I’ve done a few posts for LAST GIRLS already but it finally hit the shelves this week!
I’ve been looking forward to this release for a LONG time so I hope loads of readers add it to their libraries and TBR lists now that it’s out.
**It’s kind of rough for authors to be releasing books while bookstores are closed during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Authors and local bookstores could really do with your support right now so show them your love of books by placing online orders of physical copies of books to be SHIPPED TO YOU!!*
Demetra Brodsky's Last Girls is a twisting, suspenseful YA thriller about sisterhood, survival, and family secrets set in the world of doomsday prepping.
No one knows how the world will end.
On a secret compound in the Washington wilderness, Honey Juniper and her sisters are training to hunt, homestead, and protect their own.
Prepare for every situation.
But when danger strikes from within, putting her sisters at risk, training becomes real life, and only one thing is certain:
Nowhere is safe.
what makes this a great read…
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 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.
*some thoughts about the state of the world around us in relation to LAST GIRLS*
Once the COVID-19 outbreak started affecting our communities jut a few short months ago, the concept of doomsday-prepping became something that seemed to be terrifyingly necessary because we suddenly went into ‘lockdown’ mode.
When our minds go into catastrophic thinking mode amid crisis (and the Coronavirus outbreak definitely can be described as a real one, not imagined), we turn to ways of coping that may be extreme, but not always rationally thought through.
Across the country and early on in the outbreak, many people started hoarding supplies such as toilet paper, cleaning products, hand sanitizer, and disposable face masks. They were panic-buying.
*Doomsday-preppers/preppers/survivalists don’t hoard per se; they spend months preparing and saving supplies, and plan to disperse these within their community if there is an emergency.
Because many people bought way more than personally needed or that they needed for their families, many people, including those with less resources and also essential personnel, could not get what they needed. This has been just one of the vey unfortunate issues of the pandemic, but thankfully many people have shown their compassion for others by sharing and caring for their neighbors and strangers in this time. Crisis has the potential to bring out the best in some people but not so much for others.
LAST GIRLS author Demetra Brodsky wrote her sophomore novel about a trio of sisters who live in a prepper community over a year ago, long before the current outbreak of COVID-19 that has swept the United States and much of the world.
I think there’s something quite wonderful about this having been written before the outbreak but most will read it afterwards. I read it during ‘quarantine’ and it colored the way I was feeling at that time; I was barely leaving my house!
It seems crazy to have written about people preparing for TEOTWAWKI (and people prepare for ‘The End’ all the time) when it kind of felt like it for a while when so much was unknown.
I’m grateful to Demetra and all my books and for the privilege of reading so I can escape my own reality when things are hard. For real.
You can order signed copies of the book through Mysterious Galaxy, whether you tune in for the event or not.
HAPPY READING. Stay healthy, everyone :)
*A review copy was provided by the author Demetra Brodsky in exchange of an honest review. THANK YOU!*
LAST GIRLS PRE-ORDER CAMPAIGN
Hey all! I recently finished this amazing YA novel set here in Washington, a tale about family, survival, and doomsday prepping. The book releases in just 3 weeks on 5.5.20; lots of time to get in a preorder and then get your book for your (quarantine) reading! If you send in your receipt to Demetra, she’s got some great prizes and preorder gifts in store...
The Juniper sisters in LAST GIRLS don't go anywhere without a backpack (what they call an EDC: Every Day Carry) and they take great pride in their artwork. Honey paints, Birdie draws comics, and Blue uses embroidery to fancy up her clothes (when she's not spending time with her beloved falcon, Achilles).
To honor the sisters' talents, author Demetra Brodsky will be sending one lucky winner some artistic inspiration by offering up a fabulous pre-order Grand Prize. But don't worry, everyone who orders will receive a gift with purchase. And, as a bonus, she is including a 2nd prize that holds a special place in her author heart.
ALL PREORDERS WILL RECEIVE: Last Girls 5x7 Glossy Art Print & Signed Bookplate
ALL PREORDERS WILL BE ENTERED FOR A CHANCE TO WIN THE GRAND AND FIRST PRIZE.
GRAND PRIZE WINNER: (chosen at random on or before 5/19) will receive a BUILT NY grey & blue camouflage backpack with thermal lunch compartment. Inside you'll find a mini acrylic painting kit (From Honey), a sketchbook & pen (From Birdie), an adorable 10" peregrine falcon plushie and mini sewing kit (from Blue), a flashlight (with batteries), a rosy tinted lip balm, camouflage band-aids, a 3-pack of portable tissues printed with positive messages, and a dehydrated camping meal like the one the sisters eat in the book.
FIRST PRIZE: (chosen at random on or before 5/19) A signed hardcover copy of my debut novel, DIVE SMACK, to round out your collection (Surprise! There's a big Dive Smack Easter Egg hidden in the pages of Last Girls)
TO ENTER: email proof of purchase to email@example.com before May 5th. You'll get one entry for each copy of the book you purchase.
Available wherever books are sold.
Whenever possible, please support Indie Bookstores by buying through www.bookshop.org
You can also preorder your copy through these links:
Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego will have signed copies (not bookplates) and offers Free shipping for media mail rate within the U.S. on orders over $35. https://www.mystgalaxy.com/book/9781250256522
VISIT: www.demetrabrodsky.com to learn more!
*Open to U.S.A. Residents Only
*Sweepstakes run and fulfilled by the author
*Share with your friends
READ AN EXCERPT LAST GIRLS HERE:
Good luck, and get your order in now!
edited by Samie Sands
Fourteen stories all on the theme of the world coming to an end. Of course such an idea intrigued me! I had never read any of the authors before but part of the idea of anthologies is to discover new voices. Like most anthologies, some stories appealed more than others. It's well edited and I don't remember tripping over any typos at all.
There were just three of the dreaded present tense stories and a couple of others where the writing wasn't up to scratch or the plot went nowhere, but also a few notable stories with interesting ideas stood out.
We had aliens, zombies, vampires eating zombies, people who melt, mythological gods, dystopia, dead people who stay animate long enough to testify against their murderers, WW3, immortality whether you want it or not and a fairy world dying. Quite a variety of approaches!
The stand out stories IMO are From Strange to Indifferent by Katie Jaarsveld and Nightmare Rising by McKenzie Richardson. Both of these are well written and explor some interesting ideas. The latter will be of particular interest to Fantasy fans.
Not too bad as such collections go and it's given me two more authors to pay attention to.
To sum it up in one sentence, this book wasn’t very good but wasn’t completely without redeeming qualities. The writing was solid. A bit too much tell versus show at times but the narrative was engaging enough that it didn’t bother me. I liked the introductions to all the characters and felt that those early chapters gave me a really good handle on who everyone was. Except Toby, for the first few chapters I kept forgetting who he was and I am still not sure why I couldn’t remember him.
Jinx was a terrible main character. I could tell that she’s supposed to be smart but she really enjoyed acting like she wasn’t. Her father prepared her for the apocalypse for years, she knows what she should do in the situations presented in the book. She just decides not to do it. And then regrets it once everything goes horribly wrong. Just once I wanted her to follow the lessons of her father and go along with the disaster plan. But, alas, she did not. I tried really hard to like her as a character but I just couldn’t do it.
Charles was an absolutely delight as a character, which was completely unexpected for me. I did not expect to like him but he stole my heart. I wanted to protect him in his anxiety and fear. And to quite frank, he was a lot smarter than his older sister too.
My biggest problem with this book however was the political overtones. I don’t mind books that are commentaries on the current political climate. But, is it really so hard to disguise that a tiny bit? Somehow the current political parties have been replaced by The Spark and The Opposition. I have no idea how that happened because the author didn’t bother to tell me. The Spark is basically the Democrat party. Socialist, popular with “educated” folks who majored in political science, and the goal is take rich people’s money and spread it around so that everyone has a mediocre existence. They have been in power for about 10 years according to the book. Their leader is Rosenthal. Everyone in the book repeats the party catch phrase ad nauseum “Everyone’s for Rosenthal.” And if anyone in the book even hints that they might not be for Rosenthal they are immediately attacked with “so you just hate people? you just want to hoard your stuff instead of take care of people?!” Yawn. Boring. The Opposition is the Republicans, allegedly. Led by Ammon Carver, an enigmatic billionaire who owns the largest bank in the country and since “Everyone’s for Rosenthal” he obviously cheated in order to win. Is this sounding familiar at all? Oh yes, everyone in The Opposition wears red hats, carries shotguns, has a poor command of the English language, has a pickup truck, and obviously wants the world to descend into anarchy so they can keep all their stuff. Oh and every other character immediately labels them a Neo-Nazi seemingly without any evidence of that at all. Is this sounding familiar now?
I didn’t mind the political themes at first because after the first 20 pages or so they seemed to largely move on to other things. But then it comes back at the end in such a heavy handed way that I wanted to scream. It felt like the author was beating me over the head with a MAGA hat screaming “I’m talking about Trump and 2016!!!” I get it. Okay? Honestly. I get it. I am not so stupid that I didn’t see your glaringly obvious theme. I was so tired of it by the time we got to the big twist at the end that I mostly just wanted the book to end. I don’t mind politics in my books, but please refrain from beating me over the head with your own opinions. I don’t need the brain damage.
And then we come to the twist. It wasn’t that good either. I started figuring it out about halfway through the book. I was completely sure that I knew what was going on shortly after. It was so blatantly obvious that even another character basically says to Jinx, “Hey isn’t all this stuff weird and suspicious? Do you think there might be something odd going on here?” And Jinx just laughs and says “Of course not!”. Then she is oh so shocked when the traitor is revealed. Um, that other character literally told you all that stuff about 40 pages ago. Are you really that dense?
Overall, not a good book. I won’t be reading the next book but it gets some credit for the exciting middle portion and for Charles.