Google+ Reading Teen: FAMOUS LAST WORDS by Katie Alender {Review}

Thursday, October 2, 2014

FAMOUS LAST WORDS by Katie Alender {Review}

Review by Valerie

by Katie Alender
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Point (September 30, 2014)
Goodreads | Amazon

Willa is freaking out. It seems like she's seeing things. Like a dead body in her swimming pool. Frantic messages on her walls. A reflection that is not her own. It's almost as if someone -- or something -- is trying to send her a message.

Meanwhile, a killer is stalking Los Angeles -- a killer who reenacts famous movie murder scenes. Could Willa's strange visions have to do with these unsolved murders? Or is she going crazy? And who can she confide in? There's Marnie, her new friend who may not be totally trustworthy. And there's Reed, who's ridiculously handsome and seems to get Willa. There's also Wyatt, who's super smart but unhealthily obsessed with the Hollywood Killer.

All Willa knows is, she has to confront the possible-ghost in her house, or she just might lose her mind . . . or her life.

This has been in my TBR pile for a few weeks and every time I looked at it, I thought “I’m so excited to read that book” and it didn’t let me down! This book was great! I was worried because I read some reviews that described it as mediocre but I have to disagree. It was a quick read that captivated me from the very beginning; I was taken on such an enjoyable ride that kept me guessing the entire time.

I am just now getting into mysteries which is baffling to me; I mean, I’m currently in grad school studying forensic psychology, mysteries should have been on my radar before now. The premise of the story was thoroughly interesting and it was told in a way that kept the reader invested to the very end. The Hollywood Killer recreates famous movie deaths with his victims; he has a type, aspiring actresses, and he has a routine, setting up a fake audition and then keeping the victim alive for four days practicing the big scene, which was creepy. I got creeped out quite a few times with this book but that’s the point, good job Katie.

There are paranormal beings in this book but what really impressed me was the balance that Katie created between the paranormal and reality. I mostly read contemporary and since it was grounded in reality, it was easy for me to immerse myself in. It was really impressive to me how well the two were integrated while never outshining one another. The writing was what really made this book come together.

I actually really enjoyed the MC, Willa, because she was snarky but not annoying. I found her to be quite funny while still being a believable teenager; she still complained about rules and relied on others but this made me really like her as a character.

My favorite part of the entire book was the flashbacks; Willa had flashbacks through the eyes of the victims of The Hollywood Killer. How interesting! It added so much to the story and it helped give the paranormal an added importance to the story.

I think that mysteries are perfect for me because I suspect everyone and don’t find out who the murderer is until the author reveals that knowledge to me. It all came together at the end and it all made sense, which is incredibly important in a novel like this. I give it my stamp of approval. Great read.

The part that I didn’t really like was the romance, it was fine but not as good as the rest of the book.

This was an enjoyable book and I’m glad that I got to read it.

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