I love a good mystery.
A good mystery thriller with kidnapping and…wait for it……murder!
Today’s book review is The Last Good Day of the Year by Jessica Warman.
- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (May 19, 2015)
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.
Master storyteller Jessica Warman keeps readers guessing in an arresting page-turner that questions whether the potential for evil lurks within us all.
My Review: I was disappointed in this book. I love a good mystery but I had a few problems with The Last Good Day of the Year.
Our story jumps back and forth from the present day of 1996 to the past in the late 80s and early 90s. In 1986, 7-year-old Samantha, her 4-year-old sister Turtle, and Samantha’s friend Remy are sent to the basement for a sleepover while their parents party upstairs. While they try to sleep Samantha notices someone peering through the sliding glass door, a man who looks a lot like Santa. When he opens the door and takes Turtle, Samantha’s life is never the same. Samantha’s older sister’s boyfriend, Steven, was charged with the kidnapping and murder. 10 years later Samantha and her family move back into the house Turtle had been kidnapped from. Samantha begins to question if she put the right person in jail and so begins her journey to discover what really happened to Turtle.
I had problems from the start. The back and forth of Samantha’s memories from past to present got confusing and frustrating at times. I was a little dissuaded from wanting to read further because what I thought was the main story of kidnapping focused more on Samantha’s dysfunctional family. I couldn’t connect with Samantha or her family. However, it was interesting to see the fallout of Turtle’s kidnapping and how it affected the family. But I just wanted to know what happened to Turtle so that’s why I kept on reading. The pace was slow so I struggled to the ending, which sorely disappointed me. It was left open-ended and felt rushed. For a standalone book it should have been neatly tied up like most murder mysteries are. I will say that the idea was intriguing but the plot was lacking the thrill.
Should you read it? Yes, you may like this type of mystery. I never hold what I don’t like against a book. I never tell someone not to read it. I let others have their own opinion. So please read this book and get back to me on what you think. I love talking about books!