Jessica Warman’s The Last Good Day of the Year  is a chilling YA mystery 

Jessica Warman’s The Last Good Day of the Year  is a chilling YA mystery 

The Last Good Day of the Year is a solid and well written YA mystery/suspense/thriller with an ending that left me haunted.  Time and age often change our perceptions of events, and in this case, a teen realizes she isn’t so sure about an accusation she made as a child – an accusation that put a boy in prison and may have let a killer walk free.  I gave this four stars, and I can’t wait to get it in our classroom library.

Goodreads Review

A new powerful thriller from the globally-embraced author of Between.

Ten years ago, in the early hours of New Year’s Day, seven-year-old Samantha and her next door neighbor, Remy, watched as a man broke into Sam’s home and took her younger sister, Turtle, from her sleeping bag. Remy and Sam, too afraid to intervene at the time, later identified the man as Sam’s sister Gretchen’s much older ex-boyfriend, Steven, who was sent to prison for Turtle’s murder.

Now, Sam’s shattered family is returning to her childhood home in an effort to heal. As long-buried memories begin to surface, Sam wonders if she and Remy accurately registered everything they saw. The more they re-examine the events of that fateful night, the more questions they discover about what really happened to Turtle.

Master storyteller Jessica Warman keeps readers guessing in this arresting page-turner.

My Thoughts

This was a compelling mystery that kept me guessing, and the end was chilling.  This isn’t an action packed book, but it is well paced to develop the complex miasma of damage, guilt, and questions that haunt a family who has lost a child.  Samantha is a perfectly situated narrator.  Hovering between the innocent child and the aware young adult, Sam is trying to make sense of what she thought she knew and her growing suspicions.  Her hesitation to upset the finely balanced life her family now lives makes sense to readers.  Her compulsion to understand what really happened is equally clear. I thought this was very engaging and I read it in one sitting.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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