Cover Image: The Last 8

The Last 8

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Member Reviews

An alien invasion leaves Clover (so named for her good luck) Martinez alone in the world. She first finds a dog, which she names Sputnik for her satellite-y ways, and then some other teens with a solid set-up to live out the rest of humanity's days with. Except she's not happy to chill in a bunker. She wants revenge for her abuela and abuelo, and she also wants to fly. She's a pilot, duh. The story isn't that outlandish!

Clover is asexual, and most of her fellow survivors are POC and/or queer, so the story is cool on representation. I wasn't crazy about the vengeance theme, but maybe that's just me.
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I went into this book only knowing that it was end of the world sci-fi and that there were queer characters and I'm so glad I picked it up! It was so refreshing to read something where most (if not all?) of the main cast were queer and that was just sort of incidental. And a bi aro PoC lead character! Amazing 
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This was SO, SO GOOD. This book had me from the first damn line. Characters, plot, world, everything. I can't rave about the parts I loved without risking spoilers, but I. Loved. This.
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I loved the 5th wave and this book was compared to it and I have to agree. Just like with that this one takes you running and leaves you breathless from the start. It certainly is a page turner. I really was able to relate to the characters right out the gate and it made me that much more invested in the story. It has a well structured plot and world building with few holes. There is intrigue and drama and investing yourself in the characters. As soon as this book drops I highly recommend you grab your copy. I am anxiously awaiting the next in the series.
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I'm always up for a good alien invasion story.  When you toss in Area 51, a handful of surviving teens, and an adorable canine named Sputnik, it becomes a must read for me.  

This book gives the reader just enough time to care about Clover before throwing her in front of the aliens, so the pacing gets off to a good start.  It slows a bit once she reaches Area 51 due to drama between her and the other teens before picking up again.  I felt like there was some character inconsistency on Clover's part, with comments and actions coming out of the blue based on her prior behavior.  The group of survivors are wonderfully diverse, but some of their voices are similar and I had trouble distinguishing between them.

As a sci-fi geek, the pop culture references to Back to the Future and Independence Day had me doing happy dances.  For me, it's difficult to read or watch any alien story without thinking about Independence Day, and this novel contains some similar elements.

The Last 8 is strong out of the gate, drops intriguing clues throughout the book, and has interesting twists toward the end, but some plot holes and character inconsistencies slowed the momentum for me.    

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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“My abeulo says that there are people who belong to the earth, and others, like us Martinezes, belong to the sky.”

THE LAST 8 is a dazzling, sky-soaring debut from Laura Pohl. Featuring a Latina main character who is bisexual and aromatic (like me!!), it promises a fast-paced, stand-alone sci-fi adventure where eight teens are left standing in the middle of an alien invasion. I believe this book is also #ownvoices, but I’m not sure to which aspects of Clover’s character. While the suspension of belief is needed for this apocalyptic storyline, Pohl delivers with a tight explanation for the events and a satisfying answer to the mysteries surrounding the aliens. With character development from fierce characters and a wonderful exploration of friendship and survival, THE LAST 8 was fun from start to finish. 

Clover was left at her grandparents’ door when she was an infant and grew up in kind of a rural area in Montana. She gained a love of piloting from her grandfather, and sees herself exploring a lack of romantic feelings for her ex-boyfriend, who likes her. In the midst of the introduction, however, we see an amalgam of alien spaceships land on Earth. The race is on.

While her town is left in ashes by these mysterious, impenetrable aliens, Clover somehow is not noticed and escapes. (There’s a good reason for her not being noticed later.) Cue  a time skip that’s more than a bit jarring, and we get road-trip Clover, who picked up a dog and hears a radio call to Area 51, where survivors have gathered. Survival story? Check. Now to meet the rest of the gang…

… a team of seven teens who somehow found their way together, and are content to live in the safety of the Area 51 bunker. Clover - an active resistor - is not happy with that and starts picking apart the story the team gives. Soon enough, our path to resistance begins.

“On our own, we are nothing. Together, we’re the Last Teenagers on Earth. Together, we are Earth itself.”

Quick tip: I love how most (if not all?) the survivors were LGBTQ+. I also appreciate the POC representation. It’s subtle, but there. In regards to Clover being bisexual and aromantic, I personally thought the representation was pretty solid, although it was quite light and not a big part of the story (I believe there were two or three distinct scenes with Clover talking about it). Her experiences and feelings were super valid though, I felt. It’s definitely possible to have sexual feelings about people without having romantic attraction, although I do think Clover’s lack of romantic attraction stems to other parts of her personality. (Example: sometimes she comes off as emotionally detached, which only adds to her character being full of purpose.)

While THE LAST 8 deals with some intense action scenes and revelations, it ultimately reads like a sci-fi movie. The Vine references, as well as the homage to various alien invasion movies, make THE LAST 8 relatable and laugh-out-loud. I really enjoyed Clover’s personality and her willingness to step up and take action against the mysterious aliens. It’s fast-paced and on the shorter side, making THE LAST 8 and pretty light story despite the (almost) non-stop action. Sci-fi readers will like this one! Fun, quick, and satisfying, this stand-alone debut will grip your attention from start to finish.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Content/Trigger Warnings: suicide ideation, suicide, murder/violence/gore, alcohol usage

Thank you SourceBooks Fire for the review copy!
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I honestly loved this book so much more than I thought I would. Clover was the perfect main character. She was strong, but still a vulnerable teenager just trying to make it in a world where aliens had invaded and wiped the planet clean of almost all humans. Adam, Flint, Andy, Rayen, Avani, Violet, and Brooklyn were all amazing supportive characters.
The first part did go pretty fast, but I'm glad there was enough detail to keep me reading, and not so much that it was just filler.
The twist was one I didn't actually see coming and how it was all handled in the end was perfect, plenty of drama, fighting and finding true friends.
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Now I have to admit, this is my kind of book, I LOVE survival books but don’t really like anything to do with aliens, so to say I was a little sceptical is an understatement. 

I started the book and was immediately captured by the surrondings and how well the writing flowed. Clover sparked interested right away which intrigued me but unfortunately not enough to keep picking this book back up. 

Now I did love the survival aspect of the book and the built up tensions and would definitely recommend if your into that, I easily overlooked the alien aspect and did enjoy the read. 

The only downfall was that it took me a little longer to read because I was easily distracted whilst reading it, telling me that I wasn’t fully envolved in the book.
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A fantastic adventure read. I was a bit confused about the ages, but it was great to see a book where romance wasn't important (Clover may be ace, but it's not clear from the text.) There was one section that made me think a line had been left out;

I nod. "My abuelo was an air force pilot. He taught me."
He looks at me quickly, as if he's afraid to ask. "With the invasion?"

I just can't figure out how those two sentences connect. But apart from that it's a brilliant read. I'm looking forward to selling it and I really hope there's more to come in the series!
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I have so many mixed feelings about this book that I’m not quite sure where to start. I suppose the most important thing is that there was a story here. There were characters, forward motion, and some action. For me, although, it just didn’t come together at all. I did want to know what happened next and what the final outcome would be, but it always seemed like a struggle to get there.
Our main character Clover was your everyday Montana teenager. She had her failed relationship, her loving grandparents, and was looking forward to college in the future. She was also science genius and flew planes on a regular basis. From the beginning, I just could not connect with her character. She was very self-centered and this only came out more and more as the story went on. It was often a woe is me situation with Clover as she couldn’t understand why no one else immediately did as she wanted. The other characters were pretty flat. They were given a trait or two and left at that.
The alien invasion story was definitely apparent, yet there was barely anything new to make it stand out. It actually felt like a giant mash up of popular movies and books that us sci-fi nerds love and adore. The “aliens” were somewhat unique, yet the picture that I formed of them made me keep laughing as if it was a cheesy 80’s film. The forward motion was stunted throughout Clover’s time at Area 51 as the other characters decided what was to be done (whether to follow Clover’s ideas or not). She was a gung ho character, but not a likable one. 
The main downside to this story was the believability of it. Even for an alien book, I had to suspend ALL rational and irrational belief to even try and make it work. How does a girl form Montana fly planes all the time and not know how to drive a car, much less drive all over the US for months without actually learning to drive. And yet she can also immediately figure out how to fly top secret planes at high speeds, doing crazy maneuvers, with no problem. Big plot issue: Area 51. This place is so intensely secret and yet they all walk around is as if there is no security whatsoever. At the end they make a choice to go out in the universe with no supplies and no idea what they’re doing.  I could go on, but it hurts.
The twist towards the end was actually done quite well and had some interesting impacts. I did like the action scenes and some of the logic used to solve their problems. On the whole, this had great bones for a story, but there was just nothing on them that worked well.
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Wasn't happy with aromantic rep in there - despite being ownvoices, this could've benefited from a sensitivity reader. I wont be reviewing this since it wouldn't be a five star read for me.
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The premise of the book seemed interesting but I had a hard time getting into the story. It's a dystopian story with a group of teens as the last survivors who are all drawn together and decide to fight back against the aliens who have invaded. The diverse characters were nice but I just couldn't connect to them. It may just have been me though.
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I want to start my review off with this: The Last 8 is a book that you aren't going to want to miss this year. This book is being marketed for fans of The 5th Wave and anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE that book and movie with all my heart. The Last 8 exceeded all of my expectations. Filled with finding friendships, aliens, finding yourself in the face of disaster The Last 8 is the perfect way to bring in 2019 and alien invasions. 

All of Clover's dreams and actions for working for NASA are thrown of the window when the aliens invade earth and kill off most of earth's population, all except for Clover and seven other teenagers who have been hanging out in Area 51 since the invasion. When Clover hears a radio message that leads her to Area 51 and the other teens, she finally feels like she has a chance to fight back, only: everyone is pretty content with just existing and playing video games and staying safe. Clover isn't having it though and after uncovering some dark government secrets learns that everything isn't exactly what they thought and there might be hope for them after all. 

*This paragraph is going to discuss Clover's suicide attempts if you would like to skip a head to the next paragraph!*

I love Clover's character. Clover is a seventeen year old ace/aro pilot who longs to be in the sky even when it is no longer safe. From the beginning of the novel we see how intelligent and resourceful Clover is and how she continues to be through out the entirety of the novel. Though I know not many people are going to take lightly to the talk over Clover's suicide attempts I did actually appreciate them in the novel. Clover doesn't shy away from the fact that she has had struggles since the invasion, that at times she felt like life wasn't continuing. I loved the part where she acknowledges the fact that Adam is developing feelings for and she explains to him how something between them will never happen because she identifies as ace/aro. I enjoyed the fact that The Last 8 didn't need a romance aspect to move the plot forward. 

I never expected a book about aliens to make me tear up but the friendships built between the characters definitely pulled at my heart strings a little bit. The plot of The Last 8 was fast paced and didn't stop for one moment. Each chapter was a new development in the plot to drive it forward. Overall I really enjoyed The Last 8 and I can't wait to see where Pohl is going to take this gang of characters next!
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The Last 8 by Laura Pohl was such an amazing read. I don't read to much science fiction but this book had me hooked from the very start. I just had to keep reading to see what happened to Clover and the over seven last teenagers on Earth. Great book for fans of The 5th Wave series.
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For some reason I can't explain, a book about friendship and aliens was exactly what I needed right now. 

Lately, I've felt like I've been reading the same book over and over again (with slight variations) and a young adult science-fiction novel was exactly what I needed. It was incredibly refreshing on every aspect—the characters, the relationships between them, the plot, the representation, the twists and turns, etc. The Last 8 got me out of a reading slump and kept me on my toes the entire time it did it. It was such a quick, fun read and it left me wanting more! From what I'm gathering, there's going to be a sequel and I know I'll be picking it up when it's published (might be getting a little ahead of myself here, but THAT'S HOW MUCH I LOVED THIS). I've already recommended it to a bunch of my friends and I couldn't be more glad I decided to move this at the top of my TBR list.
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This young adult novel is about the aftermath of an alien invasion. I'm afraid to say I'm tapped out on the young adult end-of-the-world/dystopian genre, and the writing wasn't enough to hold me past 25%. A DNF for me, but I do know I'm in the minority when it comes to exhaustion with this ya subgenre.
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Perfect for young adult readers (and those of us who just enjoy YA lit), this book has action and science fiction adventure in well-written form.  A text I would gladly share with my students or sit back and delve into myself.
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**3.5 but rounding up for the moment at the end that actually made me gasp**

A fast paced sci-fi adventure that pushes the survivors of an alien invasion to the brink and forces them to become the brave heroes they were always destined to be. 

“The Last 8” begins at a crossroads where our main character Clover has her feet on the ground but wishes to spend her days in the sky and following her dream to work at NASA when an alien invasion occurs throwing everything she wants out the window. When she hears news of other survivors she quickly makes her way to the infamous Area 51 and learns that things aren’t exactly what she hoped they would be and again finds herself having to decide if she wants to live out her days waiting for death to come or to seek it out and embrace it if it offers even the slightest chance at succeeding. 

It’s obvious the author of this book is a huge sci fi fan as told through the many references to pop culture classics from ‘Back to the Future’ to ‘Independence Day”, that being said there were many moments in this book that were very similar to plot points in most of those movies making it almost a mash up of your favorite alien encounters. 

Those parallels aside I do have to give credit to something I thought was either a plot hole or just the characters being very lucky with all of the skills and resources at their disposal that turned out to be foreshadowing to a much larger point which was a nice touch seeing as it was something obvious enough to notice and to bug you as a reader until you get that pay off. 

This isn’t a bad read and as far as the sub genre of alien invasion plots go it’s up there as one of my favorites because it doesn’t waste time jumping into the meat of the plot while still giving time for emotional character moments and having it come full circle with humanity being their greatest strength. 

**special thanks to the publishers and netgalley for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review**
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