Cover Image: The Last Book Party

The Last Book Party

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Member Reviews

If you enjoy books about writers and the writing life, check this one out. I loved the historical setting of the The Book Party. This was an enjoyable and well written read, where the characters came to life.
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This is a perfect, be-careful-what-you-wish-for kind of story, a light read for the weeks ahead. A peek into the publishing world set in a lovingly described Cape Cod community, the story seems even more nostalgic than its 1987 setting would seem. Or is that just me dating myself? The protagonist is a 20-something would-be writer, who hasn’t yet found her footing, and gets distracted along the way. If it sounds familiar, yes, this is the story of many would-be writers, but this one has prettier people fumbling about in more elegant settings, and Dukess’ sharp writing will make you care how it all works out.
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Thanks so much to the author, NetGalley, and Henry Holt and Co. for the advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts. All opinions are entirely my own. All of my reviews can be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on my blog tacklingtbr.home.blog  { #partner } 

First things first, I just need to get this off of my chest - I LOVE reading books about people who love books. There, I said it. I just always feel so immediately drawn to those characters in a different way than I usually do, if that makes sense? Like, I know that I have a shared love with them, so I feel like I can relate to them on that level and I find myself wanting to root for them. So anyway. Now that that's out there, let's get on with this review. 

And all of that being said, this book just didn't really live up to all of the hype for me. Other than the point that I just made above, I wasn't exceptionally drawn to the characters. And while I was rooting for our female lead in the sense that there were parts of her I related to, and wanted things to work out for her in the end, I was having a hard time feeling really invested in any of the situations that she was putting herself in or the relationships that she was seeking out. There wasn't anything wrong with the writing, or the story itself, it just wasn't enough to draw me in despite the issues above. 

I will say, however, that I listened to the audio format of this book over the course of a couple of months, so take everything that I am saying with a grain of salt. Maybe the situations and relationships would have drawn me in more or felt more interesting to me if I was physically reading it over the course of no longer a week? Maybe, it's hard to say. But just as my read through went, it took me so long to get through it because when I paused the audio I wasn't feeling the "I need to turn this on so that I know what happens next." I don't know, that's just my two sense. If you're going to read this book, maybe read it instead of listen to it, and see if you have less issues than I did. 

Over all if you are wanting a light summer read (I would recommend reading it while on a beach somewhere) that has fun moments and centers around the world of loving literature, but over seems fairly inconsequential, then this may be the exact book for you. I would still recommend this book, don't take my comments as my hating it, I just didn't love it as much as I sort of went in expecting. I think this is just a situation where the amount of hype around a book didn't help it, and honestly I may have loved it more if my expectations hadn't been built up so high.
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Our main character, Eve Rosen is a woman in her early/mid twenties, an aspiring writer who lacks motivation and inspiration. There’s not much that happens plot-wise in this novel compared to a look at the characters and the relationships between them. I felt very connected with Eve, for example, as someone who would pine for someone endlessly and then look back in confusion as to why I had any desire for them in the first place, once I’ve moved on with someone else. This was a really easy book to get through, I love when I book has mostly shorter chapters, it makes me want to keep on reading! Although the book didn’t end how I thought or hoped it would, I mostly enjoyed it.
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A charming book that takes place in the 1980's and made me nostalgic for a simpler time and place. Eve is struggling to find her identity as she works at a job she doesn't particularly love. She would rather be a writer but she doesn't write anymore. Eve grows up a lot by the end of this book and it is a journey full of love, betrayal and complications. This was a short and enjoyable summer book. I am grateful to Netgalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was so charming. I loved it. It was short and sweet, and a bit cliche, but altogether it felt familiar to me. I've never had an affair with an author or anyone in the book industry, but as a creative writing major in college, I remember having the same infatuation with my professors and the published writers that were among me. The community in which the book takes place was very realistic to me, and I absolutely loved it. Great read!
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My final book of the season (but, let’s face it, the temperatures will not be fall-like where I live for quite some time!) was so much more than I’d expected! If you enjoy the atmosphere created by authors like Amor Towles and Beatriz Williams and the elevated social strata of novels like The Nest, you will likely appreciate The Last Book Party. This novel is short and, while it is not without its flaws, it’s quite perfect within the context of it’s late ‘80s setting.
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I love books about books and bookworms and book lovers. So I was very excited about this one. However, it did not live up to the hype for me. There is nothing wrong with the writing itself, the story is just nothing fresh, I wasn't drawn to any of the characters, except maybe Alva, and she wasn't really developed in the story. It hits so many cliches. The best character was Jeremy, even though the premise for his books seems to be borrowed from Moloka'i, I like that he is a flawed character, but still likable. Eve is in her mid 20s, working a dead end assistant job, living under the shadow of her brilliant brother, while being too afraid to write. After she gets passed up for a promotion, she leaves her job to work for the summer for a writer named Henry, who hosts an annual book party with his wife each year.  

If you are in the mood for a light beach read about writers and love book references, this is the book for you. 

Thank you NetGalley for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I enjoy books about books, writers and the publishing industry. It's even more fun that the story is set in Cape Cod. The story begins as Eve leaves her hum drum job as an assistant editor at a publishing company for a summer position working for Henry Grey a well known writer with a stalling career and his wife who is a poet. There is romance drama as Eve is attracted to the Grey's son and in awe of Henry himself.  It is definitely understandable that Eve is drawn into their world and makes what I consider to be some questionable decisions. It is somewhat of a coming of age story as Eve searches to understand why she is living as a writer through others and not able to realize that dream for herself. The characters were well developed as was the story.  The famous "book party" where guest come dressed as characters from books was fun as guest mused as to which character they should dress as . There is never a dull moment during  the big party as secrets are revealed and truths uncovered.  It was a fun summer read, however, the pace of the story was slow for me at times.
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I went into this one with high hopes because I love a book about books. Unfortunately this was a little slow moving and I wasn’t able to get invest in the characters so I didn’t really care what happened to them. It didn’t grab me like I was hoping.
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I liked the start of this book but then felt I knew how it was going to play out. It didn't grab me as much as I was hoping for.
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The Last Book Party had certain elements going for it. It was atmospheric and captured this 80s summer feel that in hindsight low-key reminded me of Dirty Dancing. But it also captured the ruthlessness and ambition of the rich and elite "artist," namely writers. Twenty-five-year-old Eve Rosen is drawn to this world and gets to be a part of it for a single summer as she becomes the research assistant for famed New Yorker writer, Henry Grey. I don't know whether this was done purposefully but I didn't connect to, much less like or root for, a single person in this book. And to be fair, I'm not sure any of them are meant to be likable. However, because of that wall between myself and the characters, I felt little to no sympathy for any of the events that transpired and the entire plot line felt like one predictable stereotype after another. As much as I wanted to like it, it just wasn't for me.
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Great book for the summer! Great prose and wonderful atmosphere. Just wish it had a little more plot? Thank you for approving my request!
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I know that I have wanted to be a fly on the wall at a party filled with artists, writers, actors. All that creativity in one room would be something to behold. Eve Rosen gets that chance. She wants to be a writer but something keeps holding her back. When she ends up working for columnist Henry Grey, her life becomes something she has only dreamed of. She is in the world she has longed for. There is even an unexpected affair. Everything culminates in the summer’s end book party. Everyone dresses up as a literary character and hopefully stumps everyone else. This party will be like no other party before it. Let the secrets flow!

I felt as if I was on Cape Cod. I could actually taste the salt in the air. Ms. Dukess has a wonderful way with her descriptions. From the publishing house to the Grey house, she had a great eye for detail. I was immersed in the story from the very first chapter. Each character was more flawed than the last and more human. I longed to be in Cape Cod and I have never been there! The parties were exactly how I would imagine them to be and boy, did I want to go. I cannot wait to read whatever she gives us next.

Thanks to Netgalley and Henry Holt for a copy of this wonderful book. This review is my own humble opinion.
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The Last Book Party reminds us that literary fiction can still make a great beach read. Eve is an incredibly well-written character. She is likeable but flawed when we meet her, and while she grows up significantly over the events of the novel, she is still flawed at the end. This gave her a dynamic and interesting trajectory while keeping her grounded and believable. The story gives an insider’s view of the publishing industry which is fascinating yet stays realistic, unlike many novels set among the literati. I was impressed with the writing and enjoyed the novel immensely!
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The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess is a story about 25 year old aspiring writer Eve. In an effort to boost her creativity in her writing aspirations, Eve begins a job at a publishing house. She soon realizes that she will need to find other means so find inspiration for finishing her stories. She beings a job with a writer named Henry as his personal research assistant. Eventually, she gains an invitation to Henry and his wife Tillie's annual summer book party. On the night of the book party Eve realizes truths about herself and those around her that make her realize the mistakes she has made. This story was a coming of age story. I did not necessarily relate to Eve's personal choices along the way, but I did find her journey interesting. The prose is very whimsical, which makes it perfect for a summer read.
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This book was perfect for me. First, the beachy setting made for a perfect summer read. I loved getting insight into the publishing world of the 1980s. The main character, Eve, was young, naive, and at times frustrating, but I found myself invested in her life. The rich, cape cod lifestyle was addicting. Basically, a fun, light read for book lovers.
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The Last Book Party centers around Eve and her summer on Cape Cod working under famous writer Henry Grey and his his wife, poet Tilly. Eve is an aspiring writer but hasn't written anything worthwhile. Eve is drawn into this literary world with its intellectual elite and talented writers that she finds herself in a situation that she never thought she would be in. She falls for Henry and Tilly’s son but soon finds her sights on someone else, someone she never imagined but the situation is one that will change things. 

 The spotlight of the summer is the “Book Party” hosted by Henry and Tilly that has the who's who in the literary world invited. This is the place when all of the secrets that have been ongoing finally come to the surface and not only will Eve’s secret come out but all of those around her. She finally realizes that this world she has been wanting for as long as she can remember isn't what’s it's cracked up to be.

 The Last Book Party drew me in with the promise of all things literary and it didn't disappoint. We get a glimpse of this world but also so much more, Eve is a young woman who just wants to do what she loves, which is writing and being around all these great writers is something she could only dream of. However, this life she thought she wanted isn't so wonderful as she had imagined and realizes there has to be a better way. She is simply learning to come into her own and finding her path to being able to do what she loves. This read is a great coming of age novel that has a great storyline and characters that give us reasons to hate but also love them. This is an easy and quick read that is perfect for these last days of Summer.
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I thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book. This author was new to me and I was not let down. It was a great story and very well written. The characters were easy to relate to and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I highly recommend this to everyone!!
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I love the setting of this book, the time period and the physical home and I liked the main character quite a bit but I was sad that it immediately went the place I hoped it wouldn't - (SPOILER) an affair with an older man who was her boss with an odd wife. Of course it went there! The writing was good and I enjoyed the characters but wish the story went a different path, it just didn't resonate with me.
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