Cover Image: The Last One to Fall

The Last One to Fall

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Member Reviews

This book is told in the past and the present with storylines of how friendships were built. Six friends. Five suspects. One murder.
The book opens with a body falling from a warehouse. Five friends are at the warehouse. Did one of them throw the other out? What really happened?

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The world of YA lit mysteries has expanded exponentially in the last five years. The bar keeps being raised higher and higher. If your students enjoyed This Is Why We Lie, they will eat this one up too. The before/after nature of the story will keep readers on their toes. I suspect the text will be an easy favorite this summer.

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An intriguing YA mystery whodunit. Savanna is called by her friend Jesse to meet at a warehouse in the middle of the night. When she gets there she witnesses someone fall out of the window. The story is told via dual timelines and alternating points of view, which were a little confusing to follow at first. Which of the six teenagers was murdered and who was the murderer? I really enjoyed this page-turner. Highly recommend for those who enjoy this genre.

I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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The Last One to Fall is a twisted mystery that will definitely keep you guessing until the very end. It's a quick, fast paced read, but well worth the time. Gabrielle Lepore was a new author to me but wrote an interesting story that kept me rapt and hooked to the page!

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Thank you to Netgalley, Inkyard Press, and the author for providing me an ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is a decent YA mystery/whodunit. 6 friends go to a deserted warehouse and only 5 return.

While not extremely unique, its a very quick and easy read with a couple of good twists.

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Binged this read in a day and loved it! YA mystery about five friends that keeps you guessing until the end.

For these seniors their final year is about to be like no other year in the worst year. Their friendships will be tested and for some, was it even a friendship?

On top of the murder investigation the five are also dealing with family troubles. School troubles. Relationship troubles.

Definitely not the senior year they thought they’d have.

Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review.

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This book will definitely keep you guessing to the very end! Quick read, but well worth it. I would definitely read a book from this author again!

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This is a twisted mystery that is suited for young adults as well as adult readers. The story of Savana caught in the middle of a murder and investigating on her own was a bit unbelievable since I just wanted her to go to the police and let them investigate, but she is invested since her friends are involved. Called to an old warehouse in the middle of the night, Savana sees someone push another person out of the top floor window. One friend is dead and another is responsible and Savana puts her life on the line to try to find out the culprit. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and how unlikely a heroine Savana was. The style of switching POVs and timelines threw me for a few chapters until I got used to it and knew to make sure I noticed which character was penning the chapter and whether the time was past or present. Once I got that down, I could follow the story more easily although it still did not always flow well for me. I got stuck in some of the details and had to go back to figure out who was who and what was their role in the drama. The characters were mostly realistic but I did think that Raf’s arrogance was a bit over the top. My favorite character was Jesse, a boy who was easy to like and the unassuming leader of the bunch. I enjoyed the book and trying to solve the mystery along with Savana but there were not a lot of clues given until near the end. There were some red herrings along the way that led to a convoluted tale at times. Fans of whodunits with a teen heroine will enjoy this book and its intriguing storyline that is realistic and moderately well paced.
Disclaimer
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Inkyard Press via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission;s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guidelines Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

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I liked a lot of things about this book. First, I liked that the murder doesn’t happen until later in the story. This creates a lot of time for the reader to get to know the person who’s killed, and to get to see the dynamics in the friend group in action. I can’t remember if I’ve read another murder mystery like that before. I can really only think of stories in which the person is murdered either before the story begins or very near to the beginning. So I thought that was a cool, different way to tell this particular story.

The friend group also had some interesting dynamics. I guess the downside of telling a friend group story like this is that it makes for a large cast to introduce all at the beginning. Once I grasped the relationships between the characters, though, I felt like I was able to follow things pretty quickly.

In terms of the mystery– I can honestly say I kept thinking I had it figured out, and I definitely didn’t. I liked that there were clues I could look back at and recognize after I knew what to look for. So that was nicely done, I thought.

I liked the romantic moments, too. It made sense why the characters kind of danced around each other for so long, and I think it also added to my anticipation of seeing them finally work things out between them.

On the whole, I think fans of Diana Urban or Karen McManus will find a fast-paced mystery with a splash of romance in LAST ONE TO FALL.

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions my own.

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I really enjoyed this book and kept the pages turning.

The book opens with a body falling from a warehouse. Five friends are at the warehouse. Did one of them throw the other out?

The book is told in the past - how the friendships were formed and built. - as well as the present - the investigation of the fall. Was it murder? if so, who was guilty- and was it more than one?

This book reminded me of One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus and I really enjoy that type of YA suspense novel

To be honest, I didn't LOVE it at first - it felt a little slow, and confusing at the same time. There were a lot of characters and their stories felt a little disjointed. . Then just when the random thought entered my mind to maybe skim it a little, it picked up. Then I got totally sucked in and couldn't stop reading.

At one point I knew who did it. Then I didn't. Then I did. It was a roller coasting of guessing and anticipation.

4 solid stars. Why not 5? Those of you who have read my reviews before know I save the 5 for those rare books that give me that WOW and that book hangover.. But this was a solid, fun, enjoyable read.

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Title: The Last One to Fall
Author: Gabriella Lepore
Genre: YA
Rating: 4 out of 5

Six friends. Five suspects. One murder.

Savana Caruso and Jesse Melo have known each other since they were kids, so when Jesse texts Savana in the middle of the night and asks her to meet him at Cray’s Warehouse, she doesn’t hesitate. But before Savana can find Jesse, she bears witness to a horrifying murder, standing helpless on the ground as a mysterious figure is pushed out of the fourth floor of the warehouse.

Six teens were there that night, and five of them are now potential suspects. With the police circling, Savana knows what will happen if the wrong person is charged, particularly once she starts getting threatening anonymous text messages.

As she attempts to uncover the truth, Savana learns that everyone is keeping secrets—and someone is willing to do whatever it takes to keep those secrets from coming to light.

This was an interesting read—I read it in a single sitting, so it kept me engaged until midnight, when I really should have been sleeping. I liked Savana a lot, except for her propensity to go off to dangerous locations in the middle of the night…when some masked figure had been stalking her. That didn’t seem like a smart choice.

The author did a great job of dropping red herrings with all the characters, so the reader—or at least me—was never really sure who the murderer was. It was easy to feel empathy for all of the characters, too—except Raf—although the one thing that did not make sense to me was Jesse’s mom, and the way she completely vanished without contacting her kids.

Gabriella Lepore is from South Wales. The Last One to Fall is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Inkyard Press in exchange for an honest review.)

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The quick cut: A group of friends are made suspects when one of them is pushed out a window to his death one night. Drama ensues as everyone tries to figure out who did it.

A real review:
Thank you to Inkyard Press for providing the arc for an honest review.

Everyone has seen that group of close knit friends who do everything together. They spend so much time around one another that it can be hard to imagine them individually anymore. For this story centered around six friends, that was true until one of them is pushed out a window to their death.

Jesse and Savana have known each other since they were kids. So when one night Jesse texts Savana to join him at a local warehouse, she goes without thinking about and arrives in time to see someone dead on the scene. It's the initiating moment that starts a series of questions. What happened that night and why was one of them killed?

This book is definitely faster paced, but it has a somewhat complex setup. Part one is from before incident and part two is after. The chapters alternate between Savana and Jesse narrating. At first, you as the reader don't know who died and are left to figure out who. Then the second half you spend trying to figure out who killed the person who died.

All the elements are there to be an amazing story, but by the end I found all the characters so unlikeable that I sort of hoped they all burned. So many lies and considering the person who was murdered was a truly awful individual - the world was better without them. No one in this story didn't do terrible things for their own reasons.

Of all the characters, Savana is the easiest to like. She came across as naive and easy to manipulate though. By the end she starts to think for herself, but she was still clueless as ever about who committed the crime. Overall, she just felt like a very flat character.

A mystery with unlikeable characters.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5

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I found this book a challenge to read. Multiple characters all representing in the first person with nicely scrambled timelines. I reached a point where I struggled to recall who experienced what when to the point I felt like I needed an outline to keep track. This is a high school murder mystery where everyone comes bearing secrets and lies and each of several characters all have motives. The victim is not a likable soul. The adults in the main characters’ lives are mostly missing, uninvolved or compromised in some way. For all its challenges, it represents teen struggles well.

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The Last One to Fall by Gabriella Lepore, 368 pages. Inkyard Press, 2023. $20. lgbtqia
Language: R (63 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG13
BUYING ADVISORY: HS - OPTIONAL
AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE
Savana (17yo) has no idea what she was doing there that night. Her next door neighbor and friend with complications, Jesse, texted her, asking for help, so she went. Only to watch someone fall from a window. She called 911, but it was too late.
A mystery where everyone has a motive and is pointing the finger at someone else in order to deflect suspicion from themselves; it’s anything but straightforward, which is what makes it a story. I was disappointed in the ending because it felt like I didn’t have the information to come to the correct conclusion myself. But I did like the internal conflict of the characters trying to determine who was safe to trust—difficult to do when you have to divvy the trust out while fingers are pointing.
Rafael, Tara, and Owen are described as White, and Savana and Jesse are implied White. Freddie is described as Black. The mature content rating is for underage drinking, mention of drugs, innuendo, and sexual harassment. The violence rating is for murder and mentions of abusive relationships.
Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

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Thoughts

This book is easy to read. It's got the right chilly atmosphere, a good amount of red herrings, and the tenuous friend group to pull it all together. It wasn't particularly unique, but its a solid read anyway.

Pros
Chilly Atmosphere: There's something about opening on a cold, dark wharf just outside an abandoned warehouse that is particularly compelling. The freezing November sea spray and small-town-under-darkness vibes are just the perfect atmosphere to open up this thriller. The beat of the waves and the crunch of the body: how can you say no to that?

Relationship: I really enjoyed the slow development of the relationship between Savanna and Jesse. Savanna is a girl outside of the loop, not part of Jesse's elite friend group--not one for whom he has to throw up a façade. She's the neighbor girl, and they've both been watching each other at a distance for some time. Sure, it's a classic girl-and-boy-next-door setup. Jesse's just a misunderstood boy who needs someone to love him. And that might be classic, but it's classic for a reason.

Turns: This book doesn't have "twists" so much as "turns." Twists are unexpected, groundbreaking, revolutionary... and that's not what we get here. Because all of these characters are equally valid suspects. They all have their reasons. They're all a bit unreliable. They're all hiding things from each other (and themselves). So new evidence doesn't create a twist but a turn, a shift in focus from one suspect to the next to the next and back again. And I like that. These turns keep us readers on our toes.


Cons
Familiar: I had a really hard time picking comparable books for this work mostly because, well, it is so incredibly similar to most of what is on the YA thriller market. There's no problem with generic--the flashbacks, the bad friend group at the center--but that also means that these characters, this particular plot, are likely to fad into the background noise.

Police Records: On the one hand, I really did like the police records that were interjected between significant chapters here. It adds character. It adds consequence. The concept is sound, but the execution felt iffy to me. It was little, nitpicky issues that would stand out to me, make me think "Oh, yeah, this isn't a real police record." And because of that, I was pulled out of the story. They didn't feel real enough, official enough, and because they fell flat, that part of the narrative felt a little bit... off-key.

Why So Guilty?: Everyone is a suspect, and they all have pretty good motives... so I wasn't sure why everyone (including the cops) was so ready to pin this on one particular character (whose name is redacted for the sake of spoilers). Maybe the "friends" have motive to pin it on someone else--they're suspects too, right?--but the cops shouldn't be in on it. It made no sense for all eyes to land on one guilty party in this instance. It was irritating.


Rating
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
7/10

Fans of Jennifer Lynn Alvarez's Friends Like These will enjoy this new bad friends and worse consequences thriller. Those who enjoyed Jesse Weaver's Live Your Best Lie will love dredging through old drama and forgotten friendship wounds.

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Rating: 2.5

This is an average teenage drama thriller. The writing was ok and I liked the mixed-media elements.

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4 1/2 YA mystery with some twists, multiple perspectives, and alternating timelines with police interviews being inserted throughout. I actually enjoyed this novel by Lepore even more than the previous "This is Why We Lie" This one kept you guessing throughout and was a decent page turner
It begins with a foreshadowing snippet of an "incident" Initially, you are not exactly sure what happened and then as it gets piece together, for myself, I did not what a particular character to be dead.
Savanna and Jesse have always been friends as they live next door to each other. They have remained friendly even as Jesse has move up in the social circles being part of the infamous 5 including Tara, Raf, Owen, & Freddie. As the story unfolds, many issues emerge in addition to the murder investigation/mystery. Teen angst and ever changing friendships are captured, parental neglect, alcoholism, toxic relationships as well as how far a lie or even revenge will go. Jesse and Savanna get closer as the infamous circle begins to change and falter. Is it jealousy or something more? As with teens, there always seems to be multiple stories to anything that goes awry. As they begin to be questioned about the murder, numerous truths and lies come out. Savanna is determine to get to the real story to determine how this all went down.
This did keep me guessing and depicted the YA world quite well. My only issue was a little bit more as to the "why" I believe that issue should have been expanded upon just a little bit more at the end. The wrap up was done very well.
Thank you to Gabriella Lepore, NetGally and Inkyard Press. Tis is a YA winner

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This book was fantastic.
I loved it.
The pace, the characters. Wonderful. Highly recommend
10/10

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This was so thrilling! Between all the plot twists and dramatic revelations, I was hooked throughout the narrative. The suspense of the mystery was handled so well, and I also appreciated the discussion of heavier topics, like mental health.

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The Last One to Fall is told from the alternating POV’s of Savanna and Jesse. Interspersed throughout are newspaper articles and police notes regarding the murder and investigation.

The first part of the book takes place in the past and started out kind of slow. I had a hard time getting into it at first. Once it picked up, though, it was a fun read, and I couldn’t put it down.

I did like the “whodunit” aspect of the book. I found it a little annoying that we don’t learn the identity of the person pushed from the warehouse until almost halfway through the book, though.

I wasn’t expecting the murderer to be who it was, so that was a nice twist.

Thank you to Netgalley, Inkyard Press, and Gabriella Lepore for giving me an ARC.
Publication: May 9, 2023

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