Title: Last Things
Author: Jacqueline West
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Young Adult
From the publisher—
When strange things start happening to local music idol Anders Thorson, everyone blames his number-one-fan, Thea. But is she out to hurt him? Or protect him?
High school senior Anders Thorson is unusually gifted. His band, Last Things, is legendary in their northern Minnesota hometown. With guitar skills that would amaze even if he weren’t only eighteen, Anders is the focus of head-turning admiration. And Thea Malcom, a newcomer to the insular town, is one of his admirers. Thea seems to turn up everywhere Anders goes: gigs at the local coffeehouse, guitar lessons, even in the woods near Anders’s home.
When strange things start happening to Anders—including the disappearance of his beloved cat, then his sort-of girlfriend, and, somehow, his musical talent—blame immediately falls on Thea. But is she trying to hurt him? Or save him? Can he trust a girl who doesn’t seem to know the difference between dreams and reality? And how much are they both willing to compromise to get what they want?
As Last Things opens, we’re thrust into a world in which there are malignant entities waiting to take advantage of humans’ weaknesses but those same humans are unaware of the hidden dangers. Most humans, that is; Thea and her aunt are “sensitive” to such things but then we have to wonder, what are their motivations? Are they on the side of evil or do they hope to protect the other townspeople?
In particular, Thea’s behavior with regards to Anders raises many questions but Anders has secrets of his own, secrets that are eating away at his soul. After all, his explosive musical charisma is undoubtedly unusual but it may be due to an honest talent that surpasses the norm. Then again, perhaps he had a little help.
Thea’s obsessive interest in Anders seems a bit stalkerish at first but, when bad things start to happen, Thea and Anders are drawn almost inexorably to each other. What we don’t know is whether this is a good thing or not and Ms. West keeps us guessing—and, in my case, angsting about it—for quite a long ways into the story. This is by no means a complaint as I appreciate a creepy vibe in a thriller that won’t let me put the book down and the whole question of good versus evil is always a terrific hook. Most of all, I know I don’t want to go into those woods 😉
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, April 2019.
About the Author
She is also the author of two poetry collections, Cherma and Candle and Pins: Poems on Superstitions, and her poetry and short fiction appear in a variety of publications.
She lives in Red Wing, Minnesota, with her family.
Follow the tour here.
Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of LAST THINGS
by Jacqueline West (US Only)
Starts: April 29th 2019
Ends: May 12th 2019