoped it would be and then some. Even if you aren’t usually a reader of historical fiction, you will enjoy this book. It’s an absolute delight!

Profile Image for Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard.
1,143 reviews246 followers
September 11, 2019
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 kidding? It's YA. We can't have women in books being single!)
Profile Image for Jenni Walsh.
Author 11 books363 followers
May 15, 2021
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!
Profile Image for Shohinee Deb.
55 reviews3 followers
July 8, 2019
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 understandable thinking pattern. But Lucy reveled in her feminity. She was proud of who she was and had no qualms about showing it. That just makes me love her more. Lucy is awe-inspiring.

The best part about Lucy, she’s a book lover who is ready to go on a winding uncertain journey just to know how a story ends. I really wanted to jump into the carriage and travel with Lucinda to find Mrs. Smith’s last words.

I generally have a bone of contention with Romance books. Simply because all love stories have so many misunderstandings and lost opportunities of communication…and we are all familiar with that frustrating scene, aren’t we, where the Hero and Heroine are at the same place at the same time but still miss each other because their faces are resolutely turned in the opposite directions!! How infuriating! I have this itch to physically grad hold of their heads, twist them like door knobs towards each other and scream


But ‘The Last Word‘ is surprisingly refreshing. There is all the sweetness of a budding romance and the warmth of unburdened companionship without the frustrations. Even the little misunderstanding that Lucy and David had is so pure in nature that it is a perfect reflection of the comfort and friendship that these two share with each other. I liked that the resolution of this misunderstanding was not turned into a big deal within the plot but was included naturally in a simple conversation. No drama, just an unadorned progression of the story.

The bond between Lucy and David is sure to put a smile on your face. There is no allusion of perfection here. Author Samantha Hastings portrays a relationship where two people heal and grow together. Their individuality is celebrated along with their togetherness.

I was incredibly happy to read the author’s depiction of the relationship between a reader and her favorite story. It is never ‘just a story’ for us book lovers. Our favourite stories are friends that hold us together when we are falling apart. They let us feel all those emotions that we might hide from prying eyes. It’s not just a reader who loves a story. The story loves the reader back. So it was for Lucy. Mrs. Smith’s stories let her breathe even in the fog of suffocation surrounding her.
To think that this is only Samantha Hastings’ debut is thrilling. If she can come up with such a mesmerizing story in her first inning, then think about all the other beautiful stories to come out of her pen. I am eager to read the stories she will write in the future.

But coming back to the present, I am sure you would absolutely love to read ‘The Last Word‘. So get your hands on a copy as fast as you can.
Profile Image for T.H. Hernandez.
Author 9 books204 followers
September 14, 2019
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 Knightley or Elizabeth and Darcy, but with the underlying warmth of Elinor and Edward. The two dance around a mutual attraction while Lucinda fights against society’s dictates for her. Fresh out of finishing school, she wants nothing to do with being a proper lady, but rather to use the brain that God gave her to work in her father’s counting house. A natural talent with numbers, she helped him when she was younger but now is expected to do needlepoint instead of auditing.

If there’s anything Lucinda hates more than sitting around and waiting for someone to call on her, I don’t know what it is. Not having been born to a high-class family, her social standing comes from the wealth her father has amassed. His goal is to marry her to a man of higher social standing. Lucinda has less than zero interest in that plan. She managed to get through the long boring hours by reading. But her favorite author died before finishing her last novel, leaving Lucinda desperate to find out how it ends, as if her own ending will somehow reveal itself in those final pages. With the help of her father’s business partner and her longtime friend, David, she sets out to find anyone who may know how the story ends. But the more they dig, the more she’s left wondering, before a tragedy forces both of them to reevaluate what really matters. And what doesn’t.

The main plot focuses on the budding romance between Lucinda and David, but Lucinda’s desires to work in business and find out the ending of her beloved novel are strong subplots that drive most of the action. The conflict derives for the social norms of the time, status and who is allowed to associate with whom. Women’s options and their carefully guarded reputations only further bind Lucinda in a world she finds too restrictive. Her father withdrew into himself after her mother’s death years before and their strained relationship underlies everything. The author does a phenomenal job of keeping the reader in Victorian England through scene setting, language, fashion, and customs. There is both a whimsical and sweeping cinematic feel to the places Hastings sets her characters in, drawing the reader right along with them.

If you love any of Jane Austen’s characters, you will love these! From the narcoleptic Mrs. Patton to the eccentric woman in the half-built estate they visit in their quest, the characters are a delight. Lucinda is utterly relatable as a young woman who wants so much more from life than the world wishes to allow her and David is a man after my own heart, both seeing Lucinda as an equal, and treating her with that respect. The American girl, Persephone, who befriends Lucinda, is a delightful, although often inappropriate, breath of fresh air.

What I Loved About THE LAST WORD
1. Everything. Seriously, the entire book was just amazing. It was a joy to read.

2. Lucinda. I love that she’s independent and strong and refuses to be confined by rules of society.

3. David. He is also a man ahead of his time with his ability to see Lucinda as more than just an accessory.

4. Language. I love the way they speak and the words the author chooses to tell the story as if it were written as a contemporary in 1861.

5. Romance. It isn’t angsty or intense, even though Lucinda and David are both teens, but it’s perfect for the time.

Bottom Line
A stunning coming of age story in a time long gone with amazing characters and beautiful storytelling.

I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kimberly Gabriel.
Author 2 books116 followers
June 26, 2019
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 in this book), I was thrilled to have that literary feel mixed with page-turning anticipation. This book, with its clever plot, its characters that pop off the page, and its sweet, gripping romance, makes for an unforgettable read.
Profile Image for Addie Thorley.
Author 6 books336 followers
May 27, 2019
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 research and period details are fabulous. Such a wonderful historical romance. I can't wait to get my hands on the author's next book!
Profile Image for Olivia Wildenstein.
Author 43 books2,795 followers
July 13, 2019
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. 💕
Profile Image for Cee.
2,371 reviews98 followers
July 26, 2019
*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 getting to, but after my burn out of historical novels last year I was a bit apprehensive to start. This is a historical novel done right... for me. There are historically accurate events and people who are present. I always enjoy when there is a short author's note at the back going over some of the historical events and giving more solid dates.

Lucinda is a charming character who I immediately liked. I felt bad about her circumstances and was rooting for her to get all she wanted in life. I didn't like how in the first pages the characters were explaining the main character's personality to us, but as the book went on the dialogue and explanations were better. I love how smart she is and that David never questions how smart she is. As for David, there were times he might seem bland, but I appreciated his drive to do good work, be a gentleman, and how open he is towards Lucinda rising above what women could do at the time.
I will say their initial interactions in the book were a bit awkward for me since it seemed like they were both always smirking or trying to one up each other, but they were chuckle-worthy as well. Their relationship conflicts were not entirely internal either which was very nice. Most of the book is reading about their growing affections, so there is not any necessary drama.

I also want to mention that there are some prominent side characters. They might not have been as fleshed out as they could be, but I appreciated the conversations between Lucinda and Penelope that had nothing to do with men or crushes.

My biggest problems with the book were the switching the point of view without notice and the time and setting not always being clear. I think some of this might be the ARC issues though and formatting will put in clearer divides. Perhaps this would also help make it clearer when a significant amount of time has passed.

I recommend this one to those who like historical novels and may be looking for a cleaner or less intense romance.
Profile Image for S.M. Koz.
Author 4 books224 followers
March 8, 2019
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 is pretty rare in YA, so I imagine some readers are thinking about passing this by. DON’T DO IT! Yes, it takes place in the 1800s and their dialogue is rather proper but the author does a great job of making this story appealing even to those who like contemporary romance. While I’m sure it would’ve been scandalous back in the day, David and Lucinda manage to find bits of time to be alone (and kiss 😊), thanks to a practically narcoleptic chaperone. And their flirtatious, completely inappropriate comments had me smiling more than a few times.

If you like sweet romances with almost flawless heroes and strong, non-conforming heroines, you won’t be disappointed with The Last Word!
Profile Image for Laura.
477 reviews17 followers
April 2, 2019
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 friend and her father's business partner, David Randall, into helping her track down the author's last known whereabouts. But, along the way, she and David find so much more.

As an English Major who spent a good portion of her degree on British literature classes, I loved the premise of the aspect of a serialized story, and the execution of this plot, with all of the small and subtle references to some of the greatest female authors of the Regency and Victorian eras that came with it. Lucy and David are both fantastic characters and one cannot help but fall in love with them as they fall in love with each other. This is a brilliant piece of storytelling, and I cannot wait to see what Ms. Hastings will write next.
Profile Image for Jacqueline Firkins.
Author 5 books253 followers
June 25, 2019
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 and finds fulfillment both in and out of her romance. The literary references are laid in lightly, a fun bonus for anyone who catches them, but they work well as texture for anyone not well versed in 19th century literature. This is a book more about feeling than about knowing stuff. The search for information about an unfinished book provides the motivation to get the lovers together on their journey toward each other. If you like long held glances, almost kisses, and characters who play at love until they feel it for real, you'll thoroughly enjoy this!
Profile Image for Jaymie.
2,008 reviews15 followers
July 29, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Sam Taylor.
Author 1 book112 followers
November 8, 2019
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.
November 15, 2019
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 companions was beautiful and touching and so dang funny. The banter between Lucinda and David is honestly the BEST. I could not get enough of it. They just have so much respect for each other, something I really appreciate in a romance. It was just So. Much. Fun.


I immediately warmed to Lucinda. She loves to read, she loves math, and she's a feminist. What's not to love? Her greatest desire is to work in her father's counting house, something she'd been able to do when she was younger. She also wants to find out the ending to her favorite novel, and is willing to do anything to get it. I loved her passion, her smarts, and her spunk. She was so much fun to ride along with.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that we get David's pov in this novel too! He was such an easy love interest to fall for—he's dashing, intelligent, and treats Lucinda as an equal. His respect for her, as I mentioned before, is one of his greatest traits.


I love historical settings, and the research the author did for this novel really showed. It was fun to dive into this time period and immerse myself in the details. The clothing and food detail in particular were fantastic.


Sooo... I read this in a day. If that doesn't tell you I loved the book, then here we go: I LOVED THIS BOOK! I could not stop laughing, swooning, and overall just making a nut of myself while reading this book. I cannot wait to read Samantha Hasting's next book!
Profile Image for Lauren.
466 reviews8 followers
May 20, 2019
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 the ending to her favorite story. She would get a lead and immediately want to chase it to where it leads. I really enjoyed her personality.

David is so lovely! I liked that he saw Lucinda as his equal. He always was by her side encouraging her to pursue what she wanted. He knew she was amazing with numbers and always let her know that. He followed her on her journey for the truth and stood by her side all the way. He is quite the gentleman for sure!

The love between Lucinda and David is so cute. I liked that it slowly was building through the entire novel. It was there as an underlining plot that did come out occasionally. When it came out we got some hilarious lines and funny flirty banter.

The Last Word is a cute fun and quick read. It follows the story of finding out the truth, but also discovering who you want to be and what in society. Breaking the norms and boundaries of the time period and never apologizing for doing it.
Profile Image for Pallavi.
133 reviews
May 25, 2019

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 to stay out of business affairs and keep to domestic duties.

The historical context was admirably portrayed - I could tell that the author researched the time period well. I also enjoyed the references to various works of literature (by some of my favorite authors! Charlotte Brontë, Jane Austen, and Elizabeth Gaskell).

If you're looking for a diverting read from the Victorian Era, give this a try.

A sincere thanks to Swoon Reads for providing an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Social: @_shelf.awareness on Instagram
Profile Image for Danika Stone.
Author 15 books334 followers
August 16, 2019
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 and David), The Last Word address the boundaries of women of the era, developing Lucinda into a feminist character on par with Elizabeth Bennet. Lucinda’s commentary on women’s expectations and on actual historical women make this book both a good character piece, as well as a nod to how far we, as a society, have come. The growing romance with David is sweet and realistic (and swoon-worthy!), and Lucinda's sleepy companion, Mrs. Patton, is the perfect plot-device to give our two fave characters a few moments alone.
Told mostly via dialogue, The Last Word is fast paced and fun, with plenty of suspense to keep you turning pages! Highly recommended!

Profile Image for Berkley.
349 reviews12 followers
June 2, 2021
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??
Profile Image for Deborah.
1,443 reviews8 followers
August 19, 2019
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 accompany her and her chaperone on her quest. It is obvious that the two will fall in love, and there is a lot of chemistry between the two. Lucinda is headstrong, very intelligent, and witty. Doesn't follow the typical YA tropes so this read was breath of fresh air.

High school+
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