Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Last Present (2013)

The Last Present (Willow Falls #4) Wendy Mass. 2013. Scholastic. 256 pages. [Source: Review copy]

The Last Present is the sequel to 13 Gifts. The two books are closely connected. 13 Gifts had a cliffhanger ending--for better or worse. Much of 13 Gifts was spent hinting that Leo and Amanda had a BIG TASK AHEAD which required them to sacrifice talking to one another for an entire year. (Only texting and writing was allowed.) Tara, the heroine of 13 Gifts, came to town in the last weeks of their sacrifice. At first, Leo and Amanda, guess that it's all about Tara, and then that it's all about David. Two friends celebrating birthdays the same weekend in July. But at David's party, the truth becomes obvious. Grace, the younger sister of Connor, one of David's friends, falls into a coma after babbling nonsense. Amanda and Leo have no doubt that Angelina will be needing them to save the day somehow, someway. Such is the case.

The two will be traveling back in time. They will travel to each of Grace's birthday parties. They will fix what went wrong with Angelina's "blessing of protection." What they notice from the start is that Connor and another relative seem to be acting against them each and every time. They have no idea if Connor is ruining his sister's parties on purpose or if it's completely accidental. Their mission is clear. How that mission is actually accomplished remains a bit of a puzzle. Readers are just told at each twist and turn that it's the work of Angelina, and that she alone knows what is going on, and since Angelina wouldn't ever dream of sharing that knowledge with anyone no matter what, everything the kids do is on faith.

I liked this one. I didn't not like it anyway. But for a book that supposedly answers all the questions and solves the mystery that is Angelina, this one left me unsatisfied. Out of all the novels, this one is definitely the clearest that this is FANTASY and that magic is going on all around. But the little details seem messy from my perspective.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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