Cover Image: The Last One to Fall

The Last One to Fall

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If you enjoy young adult suspense novels, then you must grab The Last One to Fall by Gabriella Lepore.

When Jesse Melo texts his friend Savana Caruso to join him at Cray’s Warehouse in the middle of the night, she doesn’t hesitate. Though she has no idea why Jesse would be at Cray’s, they have been friends since they were kids, so of course she would go. What she doesn’t expect is to witness someone falling out of the fourth story window to their death.

Now, five classmates are being investigated for murder, and Savana must get to the bottom of it, even if it’s only to clear her name. The problem is that everyone is keeping secrets, and when she receives threatening text messages, Savana knows she is running out of time.

Oh, my gosh! What a wild ride this book is. It perfectly captures the angst of high school, the difficulty of navigating ever-changing friends groups, the impact of jealousy, secrets that can destroy lives or secrets about what life looks like on the outside compared to how it is in reality, and so much more. Plenty of twists and turns keep the reader guessing who the murderer might be and what their motive is. Told from multiple points of view, this is a fabulous, captivating read.

Highly recommended!

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The Last One to Fall is an interesting and fun ride. When one of their friends turns turns up dead in the middle of the night suddenly everyone is a suspect. Savana gets a text to meet her friends at their local warehouse to hangout late at night but when she gets there she sees her friend Jesse being pushed out of the building. Savana is suddenly in the middle of a murder investigation and has no idea who she can trust. The Last One to Fall is a tangled web and I had so much fun watching it unravel.

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The Last One to Fall is a YA thriller, it's fast paced and told from two different points of view. It starts with 6 sort of friends, when one is murdered the police are baffled because all 5 are suspects. It was a little bit predicable but was well written and engaging. It also had a satisfactory ending.
Thanks to NetGalley for my review copy and Harper Collins for my review copy.

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This book follows a group of friends/acquaintances lives before and after one of them is murdered and all of the rest are suspects. Savana gets a text from Jesse asking to meet up, but when she gets there she witnesses a murder and is now a possible suspect.
All of the characters tend to lie and deceive one another throughout the story.
All of these characters are so deeplyflawed.
Tara is so easily influenced by everyone and it's hard to not sympathize with her somewhat. She still did a lot of questionable things but she did it out of fear.
Jesse and Savana are next door neighbors and grow closer as the story progresses, Jesse keeps a lot of secrets but they all seem to be kept to protect his family and Savana.
There isn't too much background on Owen and Freddie other than them being in the friend group and on the football team. You slowly learns bits about them and how they relate to the drama in the friend group.
Raf is my least favorite character, he is written to be an disliked character and it definitely worked. He almost doesn't know how to be a good friend. He lies and deceives everyone and hurts people just to get a good laugh in. Every interaction he had made me so mad.
Throughout the book you don't even know who was killed until about halfway through. At first it annoyed me but after finishing I loved it. Getting to know the characters and who they are before fully ruling them as suspects helped me try to piece together the story of that night. I sort of knew who the victim was or hoped it was that particular character; however, i was so off on who the killer ended up being.
Overall I loved it and didn't want to put it down so i could find out what happened.

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I preferred This Is Why We Lie over The Last One to Fall, but I still enjoyed the storyline. What I love about Lepore's writing is her storytelling skills since she only includes things pertaining to the story in her books and doesn't dedicate space to unnecessary information like many authors do. The Last One to Fall is told from Savana and Jesse's points of view and I couldn't really connect with them since their personalities weren't explored; we don't know much about them besides what is happening in the now. Minus that, the story had me hooked with lots of suspense as it explored toxic friendships and family drama. Thank you NetGalley for an ARC.

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Book: The Last One to Fall
Author: Gabriella Lepore
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank the publisher, Inkyard Press, for sending me an ARC. I am going to keep this as vague as possible so I don’t spoil anything for you.

This one reminded me so much of Pretty Little Liars and One of Us is Lying. If you like those, I think you will enjoy this title. In, this one, we follow a group of teenagers who run in the same core group. On the outside, they look like friends, but the more you get to know them, the more you realize that things may not be as they seem. They all arrive at this empty warehouse. There are six of them, but only five come out. One of them is lying dead at the bottom of the building. No one knows who did it and if they do, then they are not talking. There are secrets and ones that people don’t want to come out. told from multiple points of view, you will find yourself looking at all of the characters and trying to figure out just who is telling the truth.

These characters made the story. All of them have a reason to want the person dead. However, you have to find out who is capable of doing it. As I said, all of the characters do have a motive. You just have to figure out who would go that far to keep their secrets a secret. There is also a lot of revenge. All of these people have hurt each other in the past. Now, a lot of it is petty teen things, but some go beyond that. The further I got into the book, the more I came to realize just how intertwined the characters were. I love it whenever thrillers and mysteries do this. It gives everyone a reason and everyone becomes a suspect. Plus, they are all whispering about each other and going through the case within themselves. I love it. You are with the characters and you have to figure out who is behind this.

Now, I will say that there were times when I found the characters to be rather underdeveloped. Sometimes, I had to remind myself whose point of view I was reading from. I wish that they would have gotten their voices a little bit more developed. The tone did not change from point of view to point of view. Plus, there were many times that I felt the characters were all the same person. I would have liked to see their voice just be a little bit stronger.

The build-up to the big reveal was just spot on. I like that the author took the time to give us all of this build-up for the big reveal. As I just going finished saying, there is a lot of time spent with the characters and getting a motive developed. We have all of this tension and lead-in. However, whenever we got to the grand finale, it was announced and the story was over. It was rushed and there needed to be a little bit more. I felt that more was needed to drive it home. I wish that it had been developed throughout that last little bit.
Overall, I did enjoy this story. It wasn’t the best that I have read, but I had fun. I think that is why I enjoyed giving this such a high rating. It was because I had fun and at the end of the day that is the most important thing when it comes to reading.

This book comes out on May 9, 2023.

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Great characters. This one grabbed me early and kept me reading. Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.

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This was a highly entertaining and fast-paced read that I enjoyed, with plenty of twists that left me reeling. The characterisation work was great and those central entangled relationships were complex enough. However, it just felt slightly generic YA mystery for me, hence the three stars rather than four.

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Five teens are a suspect in a murder of one of the most popular boys in school, Raf. He was the ring leader in his friend group but he wasn’t the nicest guy. I like how the story starts off with the incident of Raf’s fall and Savana gets called to the area it happens. Right away we start getting into how these teens are involved by going back to the “start” so to speak. The timeline worked pretty well and I liked that it was told between Savana and Jesse’s perspectives. We are introduced to the five friends, Raf, Jesse, Tara, Freddie and Owen – the coolest kids in school. Savana is not part of the group but she’s close to Jesse who is the boy next door.

I easily read this book in one sitting and I felt like the story moved quickly. I thought Savana was a really good friend to Jesse and even Tara later. There is a mild friends to lovers romance going on between Savana and Jesse – though it takes a back seat with all the drama going on with Raf.

There are some tough topics discussed in this story like alcoholism, divorce, cheating, abusive relationships, bullying, and sexual assault but the story doesn’t go deep into the topics but it does give some suspects a motive for killing Raf.

As for the mystery of who committed the act – it was definitely someone I didn’t expect, but after hearing why the person did it, it made sense. But it would have been nice to have more hints about it throughout the book! Also Savana was supposed to be observing this popular group for a research project she was doing but it didn’t seem that important since we never see her doing any research whatsoever expect for observing the group of friends.

Why you should read it:
*it’s a quick read
*you like young adult murder mysteries

Why you might not want to read it:
*it’s an easy read – it has hard topics but doesn’t go deep into them

My Thoughts:

I like that this was a quick and easy read because sometimes mysteries can get too slow and boring for me. I finished this in one sitting. I thought Savana was a great character as she and Jesse try and figure out what happened the night Raf died. There are a lot of tough topics in the story but it doesn’t get too deep into them. It showed how each character was going through something behind closed doors and even though the five friends were supposedly close – they still kept secrets from one another. Overall, this was an enjoyable young adult mystery.

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Review in progress and to come.

I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review

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I love a great whodunit, and this one didn't disappoint.

Great pacing; I read this book on the airplane on the way back from vacation, and it quickly passed the time. And an interesting cast of characters/suspects. This is told from multiple perspectives, including police reports/notes woven into the story. The reader needs to watch the calendar (at the top of each chapter) as the story jumps back in time.

The Last One to Fall is a contemporary story set in a small beach town. As always, the interest is in how the relationships unfold. While the story deals with heavy topics, including: neglectful parents, alcoholism, divorce, infidelity, bullying, and mental health, the focus stays on the mystery. I appreciated that the story had fairly clean language and sweet-level romance, and it never felt gory or overly dark.

I personally like to have figured out the culprit and the reasoning right before the final reveal, but this time I didn't. I wanted more hints as to the "why" in advance, and I felt that was obscured. I still liked the ending, and I really appreciated how the author wrapped up the story.

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Savana and Jesse are neighbors and possibly more than friends, so when Jesse texts late one night and asks Savana to meet him at Cray's warehouse, she doesn't hesitate to go. When she gets there, she sees a body fall out of a window from the fourth floor of the warehouse. Savana calls the police and becomes tangled in the investigation where each suspect, all people she knows and including herself, have motives to commit murder. She starts investigating on her own after it seems as if Jesse is going to be charged and finds herself on the receiving end of texts from an unknown person who is forcing Savana to question all she thinks she knows to be true about the people she has known for most of her life. As secrets come to light, Savana begins to wonder if she can trust anyone. Another exciting thriller from Gabriella Lepore.

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Thank you Netgalley and Gabriella Lepore for the opportunity to read the eARC of The Last One to Fall!

This is another entry into the Young Adult Thriller category, it was as expected, fast paced, who do you trust scenario. I enjoyed the book, I read it quickly but it felt predictable and not particularly unique. I enjoyed the characters and the ending left me satisfied.

I will post my review on Netgalley, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and Google play and Amazon!

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What would you do if you went out at night to meet your friends but witnessed a murder instead. Now you know that one of your friends is a murderer but you don’t know which one

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*thank you HarperCollins for my eARC of this book*

3.5 stars

I LOVE A GOOD CONTEMPORARY YA MYSTERY! I was definitely compelled throughout and the dual timeline split from before and after made for a super compelling plot. I will say, that although I was intrigued, this book doesn't do a great job of distinguishing itself from its peers in the genre. however, I did thoroughly enjoy this more than the author's previous book and as always, appreciated the little sprinkle of YA romance throughout!!

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The Last One to Fall is a great choice for any fan of young adult thrillers, and I found it to be much better written than many books in that genre. The alternating viewpoints thing is done in a lot of books these days and, in my opinion, can often feel gimmicky, but I didn't find that to be the case with this book. Instead, it felt like that structure actually added suspense and tension as both Jesse and Savana pursued the truth. The twist at the end was surprising, but didn't feel forced. Overall, a fun read.

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The Last One To Fall was a fun quick YA thriller/mystery.

I loved this book and knew it would be in my wheelhouse as soon as I read the premise. I was right.

It’s got locked in vibes but no locked in location. It’s got six friends and five suspects with one of those friends dead and one the murderer.

Savana and Jesse are the two POVs we get here and there are some emails and texts also thrown in. We also get before and after and don’t know who’s actually the victim till the after portion of the book.

It’s lots of teenage drama mixed in with lies and secrets of course. I flip flopped on who the murderer was till almost the very end. Such a fun ride and I want to read every book with these kinds of premises.

Think: One of Us is Lying mixed with Big Little Lies but for teens.

A great read.

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This was a quick read.

There are points of view from both Savana and Jesse. There are also police interviews and some text messages. The book starts out with a body falling from a high up window. It then goes back a few months and we learn about all the people that were there. They don't say who died for awhile. There is a clique of five people (Jesse, Raf, Tara, Owen, and Freddie). This group always hangs out together. Raf and Tara are dating. Savana lives next door to Jesse, so she knows him well. This is the group that was at the warehouse that night. Savana saw the body fall. She didn't know who was in there with the person. All five of the living people became suspects. Quite a few lies and secrets come out over the months. I kept going back and forth on who the murderer was. I probably should have put it together earlier, but I'm kind of glad I didn't.

There are some serious topics in the book. Warnings for teenage drinking, alcoholism, cheating, bullying, and attempted sexual assault (only kissing, not rape). There is also talk of domestic violence.

I gave this book 4 stars.

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a Netgalley link.

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This was a very compelling book. Throughout the book, you are trying to figure out motivations, timelines, and who did it! The twists and turns were well thought out and made the story flow in a logical way. It all made sense at the end.
I really liked the character's actions and words. You could feel the bullying and pressure to conform. Sometimes when you are so close to it, you can pass off the bullying as a character flaw. In these instances though, things spun out of control quickly.
My only wish would be some sort of information at the end for people going through stuff. (I won't mention it here because it's revealed at the end of the story). It's important for authors to follow through and acknowledge the resources available to teens since these are very real issues.
I really enjoyed this book, it kept me guessing and felt real.

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I posted my review to Goodreads and Barnesandnoble.com on March 19, 2023. I will include the Goodreads and Barnesandnoble.com links to my review below. I will post my review on Amazon.com on the book's release date, May 9, 2023.

Thank you so much to Inkyard Press and NetGalley for providing me with an advance reader’s copy of this book!

I thought I was a Gabriella Lepore fan before I read The Last One to Fall, and now that I’ve finished the book, she has been cemented as one of my favorite YA mystery authors.
I truly believe that everyone who likes YA mystery novels should read Gabriella Lepore’s books. The YA mystery genre as a whole is rife with repetitive, predictable twists and flat, static characters, but Gabriella Lepore is a refreshing voice in the YA mystery genre. She subverts tropes and writes captivating, character-centric mysteries where all the character relationships and motivations are believable.

The plot of this book is excellent. The Last One to Fall begins by showing that a murder has happened, and then the story goes back to before the murder occurs, telling the story in chronological order. Because the murder occurs well into the book, and the only flash-forwards we get are cryptic documents that the police are sending each other, I had no idea what was going to happen while I was reading.

In mystery books, murders are usually the inciting incident of the novel, and the plot is fairly formulaic and straightforward from there. Not in The Last One to Fall, though! Secrets are revealed, and mysteries not related to the murder (or are they?) arise every 40 pages. I got so wrapped up in all of the characters’ tension-filled interactions that I forgot that the murder was coming up. Only Gabriella Lepore could make the set-up to a murder just as interesting as the aftermath of it.

And the aftermath? Woah. Because there are only five or six characters suspected of the murder, you would think that that would make it easy to guess who did it. Wrong. Gabriella Lepore did such a good job at building the characters that she got me to believe some of the things they were saying after they were suspected of murder. I actually wanted to believe everyone rather than suspect everyone. This made it so difficult for me to tell who had committed the murder, especially because Lepore did a great job at having not only the person who killed the victim be a mystery, but keeping their motivations in the dark as well, while simultaneously foreshadowing them perfectly.

I was absolutely shocked at the reveal in this book, and then I was shocked by how everything goes down after the killer is unmasked.

I won’t go into detail about the themes in this book, but let’s just say I think they’re really important for young people to learn.

The romance in this book was actually cute and well-placed. Usually, I hate romances in YA mystery books because they feel forced and unnecessary, but Gabriella Lepore totally sold me on this one.

If you are looking for a YA mystery novel that will keep you guessing and keep you entertained, you should definitely pick up The Last One to Fall.

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