Monday, August 12, 2013

ARC Review: Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
288 Pages

In Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski, sixteen-year-old Samantha D’Angelo has death on the brain. Her summer internship at the local newspaper has her writing obituaries instead of soaking up the sun at the beach. Between Shelby, Sam’s boy-crazy best friend; her boss Harry, a true-blue newspaper man; and AJ, her fellow “intern scum” (aka the cute drummer for a band called Love Gas), Sam has her hands full. But once she figures out what—or who—is the best part of her summer, will she mess it all up?

As Sam learns her way around both the news room and the real world, she starts to make some momentous realizations about politics, ethics, her family, romance, and most important—herself.

I devoured Famous Last Words. As soon as I had the opportunity to just sit down a read, I dove in face first and was so addicted to the story, that I didn't even think about putting the book down until I completed it. I read it in just a few hours as I waited for my mother to get out of an eye appointment. Never before as an appointment gone so quickly! This book was wonderful and absolutely refreshing.

Sam is an intern at the local newspaper. She spends her summer days running errands and writing articles about dead people. It's only a few steps shy of where she plans to be--working the newsroom, writing the stories she truly wants. She knows what she wants from her summer and from this job, but will her quirky best friend, two attractive boys, the story of a lifetime and teen angst get in the way?

I was surprised at how large of a role Sam's job plays in this story. Sure, there is drama (both family, and peer) and boys, but Sam is devoted to her job at the paper and that is a major, major part of the novel. She mentions it often, and much of the story takes place while she's at work. Not only is it interesting to see a character giving perspective on how important her career is to her, but it was an glimpse into the newspaper business that I, personally, had never seen before. And let me tell you: I friggin' loved it.

This book is so fun to read. It has a lot of humor, but there are some emotional elements as well. The author ties these together beautifully and creates a story that readers won't soon forget! The pace of this novel is well done. I never felt it lagging, or move too quickly to fit in with the story itself. (Or maybe I just enjoyed myself too much to really find a fatal flaw, who knows.) This author writes a truly engaging story that is pretty dang impossible to put down.

There is a great mix of characters in this novel. Sam, the main character, is very driven and focused. She is also very immature, and has moments that show how young she truly is. We see some growth in Sam's character throughout the novel, though. Her experiences help change her for the better--though she still has several tendencies (see: slut-shaming) that were frustrating. I liked her relationships with the other characters from the love interest to her gruff boss. Her best friend never truly won me over. I didn't really like their friendship, if I am being totally honest. AJ, though… Le sigh. I really, really liked AJ. His romance with Sam was so sweet. I really just loved (most of) these characters. It was interesting watching the different relationships bloom. After finishing, I am very attached to them all. They are not perfect, but are often amusing and quite realistic in both their flaws and their personalities.

Bravo, Ms. Doktorski! I know that I will definitely be reading more of this author's work. Famous Last Words is Doktorski's sophomore novel, and my favorite of the two she has released. If you get a chance pick up this, or give her debut How My Summer Went Up in Flames a try! They are extremely entertaining reads that will made you a fan of this author's fantastic storytelling! Plus they are perfect for this time of the year! Whether you are just hanging out at home, or spending some time at the beach, Doktorski's work is sure to fit right in!
I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review.

1 comment :

  1. I liked How My Summer Went Up in Flames, but this one does sound better. Glad you had so much fun reading it. Guess I'll have to pick up a copy now. :)


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