Demetra Brodsky is the author of Last Girls, a 2021 International Thriller Writers Finalist for Best Young Adult Book, one of CNN Underscored’s Best Books of May 2020, a 2021 Kansas National Education Association (KNEA) Reading Circle Commission Recommended Title, and a finalist for the 20222-2023 Black-eyed Susan Award. Dive Smack, her debut novel, is a 2018 Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection, ALAN Pick (The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE), and a Spring/Summer 2018 Publishers Marketplace Buzz Book for Young Adults. She is the proud daughter of Greek immigrants and has a profound appreciation for personal histories and travel. She lives in Southern California with her partner and two adorable rescue dogs. Say hi on social media. Instagram: @demetrabrodskybooks Website: demetrabrodsky.com
"Rules breed rebels. We’ve all been taught that the black sheep is a deviation from acceptable standards and something to be avoided. Still, when you see it amongst a herd, its lack of conformity is what steals your breath and captures your attention."
There are people out in the world who think they know when the end of the world will happen. They spread that a long to anyone who will listen, thus causing a huge surge of chaos. When the end of the world is near, are you prepared?
Blue, Birdie, and Honey are known as the Juniper Sister Weirdos. They don’t live on normal streets or live a normal childhood but they do live with the other doomsday preppers on a compound in the Washington wilderness and the outsiders don’t know it. Instead of meeting friends for coffee or texting, they learn how to hunt, live without comfort technology, and survive.
What they thought was a safe community turns into something that makes them second guess everything that they’ve ever known. One of their own is sent away but not before warning the sisters. Now nowhere is safe and this isn’t what they were trained for.
I didn’t know much about doomsday preppers before reading this but I’ve heard the term. This sheds a lot of light on what they are and how they sacrifice a lot to feel safe and secure when the time comes.
What got me giddy was the mention of something that shouldn’t have been mentioned. All I can say is that they broke the first two rules and Tyler Durden will be displeased. (I am Jack’s smirking revenge)
Last Girls was a breath of fresh air for YA thrillers/mysteries. This was so much more than a preppers life and I was shocked at the twists in this book. Nothing like this has been in my possession before and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It sinks its claws into you from the start and never lets go. It was a thrill ride for sure and one that I’ll never forget. This will be the book that you’ll want to add to your soon to be read lists.
Just remember your three R’s. Be Responsible, Reactive, and Ready.
This author knows a lot about prepping for the Last Days. She did a lot of research. We are given the benefit of all of this research in great detail. So much so that several of the action sequences in the story lost a lot of momentum. This book needed serious editing, or it needed to be chopped up into two stories, told from different points of view? TMI, but quite literally so. I started to skim here and there because I didn't need every little scene or facial expression or thought dissected. The ending was a major disappointment to me. Don't get me wrong, you have a wonderful HEA, but it was kind of rushed, and it was kind of a major twist. Now HERE was a point where you wouldn't have minded the author running on for a few more chapters. The WHAAAAAAT?!?! moments and twists and turns toward the end left me feeling totally dissatisfied.
This author writes so well and does a decent job with her characters. I really loved the three sisters and enjoyed a fair amount of this book, but I kept cringing at how much information was being thrown at me in almost every sentence. "Overdescribed" is not a word, but it applied here. You will still enjoy this one, but I felt like the author was prepping the reader for the "end of days." If that is your goal, then this book is for you! I rate this one a 3.45 out of 5.
I received this eARC from Tor Teen via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of this book in any way.
DNF at 11%
I always feel bad DNFing ARCs but at the same time, I'm not gonna force myself to read and then rate poorly a book I don't want to read anymore, regardless of whether its released or not. I didn't like this. It's as simple as that.
I'd say my biggest issue with this was the somewhat false but mostly incredibly vague advertising. I thought I had an idea what it was about going in to things, and it turned out I was wrong. I expected a survival horror-esque book along the lines of The Water Cure or a non-scifi/fantasy version of Wilder Girls. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I expected there to be a doomsday in this, and instead it was just a school shooting conspiracy. The lack of a trigger warning was disgusting and I absolutely hated that aspect. It gave me a lot of anxiety, as I've been in a lockdown for a suspected school shooting before, and though nothing happened and everyone was safe, I still get a lot of anxiety from that. Beyond myself, I'm sure, given how frequent they've been in recent years, that this book will make its way to someone who has suffered through an active shooter and they'll relapse because of the lack of warning. Again, it's disgusting. I really hope the published copy has a trigger warning, because if it doesn't, then I'm boycotting Tor for being garbage. I don't have an issue with including difficult topics, just give me a freaking warning, would you?
My second biggest issue was the writing, the characters, and the plot beyond the false advertising. The writing was extremely voicy and very very very first person and I simply didn't like the main character. She was really annoying and her narration made everything super difficult to follow. There wasn't a whole lot of logic to each scene and the sheer amount of exposition didn't make a lot of sense considering the first person narration.
The rest of the cast, mostly her sisters, seemed to be just a bunch of manic pixie dream girls, too ethereal to be human and too ridiculous to be human either. I didn't particularly care for the bunker thing. And the fact that these doomsday preppers even go to normal public school was frankly unbelievable. I doubt literally the entire premise.
I could sense that there was going to be some random love interest boy so I jumped ship before he could annoy me beyond his obnoxious classroom staring. The random unmentioned character with an artist family was fine but "his sisters"? What the heck?
Ultimately, this wasn't what I wanted and it isn't what I like to read, so I dropped it like a hot potato. If I were to rate this, which I won't, it would probably be a 1 star. I really didn't like it. Feel free to check it out for yourself and if you do, let me know if the publisher ever put a trigger warning.
So, I checked the book preview on Amazon and the copyright page doesn't show a trigger warning and as far as I can tell, there isn't one.
Also, what on earth? Why did they use *this* font?
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Tor Teen (Macmillan-Tor/Forge) for providing me with the digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
FULL REVIEW HERE The first thing that caught my eye about Last Girls by Demetra Brodsky was how it was presented: a tale of doomsday preppers, secret compounds and sisterhood. The second thing was that its synopsis (as you can see from above) doesn’t tell anything more. The third thing was its breath-taking cover. So, when I started reading this novel, I had literally no idea where the whole story would be going. I found myself entangled in a pretty unique and unexpected tale. And guys, I completely loved every single page. The characters are all very well developed and every single one of them has a lot of depths, especially the main protagonists, Honey, Birdie and Blue. Every sister has her own strong personality and this is shown very well. During the read I really grew fond of any them. Last Girls is a breath of fresh air for YA thrillers, for sure. I’ve never read anything like this one and I enjoyed every single twist, even if some of them were quite predictable. This is so much more than a book about doomsday preppers’ lives and mysteries. It’s about family, sisterhood, brotherly love and the importance of art. This book had a huge impact on me. It was a rollercoaster of emotions and I will hardly forget its gripping story or characters. I strongly recommend this read, it’s such a unique and special story.
Demetra Brodsky's debut, Dive Smack, was my favorite book of 2018 and she's back with her sophomore story that completely enraptured me. Told in parallel stories that converge in a way that will make you gasp aloud as they converge, Last Girls is a story perfect for the current world as it explores hope, connection, and the things we hold onto when times are difficult. I won't soon forget the Juniper Sisters!
—— Cover Reveal!
Check out the cover of Last Girls, get your preorder on, and be sure it's on your TBR!
---------- Cover Reveal Coming Monday!
----- I already know this is going to be a favorite of 2020.
I want to thank NetGalley and Tor Teen for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoyed this book a lot, especially its great originality and the incredible perspective that the author chose to explore, atmospheric and suspenseful. It took me a bit, in the beginning, to get fully into it, especially since the main character didn't click with me and I ended up having certain problems with her attitude, I feel that it's simply not my type of character, even so, I enjoyed most of the aspects of the book and it's a stand-alone that I would definitely recommend, for its survival and sisterhood side.
In Last Girls, we follow the Juniper sisters: Blue, Birdie, and Honey, who live in a doomsday preppers community, where they've been trained to survive any possible destruction or "end of the world" as we know it. One day, a danger awakens from within and Honey must put everything they learned to the test to keep her and her sisters safe.
I really enjoyed the plot itself, in fact, since I knew what it was about I had an interest in reading it, it's a YA suspense/thriller that has all the condiments to keep you hooked from the first moment since jumps quickly into the action. I like how the author handles intense moments and the action too because I felt that it was also like watching a movie, which I really liked. I don't want to dig too deep into the plot itself because I think exploring it yourself is part of the fun, it has unexpected twists that genuinely blew me away, and it takes interesting paths to follow.
Exploring also the doomsday preppers lifestyle was very interesting, especially because I didn't really know much about it, rather than having seen this dynamic in some movies, so I really liked that it was the focus of the story, it makes it unique and quite peculiar, to distinguish it from other books of the genre. In addition to touching on these topics, the book covers a large range of situations, it talks about family, friendship, love, and personal grown, it also touches on topics such as terrorism and conspiracies. Overall, I really enjoyed each one of these aspects, which is great.
On the other hand, I had a difficult time with the characters, especially with Honey, who has a very distinctive personality, is somewhat abrupt, terribly honest and can also be very hurtful with others, but behind all that, I must admit that there's an artist sensitive soul inside her and a protective sister that I liked to see. On the other hand, I loved the character of Blue, it was my favorite, for some reason the smallest of the Junipers touched my heart with her personality so mature for her age and was the only one whom I could really connect with. Then we have Birdie and she's the trouble-maker type, and impulsive, and I feel pretty unbiased about the character. But the magic happens when they're all together because I completely LOVED their sisterhood, the way they protect each other, the concern and love is remarkable, and it made me feel so good to read a sister dynamic like this one, simply I loved it. We have more secondary characters but honestly, I don't feel that any of them has a great impact other than being there as a love interest, and I'm sorry to say that, but it's something that almost always happens to me, and that's that I didn't enjoy the romance as I expected, it seemed to me that it developed hastily.
The writing style is wonderful, I ended up super committed to it, but I confess that at first, I found it somewhat difficult to follow. Even so, I would be interested in reading more of the author, even more, if she continues writing about this type of plot, so exciting and intriguing.
This is a super personal opinion that didn't prevent my enjoyment of this story at all, but I do think it would have been more beneficial and accurate to follow a single plotline or at least two at most. The author expands this story too much, so we have many sub-plots ramifications that can be somewhat distracting from the main topic and can even make reading somewhat dense. Especially when you start reading it's a confusing structure, for me, it was super enjoyable, though and I would recommend it.
It's a brilliant point of view on survival, resilience, intelligence, challenges, and family bonds. I think that it also explores the human being very well, and how sometimes we react to being placed in extreme and unexpected situations. Although the characters can be a challenge to follow, they have varied personalities, and each one represents a possible outcome or reaction, which I appreciate and understand 100% what the author wanted to convey with this book. I'm thrilled to see that it has such positive reviews so far; I think it deserves it!
My First Thoughts 04/30/20
I really enjoyed the originality that this book gives us, it's entertaining and it keeps you wanting to know what will happen from the beginning, which I loved. On the other hand, there are some factors that I didn't like that much, above all they have to do with the characters and their personalities, but I'll talk more about it in my full review SOON 😊
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the Publisher, Macmillan-Tor/Forge via Netgalley for an honest review.
Mother do you think they'll drop the bomb?
“Preparedness is the root of prepping.”
Sisters Honey, Birdie and Blue know they're weird. Unlike regular teenagers who worry about school dances, dating and shopping, the Juniper sisters are more versed in survival skills and tactical combat. For years they have been moving around with their mother Alice, never without their EDC bags or each other. But after settling in Washington and working and training along fellow doomsday preppers on a secret compound in the outskirts of town, things for the Juniper sisters are getting...strange. After a mission set by the compound leader goes wrong, one of the boys from the compound is forced to go out on his own as punishment. But what really happened that day on the mission is the real question, and why the mission was ordered in the first place. Suddenly life isn't all government conspiracies and stock-piling food. While trying to keep their prepper identities secret, they soon realize the truth is much more toxic than they ever expected.
“'Why did we ever come here?'
'To find our way home,' Blue says.”
I think this is my new favorite book of 2020. I mean sure, nothing can really beat the gut-punch and epic fantastical emotion show that was HOEAB, but for me...Last Girls comes damn close.
Maybe it's just the conspirator in me, or the slight hope for an apocalypse so I can run around the world mostly scared, yet completely badass in my combat boots, unpractical black jeans, ripped shirts and unnaturally large knives strapped to my legs. But in truth, it's probably the fact that I am a sucker for badass females that can take care of themselves - ESPECIALLY in the woods with a bow or a rifle. And that is exactly what the Juniper sisters are. BAD. ASS. They're fiesty, they're sharp and witty, they are experts in weaponry and hunting and can lay you on your back in .25 seconds. They are teenagers who posses the innocence of young women, but also carry a wisdom and complete sense of comfort as to who they are. They are thoughtful, tactful and at ease in their bodies. I adore them.
“We can handle them.
My sisters and I can handle anything.”
The girls live on a compound with a bunch of other preppers. Men and women, boys and girls. The compound is separated into two two sections: The Burrow, where the men reside with the weapons and artillery, and The Nest, where the women reside and grow food for the compound and tend to the animals. Every day the girls are required to take care of the animals that are used for food, to train with the rest of the compound, and to remember the most vital rule of all:
“The first rule of prep club is you don't talk about prep club.”
The compound is ultra strict about keeping the prepper business on the DL, and anyone caught violating their rules or putting their fellow preppers at risk are swiftly dealt with and banished. This lifestyle is all the juniper sisters have ever known, and it's almost like they were made for it. So even though they are always labeled the Weird Sisters at whatever school they end up attending, they also are quite aware that if a disaster ever hit, they would definitely be the last ones standing.
“If I be waspish, best beware my sting.”
Honey is the oldest Juniper sister and tasked with the responsibility of keeping her sisters in line and ensuring they always stay together. She is compassionate and strong, fierce yet approachable, thoughtful and definitely acts as the mother hen. The story is told by her and seen through her eyes, which I think was the perfect choice for a voice for this story. She is the balance of her two sisters. A piece of Blue's calm and a piece of Birdie's brash nature. She is the glue and the rational authority for her sisters, always thinking ahead and making sure they are safe.
“...a look that rides the line between aloof and ready for battle.”
Now Birdie...she's my girl. I connected with her SO much, even though she's still a bit of a mystery. She has the Fury/Amren vibes of cool and carefree murder in her eyes, and a sassy mouth like Aelin and Bryce. She fully lives up to her name in the sense that she flies out the door on a whim, doing what she pleases and when. She acts before thinking and refuses to be told what to do, but that doesn't mean she isn't an excellent prepper. Because she is. She is just as dedicated to her lifestyle as her sisters, but she likes to bend the rules more. She is the strength and unwavering determination of the sisters.
“A calm blue sea with hair to match...”
Blue is also my favorite! So yeah, okay...I love them all. But Blue is perfection! She is the youngest Juniper and is an enigma of cool, calm and collected at all times. She is unwavering in her thoughtfulness and passive nature, and is always spouting odd prophecy-like sentences that even make her sisters look at her strangely. But of course, that was why I was obsessed with her. Well, and the cobalt blue hair. Blue is so sweet and loving, definitely the heart of the sisters.
“So foul and fair a day I have not seen.”
But this story has so much MORE of an underlying purpose weaved within it, but I of course can't say a damn thing about it because OHMYGAH, it's so good. By the end of the book I had tears forming, and when Birdie flies at someone near the end...well. I just about broke down and started happy weeping. How this tale comes together is really crafty and sly, and I loved how slowly everything was revealed. It broke me a little, in a good way, and I am still oohing and ahhing about the beauty of it all. And to make the story EVEN BETTER, the writing in it was fantastic! The sarcastic jokes, ironic Hunger Games references and witty banter between Honey and her classmate Remy was so enjoyable. I was highlighting SO MUCH while reading because I couldn't get enough of these personalities.
There are a few romantic notions in this tale, but I really liked that it didn't encompass the story or overpower the real plot. It added to the characters by bringing a necessary softness and realistic nature to them. It helped make the girls feel like actual teenagers, rather than gun-toting soldiers looking for a fight.
Overall, I loved this book. I want it to become a movie, I want to play Birdie, no I cannot act, but I have that “f**k you” look ready and the hair to match, so bring it on. Read this book. Get into the culty/Dooms Day/Apocalypse/prepper lifestyle with me and let's go be weird together.
Currently taking applications for my other Juniper sisters.
LAST GIRLS is sensational: superb writing with a strong voice and firm grasp of character development, swiftly ratcheting tension, and plenty of exciting reveals to make you whip through the pages. Brodsky has crafted three unique but inseparable sisters in Honey, Birdie, and Blue; their fierce devotion serves as the strong heart of a story about a sect of doomsday preppers who live separately from their community, constantly training for survival when our current society is inevitably destroyed by our own self-involved and electronically dependent ways. There's coming of age troubles, serious abuse of power by charismatic leaders, and loads of family secrets uncovered. A big 5 stars from me!
A book about doomsday preppers?!?! Sign me up!! That’s why I was BEYOND excited when I was able to join in on the blog tour not long ago.
This book met my expectations and then some. There was a strong sense of familial love–which I’m a sucker for. Almost more than romance. There was action, excitement and more importantly–three incredibly well-written strong characters that I fell in love with. They were each unique and brought their own personality into the story. I loved it!
I received an early copy of this book from the author im exchange for an honest review.
Last Girls is a book I would definitely recommend to have on your radar. Demetra Brodsky writes the best Thrillers that gives us readers unexpected twists, chills and amazing characters💛
Just like she did in Dive Smack, Demetra has written a new amazing and griping story that, undoubtedly, I will be obsessing over for a very long time.
Last Girls is one of the very few Thrillers I can say I really loved. It was full of action and suspense, the kind that made me stay up late into the night reading because I kept telling myself “just one more page” and yeah I finished the whole book🤷🏻♀️ It was that good, what can I say?🌚
Honey, Birdie and Blue are sisters who, while sometimes have their ups and downs, are fiercely loyal to one another. Honey is the oldest of them and loves to paint, Birdie loves to draw comics and Blue loves to embroider in every single shade of blue, how cool is that?!
They live in a compound with her mother and have to follow strict rules to protect those around them and themselves. That means no talking with outsiders and not joining any school clubs. Then, one day, something happens at school that alters their lives in a way they didn’t expect.
Last girls was amazing from beginning to end, the characters were all amazing and definitely surprised me more than once. They made me laugh and they definitely made me cry. Demetra’s writing style is that amazing😭
There were lots secrets and lies that made me gasp out loud, I should ‘t be surprised though, this is something Demetra loves to include n her books😎 I loved the swoons and banter, too😍 I’m sorry but I can’t choose just one favorite character, they are all amazing💛
A tale of doomsday preppers, secret compounds, and survival at the end of the world, Last Girls was such a unique and rather (unexpected) timely story. But at its heart, it’s a story of sisterhood, the importance of family, and sticking together no matter what.
Honey, Blue, and Birdie Juniper live in a secret compound in Washington state, along with the rest of their group of survivalists and doomsday preppers. The Juniper sisters attend public school but they’re certainly not like their peers, especially with their EDC’s (every day carries), their lack of technology (one shared cell phone), and their general attitude of always being on high alert in case the SHTF (shit hits the fan). They spend much of their time avoiding attention, as per their mother’s request, but an incident at school puts all three of them and their fellow compound members right in the spotlight.
Doomsday preppers are such an interesting and weird set of people, and these particular preppers were a perfect example. Much like real life, their lifestyle is driven by an almost obsession with the end of the world, be it from economic collapse, war, or viral pandemic. Oddly enough, the timing of this book was such an incredible coincidence since we are, in fact, smack dab in the middle of a viral pandemic and possibly facing an economic collapse. That bit of reality made this book so much more visceral and gave the whole story such an authentic feeling. And it made me wonder who around me, right now, is doing exactly what these preppers are doing (and if they have tinfoil hats).
My expectations were super high going in to this book and I’m so thrilled to say that it delivered. Each of the sisters had their own unique voice and experienced their own personal journey throughout the course of the story, and the bond they shared was my favorite part. Although the mystery and the unending feeling of doom both came in at a close second. All told, Demetra Brodsky is such an exciting new voice in the world of YA thrillers and Last Girls is a book I’ll recommend the heck out of, along with her debut, Dive Smack. Do yourself a favor and add both to your tbr, because they’re both books not to be missed.
*I received an e-Arc from the author on Netgalley for an honest review*
And just like that, Demetra has done it again! Just like her debut, Dive Smack, I was completely sucked into this story. It was fan-flipping-tastic! This is a story about doomsday preppers, secret compounds, and survival for TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It). Doomsday preppers are constantly prepping for the end, and carry an EDC (Every Day Carry). It's so crazy that this book happens to be coming out during a worldwide pandemic, and it made the story that much more real to me. Are you a psychic, Demetra? ;) Demetra weaves in just the right amount of mystery and suspense, and I found myself trying to figure things out as I went along, and couldn't stop reading.
At the heart of the story though, is the relationship between the Juniper sisters. Honey, Birdie, and Blue are all unique characters, and very well fleshed out. I love the inseparable bond between them, and they are my favorite part of the story. Honey is the oldest and loves to paint, Birdie is the middle and loves to draw comics, and Blue is the youngest and embroiders in the color blue. They stick together, no matter what. I'm so excited for you to meet them! If this book wasn't on your radar already, I hope that you pick it up when it releases on May 5, 2020. I've already preordered my finished copy and can't wait for it to arrive. And while you're at it, add Dive Smack to your TBR too!
This book was not at all what I expected - and I was pleasantly surprised by that. And it's one that I'm finding really hard to rate. Personally, I'm not a fan of doomsday preppers. I don't understand their extreme mindsets and so it was really hard for me to connect with Honey throughout the book. She's also very abrasive and pushes people away, so she didn't make it easy.
Last Girls follows three sisters: Honey, Birdie, and Blue. They live on a compound of preppers and live by a very rigid set of rules. All at once, it seems like those rules go out the window and Honey is left trying to put all the pieces together while protecting her sisters.
This book was like three stories in one and I'll be honest, in the beginning I was a little confused. Especially when it started switching POV's to this Toby person. Over the course of the book, I started putting the pieces together and found myself completely invested in that storyline and was constantly trying to figure out how all the pieces connected. Sadly, I just didn't connect to Honey as much as Toby so for most of the book I was anxiously awaiting Toby's plotline to jump back in.
I will be honest. This book goes in place I was not prepared for. The synopsis hardly gives anything away which I think was a good idea. I went in thinking it was one thing and then suddenly it was much deeper than just preppers. This was my first book by Brodsky but I look forward to more!
1. Where has this book been all my life? 2. Why did it have to end? 3. Why was this not on my radar sooner?
This is a book I did not know I needed. I stayed up past my bedtime last night (Wednesday), ate half a box of Cheez-its, and compromised my Thursday (why do people insist on talking to me today?). I almost explained to my husband why I looked like a drank a six-pack, but I refrained. He already makes fun of me for buying and reading shojo manga, so nobody needs to give him this fuel.
Anyway, LAST GIRLS is my first five star read of the month and with good reason. The premise is unique, the sisterly love has my shriveled heart growing twice its size, like the Grinch, but less green and hairy. I swear. The mystery surrounding the compound and who the Juniper sisters were, what happened to Daniel, IS REMY A SPY OR NOT OMG WHAT IS HE. Yea, I was hooked. I mean, these girls were GOALS. And I'm 38 years old btw so...let that sink in.
Last Girls by Demetra Brodsky was mindblowing. It was glorious. It was spectacular. I want to add the Lady Gaga talented-brilliant-incredible-amazing-showstopping gif but I can't find it on Giphy and I don't know how to add gifs from anywhere else.
Last Girls is about three sisters who live in a commune of doomsday preppers. The three sisters Honey, Birdie and Blue Juniper are struggling with the commune dynamics. The three sisters are inseparable and fiercely protective of each other. Their life off the grid is about more than staying under the government radar for their prepper lifestyle. There are secrets within the group that will change their lives forever and not in a way they've trained for.
Overall this book is amazing. Demetra Brodsky has crafted a thoroughly enjoyable and suspenseful read that will have you entranced. The doomsday aspect gives the book a dystopian feel but it is very much contemporary.
Last girls is a YA mistery thriller about three sisters, Honey, Birdie and Blue living in a compound of doomsday preppers in Washington. Honestly I didn't know a lot about doomsday preppers until I read this book. This was very different from any book that I ever read but very enjoyable. Overall, I really like it 3. 5 stars for me Thanks to netgalley and Tor teen for this arc in exchange for an honest review.
Pretty good, but not my absolute favorite. I'm rounding up though because there's so much that I really like, and the negatives don't weigh so much on me. I like the characters, even though there are times I get slightly annoyed. However, it's very far and between, so it doesn't bother me. I do wish that I couldn't felt more for them, as I wasn't connecting to them on an emotional level. The story I thought was great! There were many times that things I was genuinely surprised, and the books went on paths I wasn't expecting. While it does slightly remind me of other books, it's not enough for me to directly compare them. It holds strongly on its own, and I think it's worth checking out if you want to try out something new!
This one isn’t my usual type of read. One of my goals this year for reading (and in general) is to challenge myself, get out of my comfort zone. So when I saw the synopsis for Last Girls I was intrigued and decided to give it a shot.
HOLY FORKING SHIRTBALLS GUYS!!!! I didn’t know what to expect from this book when I started it but it gave me one of the biggest roller coaster ride of the year. From the very first chapter, it grabbed my attention and kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end.
Last Girls is the story of the Juniper sisters that live in a prepper compound. It is told in the POV of the eldest of three sisters, Honey Juniper. You will find a couple of chapters in between in another POV. I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t talk about them except to tell you I really enjoyed them and thought they brought so much more to the book. Back to the sisters. Honey was an amazing character. Being the eldest she is always looking out for her siblings. No matter what happens she will always put their well-being first. As we read more about their story you start to see what brought this behaviour on and just how deep their bond is. Along with her sisters Blue and Birdie, Honey is the weird kid at her school. I mean living in a compound and prepping for doomsday will probably do the trick for that. But even if she seems to fully adhere to the prepper ways you could see the duality in Honey between maintaining the safety of the compound and her wish to fit in at school. Though the Juniper sisters are sometimes isolated in their own community not having been brought up there but coming in as outsiders.
This was my first book and contact really with the prepper mentality. The way the community is explained it sounded almost more like a cult to me then anything. I guess it probably is in a way. I don’t know how close the book is to reality but oh my gosh my brain can’t wrap itself around some things.
But Last Girls wasn’t just a book about preppers and when shit will hits the fan, for me it had also a lot of heart. The unconditional love that the sisters have for each other transpires through the story. It’s the kind of book that you didn’t expect to hit you in the feels but when it does you can’t help but love it so much more. It is so hard to talk about this book without giving anything away. There were so many twists and turns. Some of the twists I saw coming and some I didn’t but it didn’t matter if some parts were predictable because it was so captivating.
Oh my goodness! I can’t rave about this book more! This book is so relevant to how I’m feeling these days during quarantine. I’m thinking I may need to build a compound of my own and invite all my favorite people to help run it. We’ll each help build a community together! We’ll do some gardening, baking/cooking, fitness training, survival training, and tend to a myriad of animals raised for producing all the goods we’ll need. Let’s go off the beaten path together!
Honey has always taken care of her younger sister’s as they’ve moved around from one state to another. When she finds her younger sister Birdie, the rebel, caught up in something dangerous she starts to wonder if the compound they’ve lived on with their mother for the past year may not be what it seems.
Honey and her sisters start to question everything after their friend gets sent away for his part in potentially exposing the community to the outside world and things start to get even more dangerous with every question answered. In the end it’ll take three outsiders to help put the final pieces together.
Demetra did an amazing job of describing life living on the compound. After reading this one I think I’ll need to improve my survival skills and make sure I’ve got my EDC (Every Day Carry) bag ready to go at all times.
Last Girls is sort of bonkers, but in the best possible way. From the description, I expected it to be a story of a girl living in a prepper community who starts to question the group's lifestyle, but it ended up being so much more. I don't want to say much about the plot, because it goes to a lot of unexpected places, and that's big part of the fun.
Honey Juniper is the eldest of three sisters. Their single mother is obsessed with the end of the world, and she has raised the girls to be ready for anything. The family were just solo preppers until they joined a larger group who has their own compound. All the women live in one compound, the Nest, and the men live in another, the Burrow. It's a hardcore prepper group, and the kids in the group are highly trained and ready for anything. When we first meet Honey at her high school, there's an event that sounds like shots fired. While everyone else in her class in terrified and sheltering in place, Honey grabs her everyday carry bag (her school backpack, which is filled with all kinds of survival gear), pushes herself through a ceiling panel into an air vent, and goes to meet up with her sisters in their designated meeting spot. Sounds extreme, but this is just standard operating procedure for the Juniper sisters.
Honey is such a distinctive character, full of contradictions. She's a complete badass, but she's also got the soul of a sensitive artist. (She loves painting, but her mother doesn't approve of developing any skills that won't be useful after the apocalypse.) She's suspicious and closed off to outsiders, but she finds herself opening up to a classmate. She's a dedicated prepper, but she also questions the policies of the group.
This book is a really interesting look at the prepper lifestyle, and I learned a lot (mostly that if the apocalypse comes, I'm totally unprepared). It's a fascinating insight into this subculture, and it's a great setting for the book. This is an action-packed book, with a fast-moving plot. I found it hard to put down.
I received a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.
Honey, Blue, and Birdie haven’t had a choice but to live in The Nest and although they feel like weirds among their peers at school, they are tightly bonded to each other. They have been brought up to follow strict rules and guidelines, to not trust Outsiders, and know how to survive in all kinds of situations (without the constant use of technology, and while also not knowing the full truth about their past). They are strong despite the trauma they’ve been through. They are connected despite the distance they must maintain from others around them. They are smart beyond their years despite everything that is missing from their lives. It’s a story that unfolds as thriller, a mystery about a prepper community that gradually appears to be a dangerous group with some dark plans, but this is decidedly a contemporary novel with superb character development. The entire story also wouldn’t be complete without a family secret and the ending encapsulates some of my most positive feelings about ‘Last Girls’; nothing cheesy, just full-on satisfied it ends that way. Author Demetra Brodsky really allows the reader to get to know her characters and writes her contemporary ‘worlds’ with the detail of a fantasy novel (I love the way she uses actual survivalist terminology for chapter names); these give the story so much more depth. Getting lost in the woods of the Pacific Northwest is one thing (I don’t think I’d advise it). But getting lost in this book for a weekend is immersive and wonderful.
4.5 stars Ah I loved it! It was not profound in any real way, it was not life-altering but this book hooked me from page one. I thought a preppers book would be a bad idea to read during quarantine, but the preppers part was so interesting. And the mystery that is strewn throughout the pages had me guessing and hoping, totally captivated. It’s different and unique and completely absorbing. The only reason I’m not giving it 5 stars was a slightly hokey reason they gave for something that could’ve changed the vibe of the book. Luckily it didn’t, but I think that could’ve been a bit different. There are quite a few POTUS jokes that poke fun at our current president, so if political opinions turn you off, definitely be aware. Also, the main character would do threat assessments on random characters and they were hilarious. The assessment would determine their ability to impede survival and their casualty potential and I found them hysterical. The underlying message of family and always sticking together was heart-warming too. All in all I highly recommend!
The content was very high in language and fairly minor everywhere else. There was a small amount of violence and blood but few details were involved. Check out my full content review on my blog (link in bio) I recommend this for those that need a fast-paced story, a great escape read or those who love survival stories with strong main characters.
This book is out Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Thank you to Tor Teen and NetGalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
My favorite thing about Last Girls is the Juniper sister's bond. Books about sisters is one of my favorite elements in books and as soon as I witnessed the intense love Honey, Birdie, and Blue have for each other I was sold. But Last Girls is about more than just sisterhood. It's about secrets, the dangerous kind that can rip a community apart, family, and sacrifice. Part of what makes Last Girls such a compelling read is the sense of mystery and intrigue Brodsky infuses into the story. Even if I could tell where some of the twists and turns were, I could never predict the execution of these revelations.
Last Girls takes place in our world, it's not science fiction, but for a lot of us, the world of the Juniper sisters is still a world with which we are unfamiliar. Living in a community preparing for the end of the world, the Juniper sisters are highly trained and have to rely on themselves. Prepping comes first and anything that could get in the way of their community and survival, like outside relationships or even art, is frowned upon. Last Girls examines both the Juniper sisters, but also the group dynamics and characters who contemplate their role in the end of the world.
A story about badass sisters who don't need saving? Bring it! Last Girls delivers! The book is gorgeously written with a twist that will have you tearing through the pages. Each of the vividly drawn Juniper sister has her own unique voice. I loved their unbreakable family bond and how their personalities worked so well together. While the timing of a book about doomsday preppers is a strange coincidence, it actually made me relate to the survivalist sisters even more; times like these, it would be nice to know how to prepare for when the SHTH. The book ends on a happy note that we could all use right now, with a guarantee that you won’t soon forget this incredible story and even more incredible Juniper sisters.
Beyond the story (which is compelling and timely and heartfelt), beyond the cover (which is beautiful and so perfect for each sister), beyond the characters (who are sharply drawn and whole and real), the writing in Last Girls struck a chord with me. It felt so true—how the relationship with Honey and Birdie and Blue were sketched on each page, how they interacted and cared for each other. As the story developed and the tension built, the thread of their relationship wound through it all, linking (in the most satisfying way) to the other POV in the story. I loved this book!
Last Girls is a novel idea breathed intensely into the YA genre. An unexpected narrative penned in Brodsky’s witty, matter-of-fact prose and executed with purpose, this story seeps into your bones like the cold rain of the Pacific North West and refuses to let go even after the last page.
It was so difficult for me to put this book down. Once you realize that things really aren’t adding up, you just have to know how it ends. This book was filled of twists and turns, love and loss, trust and friendship and terrible betrayal. I adored this book