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The Next to Last Mistake

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  124 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Tess Goodwin’s life in rural Iowa is sheltered and uncomplicated. Although she chooses to spend most of her free time playing chess with her best friend Zander, the farm-boy from next door, her skills as a bovine midwife and tractor mechanic ensure that she fits in with the other kids at East Chester High. But when her veteran father reenlists in the Army, moving her famil ...more
Paperback, 282 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Light Messages Publishing
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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  124 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Alessandra Congera
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-ever
“Every love story is a love story – the only question is what kind of love”

Eleven reasons why I love this book:
1-The writing style is amazing
2-The beautiful bond between girls with so different backgrounds
3-The outstanding metaphors with the chess game
4 -Accepting the diversity in each of us
5-The discussion about Wuthering Heights and it’s faucet of growing in love
6-The male hero, every girl first love, our dad. He’s unique!
7-The eleven list things.
9-The messages, because there is more
Mikayla Tewksbury
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Netgalley and Light Messages Publishing!

This book stole my ENTIRE HEART. I loved everything about it.

Everything about this story was unique. From the setting, to the characters, to the plot points. I found myself flying through this story in a few days.
While being a contemporary YA novel, this book also packed some powerful messages and an emotional sucker-punch to the stomach.

The best part about the story, to me, was that there were some really important messages regarding race.
Beth Rodgers
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
'The Next to Last Mistake' by Amalie Jahn will have readers considering their own lives through a bittersweet lens as they work through feelings of security, happiness, separation, loss, and inequality, among others. Jahn has written a story that will resonate with readers of all ages, as main character Tess navigates the difficult task of uprooting her life due to her father's reenlistment in the military. While struggling to find a way to come to terms with her eventual separation from being a ...more
Christina Chisholm
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is an insightful look into the life of a young lady whose whole world is changing around her, and her journey to understand who she is and how she fits in. She is forced to confront her own ideas about life as she knows it as she adapts to her new surroundings. A great read for any teen...and any adult who finds him/herself in unfamiliar territory. I highly recommend this book!!
Kylie Amber
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it
* I received this ARC from Netgalley and Publisher Light Messages Publishing in exchange for an honest review*

This novel has a little taste of it all. The gal pal group, the mean girl, the best friend, the romance, the tragedy. I absolutely loved the cute friend groups in this book and the tragic part of the story caught me far off guard.
Something that I would have changed is the amount of the romance, it took way too long to come about so it was never really present till the last pages.
This boo
Jennifer H.
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-netgalley
Thank you to Netgalley and Light Messages Publishing!

Tess Goodwin lives the good life on her family's diary farm in Iowa. When she's not bonding with the cows and giving each and every one their own name, she's enjoying the company of her next door neighbor Zander who has been her best friend since practically birth, planning her next move in the latest chess game, or just spending time with her friends as group. But when her father blindsides the family with his announcement that he not only re
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Light Messages and Netgalley for providing me with an Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel follows Tess, a teenage girl living in a farming community in rural Iowa. Her father re-enlists in the army which necessitates the family's move to North Carolina. The story follows Tess' journey as she adapts to this huge upheaval in her life, and her struggle to maintain old relationships and forge new ones.

This kind of rural setting was one that was new to me. I've
Patrick Hodges
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've read every book Amalie Jahn has ever written and loved every one. This one, however, tops them all.

Tess is a sweet but sheltered farm girl from Iowa. Her father, driven by duty, reenlists in the Army, prompting the family to leave behind everything Tess has ever known and head for Fayetteville, North Carolina. The hardest part is Tess having to part with Zander, her childhood sweetheart and best friend.

Right away, Tess must contend with a new school with a HUGE student body that is far more
Nikki Pennington
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was given an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley, for my honest, unbiased review. This book releases on March 19, 2019. You can pre-order it on Amazon now.

"We have 16 years of history together, Tess. Nothing can take those memories away from us. You're always gonna be a part of my life, even if you're no longer a part of my days."

This story is about a girl named Tess. She finds out in the beginning of the story that her family is moving from their very small farm town in Iowa to a m
Laura Hill
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Inscribe Digital through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The book will be published on March 19, 2019.

Blonde haired, blue eyed, Iowa farm girl Tess Goodwin has her life uprooted when her father reenlists in the military and relocates the family to Fayetteville, North Carolina. “Trading farm crops and silos and tractors for soldiers and loud guns” — it’s a rough transition for Tess. She leaves behind a beloved l
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Next To Last Mistake follows Tess, a teenage girl who gets uprooted from her hometown in Iowa and moved to North Carolina. She faces the pressures of rebuilding a life in a new town with a huge, new school while not wanting to leave her previous life behind.

This is a wonderful YA book. Nothing too wild happens, but the ending really packs an emotional punch. Tess is introduced to differences in
Athena Rupas
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The writing style of this book is absolutely amazing! I really loved this story. I loved the bond between Tess and Zander, and also, the bonds between the girls who come from such different backgrounds. This book definitely gave me all the feels...happiness, sadness and wonder. This is an incredibly unique story and definitely the best contemporary YA novel I've read so far this year. It packed a punch so to speak. It tells of Tess's journey as her life changes all around her and her journey to ...more
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

The Next to Last Mistake is a story about being out of your comfort zone, displaced, and not knowing how to move on with your life. At the same time it's about opening your heart to new experiences, being willing to listen, and adapting to change. The Next to Last Mistake is surprising in the best of ways as it deals with friendship, family, and saying goodbye.

full review: https://utop
Raquel Evans
This book felt true to life in dealing with the changes and emotions that life throws at us. A couple of parts felt just a touch heavy handed to me in discussing racial issues, but overall it's a good story about friendship and dealing with mean people and moving out of your comfort zone.

There wasn't much in the way of actual content but because of some references and implications I wouldn't recommend this for younger readers. The word 'slut' is used (from one of the mean girls at school) and
Jun 09, 2019 marked it as dnf
DNF at 25%
Just too much military propaganda for my liking.
Ramisa (sentrancedbookworm) Chowdhury
‘The next to last mistake’ is the story about Tess Goodwin, a countrygirl from Iowa. She grew up in the farms with her best friend, Zander and the two have been inseperable for as long as they can remember. But after Tess’s father re-enlists in the army, Tess has to move with her family to North Carolina and leave her whole life behind.

There are a lot of things going on together in the story; deep literary discussions, bullying, veterenary life hardships, racial discrimination and a few others.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
*Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to this advanced readers copy*

Rating: 3.5

I want to preface this review by saying that I had just finished reading a sci-fi/fantasy prior to picking this up. For me, it is always hard to transition from fantasy to contemporary.

With that being said, the majority of this book was 3 stars for me. I couldn't figure out where the story was going until about 70% of the way through. The later half of the book bumped it up a half a star. The writing and storytell
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
I really liked this book, the writing was good, and although I didn't feel a big connection to any of the characters, I did feel a connection to the friendship that formed between Tess and her new friends in Lafayette.
Although I don't play chess and have no idea how to play it, I did appreciate that the author included a lot of parallels to chess, because the main character loves chess.
***ARC received in exchange of an honest opinion***

Unfortunately there was nothing in this book that really captured my attention, besides its cover.

I feel like there wasn't really a story there and the little story there was, was kind of flat for my tastes. I couldn't realte to it and I didn't connect with any characters.
Amber Ballard
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
The Next To The Last Mistake by Amalie Jahn
I have to say I didn't like this story at all! There was no real story there even when you started to see a story developing with the friends it all of a sudden takes a different turn and you lose the story! There was so many opportunities for a great story and it just gets lost to me In to much background noise
2 stars
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love the calmness of the cover. It suits well to the story. Also the combination of the colors is very suitable. The big white writing of the title also fits well into the whole picture.

The writing style was simple and fluent to read. Through the personal perspective of Tess it was really easy to connect with her and dwell in her emotions.

When I started this book, I was not 100% sure what I should expect. I came across the book, liked the cover, thought the short-plot sounds not so bad and lik
Tiffany (Second Hand Pages)
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was actually more than I was expecting. I am not sure WHAT I was expecting, but it wasn't what I read -- and I mean that in the BEST way possible. Many of the situations the MC found herself in, I too had dealt with. This book is definitely something that will hit home for anyone affiliated with the military, and military life. It's not easy to be the new kid, it's not easy to leave your life behind, and it's NEVER the child's choice. These are all key points that connected me to the MC.

Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
A white farm girl moves to a town where she is faced with the racial intricacies. That pretty much sums it up.

This story could've been impactful but it misses its mark. Nothing happens for a long time and then it seems like everything is happening at once. I liked Tess's friendship with Leonetta and Alice but it was still missing something. Maybe because I was expecting a lot more from Tess coming to terms with her own racial bias. When she does have discussions about these discoveries she makes
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed for YA Books Central

This book... there aren't enough positive words to say about it.

The story:
Moving is the worst, but when you're a high school farm girl leaving everything you knew behind, it's much worse. This is Tess' life. When her father re-enlists in the military, the family must move from their sheltered Iowa town to a more southern city that serves as a bit of a culture shock. The story winds through Tess' new beginning as she's torn between the boy she left behind and the new,
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an eARC of this book via NetGalley, but that does not affect my review.

PS! This review can be construed a little spoilery. I tried to be as vague as I could, but I'm not entirely sure if I managed.

Eleven Reasons to Read This Book

1. Just so you'd get this reference.
2. If you've been living in your tiny little bubble like me, you'll learn more about interracial friendships and the difference your race can make.
3. Other things you might learn about: enlisting in the army, chess (or well
Mar 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Books written for young adults have undergone such a change in recent years. Authors are creating books of substance that dig deep into serious issues that impact young adults and their lives. In The Next to Last Mistake, Tess Goodwin, who has spent her entire life living on a farm in Iowa with her family experiences a huge change when her dad re-enlists in the military and they pack up to move to Fort Bragg. Her entire life as she knew it is turned upside down as she goes from small-town farm g ...more
S Glynn
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tess Goodwin, Iowa farm girl, lover of cows, chess player, and best friend to Zander, the boy next door, is blindsided when her father re-enlists in the military and moves the family to Fayetteville, North Carolina. She worries that she’ll lose her relationship with Zander despite his assurance “You’re always gonna be a part of my life, even if you’re no longer a part of my days”, that she’ll be all alone without him acting as her “relationship liaison”, and that she won’t be able to adjust to a ...more
John Clark
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
How do you cope when you must leave your small town world on a dairy farm in Iowa and have to say goodbye to your best friend, who also happens to be a guy you might have growing feelings for? This is what Tess Goodwin must deal with when the dairy business goes bad and her father reenlists in the army because he feels the pull of patriotism and has skills very much needed in the way in Syria. In short order, she's starting school in Fayetteville, NC at a much larger school where the division be ...more
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
1.5 Stars. It took a while to get into this one and once I did, I didn't really feel any connections to any of the characters. Tess is an okay character, nothing out of the ordinary. I guess her "quirk" is that she likes to play chess and is a farm girl at heart. She's nervous about making friends in her new school but makes three best friends very quickly, so there isn't really any suffering there. Tess pines for her best friend across the country, but we don't get a lot of interaction from the ...more
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

The Next to Last Mistake by Amalie Jahn is an insightful  young adult novel that touches on important societal issues.

Tess Goodwin loves life on her family's Iowa dairy farm. She genuinely enjoys her chores and she loves their small herd of cows.  Tess is also quite close to her next door neighbor and best friend, Zander. Her life takes an unexpected turn when her veteran father reenlists in the military, sells the farm and moves the family to North Carolina.

Tess's concerns about going
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USA Today Bestselling author Amalie Jahn is the recipient of the Literary Classics Seal of Approval and the Readers' Favorite Gold Medal for her debut YA novel, THE CLAY LION. Her first YA contemporary, THE NEXT TO LAST MISTAKE, won the prestigious IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award in 2020. She is a contributing blogger with the Huffington Post and Southern Writers Magazine, as well as a finalist in th ...more

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