The Last One to Fall by Gabriella Lepore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The Last One to Fall is the second novel I have read from Gabriella Lepore. I read This Is Why We Lie in 2021 and had a lot of fun with it.
When I heard Lepore was releasing another YA Mystery-Thriller this year, I was excited to get to it.
This story is set in a small coastal town and it follows six friends after one of them plunges from a warehouse building to their death.
At the very beginning of the story, you know someone has died, but nothing about the incident is clear, not even who the victim is, or if foul play was involved.
Through a couple of different perspectives, as well as some great mixed media usage, the night of the fatal incident is slowly pieced together, until the truth is revealed.
I had fun with this. It’s a good, solid story, full of drama, back-stabbing, secrets and lies. Frankly, we live for that.
I did struggle with my rating. I decided on a 3.5, because I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as This is Why We Lie, which I rated 3.5-stars and rounded up to 4.
I think that’s fair. I feel like, for me, this narrative was a bit of an uneven experience.
My level of commitment to the story got stronger in the second half. The beginning was slow-going and it also had some parental drama effecting the kids and their friendships. I’m not down for that IRL, or on the page.
With this being said, there is quite a bit of family drama, which I do enjoy. Stuff does go down in families, with many barely holding it together. I get it. It’s when parents choose romance, flings, drugs, etc., over their kids well-being that starts to ruffle my feathers.
That is a tiny part of this novel though, I am just using it as an example of why I didn’t enjoy this quite as much. Also, I did find the first half, the relationship dynamics, a little difficult to follow.
In the later part of the novel though, once I had more of a handle of who everyone was and what their role was in the friendship group, I couldn’t put it down. I needed answers. I had no clue what the truth was and it did surprise me.
I did really enjoy the mixed media aspect of this as well. I felt like it added intrigue to the story, as each time it was used it left me with more questions than answers.
Overall, I had fun reading this one. While it probably won’t stick in my mind as a new favorite for 2023, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a solid YA Mystery-Thriller.
Thank you to the publisher, Inkyard Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I had a great time trying to figure this one out and will definitely pick up whatever Lepore writes next!