Book Review: The Last Good Day of the Year by Jessica Warman
Synopsis of Jessica Warman’s “The Last Good Day of the Year”:
Ten years ago, seven-year-old Samantha and her next door neighbor Remy watched helplessly as Sam's little sister was kidnapped. Later, Remy and Sam identified the man and he was sent to prison. Now, Sam's shattered family is returning to her childhood home in an effort to heal. As long-buried memories begin to surface, she and Remy wonder what they really saw. The more they re-examine the events of that fateful night the more questions they have about what happened to Turtle ...and they become more certain that Turtle's killer is still out there, hidden amongst the members of their tight-knit community.
The Good & the Meh
- It was a quick read. I finished it in a few hours and I was (mostly) entertained while reading.
- Secondary characters were interesting. I’m not sure why some were included though (I’m talking about you, Noah)
- Some of the long passages about random stuff were obviously used as filler, but it was sometimes rather interesting. Sometimes
- Sam’s father stole the show. His quiet derision and dislike of himself was heartbreaking to read. I felt terrible for him.
The Bad & the Annoying
- Not much leading up to ending. No climax really, just “here’s what happened”. I wanted more oomph
- The rushed “and this is what happened to so-and-so” sucked. A little blurb about the rest of the characters lives does not an ending make.
- We never really find out what happens to Turtle and that really pissed me off. At least tell me [Spoiler Removed]
- Nothing was really solved. [Spoiler Removed]. I need to know!
- Gretchen was a cold ass bitch. I don’t understand why she and Abby [Spoiler Removed]
Questions I Have After Reading:
- WHAT happened to Turtle? What did that monster do to her?
- Were Gretchen and Abby lesbians? i didn’t get their relationship. it seemed like a big ol’ clusterfuck.
- Why was Noah even in the story? What was his role, anyway? He didn’t do anything but be annoying. Oh, and apparently, he smells. Yuck.
My Notes While Reading
- Sam’s mom is one hell of a character but the dad, who is always in the background, seems a little more human. His sorrow and heartbreak is pitiful and really shows that the author can write. Not sure what’s up with Gretchen though
“And I deserve that. Don’t shake your head, because you know it’s true. This is my life and my hell, and this is where I have to stay, because if Sharon or Sam or Gretchen calls my name and I’m not there … I don’t know. I can’t think about it. It kills me every morning. I hear her screaming for me every morning.”
- Not sure what to make of the mom. She’s pretty fucked up all around. She was even before Turtle disappeared. Sam has a weird relationship with her.
“She’s not happy, Remy. She’ll never be happy. But at least now she doesn’t sleep for twenty hours a day. Now she doesn’t have to use prescription eyedrops because her eyes are so dried out from crying—crying every day for so many years that it’s starting to permanently affect her vision.”
- Morbid and amusing. My kind of humor.
“That’s all we get, people: one hundred years, and then our remains can be exhumed in order to provide the living with easier access to a Spencer’s Gifts.”
- LOL Sylvia Brown, the staple of 90’s talk shows
“Mary Marie Boon, an overweight, wrinkled woman in her sixties who claims to be able to communicate with the dead as easily as you or I might pick up a phone and order pizza. She has written over a dozen books detailing her many supposed encounters with the “other side”; apparently, dead people have nothing better to do but stand around and wait for a chance to shoot the breeze with her.”
I’m kind of pissed now that I think about all that stuff. I have more questions now than I did before. i started off thinking the story was a solid 3.5 but, I’m downgrading to 3.