The Last 8

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 07 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

Taking a cue from everyone's favorite alien invasion movies, 8 teens find themselves as the lone survivors of Earth. Plus a dog.
Clover Martinez is a realistic protagonist who longs to fly (in planes) just as her family has for generations. She dreams of joining NASA and traveling to Mars. Her plans come crashing down when aliens invade the planet and eradicate nearly all humans.
Eventually Clover finds herself teamed up with 7 other teenagers who have somehow survived the purge. What makes these teens different from the rest of Earth's population? Will they be able to take back the planet? You'll have to read to find out.
I enjoyed 80% of this book! The last quarter seemed rushed and too neatly tied up.
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A solid 4 stars that I really enjoyed while I was reading it, but it did have some issues.  Except for Clover, the narrator of the story, none of the other surviving kids characters were well developed.  I often forgot their names and their backstories.  Plus, all of the survivors were geniuses??  Well, that is explained, but the explanation was a tad flimsy, and it was something I had been expecting.  At times it felt like the whole plot was one big mash up of every alien invasion movie/book/tv show ever made.  Which I actually didn’t mind too much, it was fun to see all of those references, especially the ones I love too.  (Anyone have a towel I can wave?)

There were some exceptional things about this book too.  It had a lot of diversity in the characters, and the aliens were pretty unique in their looks and their motives.  There were some seriously funny parts that had me laughing out loud.  I loved Sputnik, Clover’s dog, who at times seemed to understand everything that was going on.  The ending kind of blew me away, it was not at all what I expected, but could acknowledge that it was what the characters would have done.  Having the kids living in Area 51 was perfect.  

The plot was fast moving, and at times it was hard for me to put this book down.  The overall story was typical of the genre, but there were a couple of twists that made it interesting.  The biggest one being that the other kids didn’t want to fight, Clover has to convince them. But once they do decide to fight, they are all in with gusto.  

Will I continue to gush about this book if asked?  Yes!  It is a great story and an interesting addition to the alien invasion genre.  I can’t wait to see what happens to these kids in the next installment.
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I received an ARC from NetGalley and The Last 8 gets 4.5 stars from me. 
Clover Martinez dreams of going to MIT and then joining NASA. Living with her grandparents in Montana, Clover's world is literally destroyed when aliens invade. The invasion begins in the second chapter which demonstrates Laura Pohl's quick pacing. Indeed, I only put the book down when I was beginning to fall asleep around 1am. 
Clover somehow survives the aliens, and Pohl compassionately explores her protagonist's PTSD and depression. 
Traveling alone with her loyal Bernese Mountain Dog Sputnik, Clover finds out that she is not the only living human. 
She finds the other remaining 7 (hence the title of The Last 8) and Clover inspires them to not passively exist for the rest of their lifetimes. She is defiant in refusing to allow the aliens to force her underground and to be afraid. 
There are several major twists that I did not see coming and overall, The Last 8 is really engaging. Pohl's characters are diverse (Clover is Latinx, bisexual/aromantic) and they all bring their own skills to their mission. I also really appreciated that Pohl has the characters talk about their trauma and that it is ok to grieve and struggle with their feelings. I will definitely read the sequel!
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3.5 "Diverse Teen Independence Day” Stars

ARC via NetGalley

Thank you, Sourcebooks Fire

Trigger warning: suicide.

I wanted to rate this book higher, and I would’ve had it not been for the last few pages and how suicide was portrayed near the end.

First of all, this author is Brazilian, so HECK YEEESSS!

I’m going to be the first to admit I’m not a huge sci-fi fan. I know nothing about Star Wars, Star Trek or other TV shows/movies referenced in the book aside from Will Smith’s Independence Day. That one I’ve watched a hundred times—it’s a great movie.

Having said that, I love stories about the end of the world and alien invasions, especially when the characters are so diverse, so I was really excited about this one. Besides, it’s written by a Brazilian author, so, again, YEEESS!!!

It took me some time to get into The Last 8 because I kept expecting more details that would make me feel truly immersed in the world and what was happening. Like the blurb says, aliens invade, everyone is dying and shit is happening, but I didn’t really feel much while I was reading. This is partially because Clover, the main character, is a more practical and less emotional person, but it’s also because the writing didn’t dive deep enough into the setting and the world.

Things really got interesting for me when Clover met the group of teens called The Last Teenagers on Earth and they decided to do something about the aliens. The action scenes were great, especially the ones with Clover doing amazing things while piloting a plane. There were also some really good moments as Clover spent time alone with some of the other teens and opened up to them, or let them open up and listened.

I also enjoyed the big twist that came into play a little after the halfway mark. I could see some of it coming, but not all of it, so I ended up being surprised! Yay!

Now, I have to say that while I LOVE and LIVE for a diverse group of characters (and the diversity here was AMAZING!!!!!!!), they weren’t distinctive enough as individuals. The story was told from Clover’s perspective, so we didn’t get a chance to really get to know the other teens (the last survivors), and while the author tried to give them different jobs/activities, in the end they pretty much sounded the same to me. I kept trying and failing to remember who they were and what they did. The one I liked the most ended up not having the best ending, so…*sad face*

Now, none of the things above would’ve kept me from rating this 4 stars or more, but the thing that bothered me the most was how suicide was portrayed in the end. 

*************************SPOILER ALERT*** I hated how Violet’s suicide was used as a plot device to get Andy to do what needed to be done. It felt manipulative and as if it was the act of a hero, which is a message that bothers me a lot. I thought Clover’s struggle with wanting to end her life throughout the book was handled with care and made sense given all that had happened. And for her to have come so far, decided to fight for her life and for the friends she made, and then simply encourage Violet to use suicide to force Andy to do what needed to be done…that felt wrong and out of character. I wish the author had picked a better way to handle that situation—Violet could’ve easily been hurt/killed by one of the aliens and Andy would’ve reacted the same. What Andy needed in order to access her power was to lose Violet, and given the fact that they were surrounded by aliens that wanted all of them dead, she didn’t really need to kill herself. ***END SPOILER************************************

With that said, there were some great moments in this book, especially with the action scenes, that reminded me of Independence Day. After all, who doesn’t like to see a group of diverse teenagers and an adorable dog (OMG, MY HEART!) fighting to save the planet from creepy aliens?
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I was definitely intrigued by the beginning and then even more curious as the book went on. I thought it was incredibly imaginative and at times, downright shocking and/or a bit gut-wrenching.

You have a group of kids who are dealing with an alien invasion. I enjoyed it. I admired Clover and the love she shares for space. I absolutely related to her in every way. I thought the sci-fi elements were great and I loved getting to experience a book with different sexual representation. I'm definitely ready to continue reading more books with more diversity, especially books that rep cultures and identities different from my own.

There was just...something about this book that made it not a great read for me, but simply a good one. Not a bad way to spend a few afternoons--and I am definitely curious about this authors writing and most certainly plan to more from her. All-in-all this was a fun and inspiring YA romp that employs a few familiar tropes in a way that still feels imaginative.
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Nota: 3.5

Eu não estava esperando muita coisa desse livro, porque não gosto de aliens, muito menos de The 5th Wave, mas como o livro é de uma conterrânea, então por que não.
Sim, fui muito supreendido com esse livro, com os personagens e com o desenrolar da história, as explicações para cada coisinha, tudo. A Laura preenche todas as lacunas vazias que existem no livro pouco a pouco, sem acelerar ou pular etapas da histórias. Parecia que eu estava assistindo Independence Day(pode parecer exagero, mas ok), porque eu conseguia visualizar as cenas como estivesse assistindo um filme e comendo pipoca.
Apesar do foco do livro ser os aliens o livro tem muita representatividade, a personagem principal, Clover, é bi-aro, e eu fiquei AAAAAAAAAAAAAA quando li ela explicando o que como ela se sentia para x personagem. Além de personagens LGBTQIA+, tem personagens negros. Ah, a Clover é latina. Representatividade nesse livro é o que não falta.
Em algumas cenas, fiquei :0, porque eu não esperava por aquilo. Sério, tem muitas surpresas nesse livro que você não espera. Muitas das revelações são bastante importantes para o decorrer e o final do livro.
As explicações sobre os aliens estarem invadindo a Terra; o que eles querem; quem comanda eles; como eles são, são todas bem coerentes. Dá pra entender tudo muito direitinho, não é nada que vai dar uma enrolação no seu cérebro.
Apesar do final não ter sido tão espetacular como eu queria - ou esperava -, eu achei ok. E agora tô doido pra saber o que vai acontecer no segundo livro, porque o final de The Last 8 poderia muito bem ter ficado pro segundo livro. Acho que isso é o meu único contra no livro. Na minha opinião, foi corrido demais.
No mais, gostei bastante de The Last 8.
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I received this ARC from NetGalley, in return an honest review. 

I. Loved. This. Book. I am so glad I had the chance to read it now vs. later because it was in the midst of my astronomy collections research. 

Last 8 features a lovely pilot Latinx lady protagonist who I loved. She was unlike a lot of other main characters I’ve read in the recent past so that was refreshing. Also there was a lot of LGBT+ rep here. The MC is Ace/Aro, which brought a lot of joy to my heart. 

Anyhow, the narrative follows Clover as she deals with her PTSD post alien invasion only to learn she is one of 8 survivors. Only. Not everything is as it seems. While that’s typical of any plot, I had fun joining Clover through the twists and turns of learning who these survivors are as she chooses to fight back against the alien invasion. 

Because. Why not? They’re not safe anyway and are going to die anyway. So why not kill some of the aliens that destroyed their planet.

This is the type of book we need, this is the type of the book that is the future as it presents teenagers in STEM while dealing with very real (and fictional) issues.
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Aro and Latina? Yes!

It's a love letter to sci-fi fans. It's the old school science fiction plus the hope that came in "Pacific Rim." PS I adore any time sci-fi novels remember "Pacific Rim."
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I was really excited to pick this one up because, yes for sure we've seen dozens of alien invasion novels -- but I couldn't wait to read one that featured diverse characters for once! And this definitely came through on that aspect, featuring an asexual/aromantic Mexican-American protagonist, and a motley crew of genius misfit teens of all nationalities and sexualities. It's definitely want I crave to read more if in YA.

However the plot left a lot to be desired. At first I got goosebumps and I was seriously engaged as Clover is just living a normal life with her grandparents and then the aliens come and turn people to dust. The moment when she's running and the person she's with gets shot?! CHILLING. But then reality sort of warped out of shape. I mean, yes, there are aliens which are unbelievable. That's why it's sci-fi! But you need to have the little details make sense in order to accept the bigger impossibilities.

For instance:
- At one point Clover has been on this empty earth for 6 months and she finds a working shower with running water. Um.
- There are houses everywhere full of unused tinned food, which Clover tells us, but yet she still has to eat peanuts (she's allergic)?
- Every single kid of the last 8 are all tech geniuses and whizzes. They function as 30+ year old adults who have several university degrees! It was just ridiculous.
- The entire plot rested on the rest of humanity being too incredibly dense and stupid to ever fight back against the aliens. (The plans the kids whirled into action weren't *that* sophisticated. Surely the government would've tried this stuff?!)
- They're all in this Area 51 secret government bunker place...and I realise some of the kids had parents working there previously. But wouldn't stuff have been shut down? Locked up? how do all these kids have the passwords, not to mention the knowledge to run things like DNA machines, bombs, and cryovac chambers?

I also struggled with Clover's character. I wanted to love her. As an ace-identifying person myself, I was SO excited to think that here is a sci-fi with an ace protagonist. But Clover was awful. She was mean, she didn't care, and she had no feelings...like sure she was open about not having *romantic* feelings, but she had NO OTHER FEELINGS. It's a dangerous stereotype to play in when you case the ace/aro characters as unfeeling coldhearted jerks. Please don't. (Like she literally didn't care that Noah was murdered, because...she didn't "Love" him. Ok you can NOT LOVE someone, but that doesn't mean you want them to be murdered????)

All in all: I wanted to like this one a lot. With an #ownvoices POC representation, a fully queer character cast, and epic guns and aliens swarming over the page, it had the makings of such a good novel. And I do think it's a fun soap-opera sort of romp. It just needs a lot of suspension of disbelief.
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Edge of my seat through the whole book! Read this!  Thank you netgalley for the free arc in exchange for an honest review!
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What a stunning debut! This was an absolute thrill ride of an alien apocalypse novel that had the sci-fi nerd in me grinning wildly. Clover is such a wonderful MC and her story is powerful and riveting. Can I have a sequel now?!?
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The Last 8 builds and builds and gets better with each page you read. 

It took a little while for me to get completely hooked as my last DNF only a couple of days ago was about a pilot and our protagonist is also a natural pilot and lover of the sky so sadly I was skeptical initially. 

The writing is very accessible and straightforward. It's to the point and not magical or flowery which I grew to appreciate as it better matches the overall vibes if the book. 

The plot is basically alien invasion sparks the end of earth, with a twist. I'm not usually a big alien story person but this book pleasantly surprised me. 

The aliens get more realistic the more you read about them and different back stories make for an engaging and fun read. 

This feels like its more on the younger side of YA than what I usually read but it is still very enjoyable. The characters are diverse and not generalized stereotypes which is great and the author isn't afraid to kill off people (traumatic but great for the story I guess) 

Overall a solid 3.5 stars. Rounding up because the twist and ending make it deserving of an above average rating.

My review will be available on my bookstagram @booksandyass  on Jan 24th 2019.
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Good premise and interesting characters. An okay read, just wished the characters didn't feel so forced into their tropes.
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I requested The Last 8 from Netgalley because the premise of there being only a few teenagers left in the group to save the Earth seemed very intriguing.

It's #ownvoices.

Unfortunately, this book just seemed boring. There wasn't much happening that was a plot twist and it seemed pretty straight-forward.

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I would have liked a bit more detail on the aliens and what they are like. Also, the fact that the ending pretty much made it impossible for humanity to survive was a let-down for me. I also did not understand why alien genes protected certain characters in the way that they did, as one would assume that the aliens would need to be able to communicate  and interact with each other.

It also seemed a bit unbelievable that only the Americans had created experiments, and thus only some of them survived. However, if this was the case, I would have liked to have read a bit more on what had happened in the other countries when the aliens invaded.

The book focussed a lot on the characters, and less on the plot and the world-building. As I am a fan of plot and world-building, I was disappointed.

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Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this book. I just like to have a lot of details and knowledge about the world which I am reading, but if you prefer character-driven stories, this might be the book for you.

Trigger warnings: death, murder, violence.
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This was a solid read, it drew me in and was a page turner but I don’t really see it sitting with me, nor will I probably read the other ones. It reminds me of many apocalyptic books to come before, all left on the wayside: interesting while read but unmemorable. The main character is interesting but the side characters just kind of mesh together. And it really isn’t as twisty as advertised, in my opinion. Still, for readers who love books about the apocalypse, add this to the list.
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The premise of the story was great, but I couldn't get into the actual book.  I didn't connect with the characters and I just wasn't as into the story was it went along.  If I'm honest, I mainly skimmed after I realized I wasn't into it because why waste my time?
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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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