Mini reviews: The Last Thing You Said, Before I Disappear

Hi friends, happy Friday! I’m back today with a couple mini (okay…. medium-sized reviews) of two books I’ve read lately. Keep on reading to find out if these were hits!

There are no spoilers in these reviews.

The Last Thing You Said, Sara Birengoodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

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Lucy always loved summers on Halcyon Lake—sunning on the lake raft, relaxing on the boat, and spending every possible minute with her best friend, Trixie, and Trixie’s brother, Ben, Lucy’s lifelong crush. Until last summer, when one tragic event turned their idyllic world upside down. Now nothing is the same. This summer, Trixie is gone, and Ben is distant, numbing his pain with parties and a string of interchangeable girlfriends. Lucy does her best to move on and avoid this cold new Ben. She throws herself into babysitting, waitressing, and a sweet new romance with the renter next door. But in their small lake town, forgetting the past—and Ben—proves impossible. He still seems to be everywhere: at work, at the movies . . . and in Lucy’s heart. Lucy so wants to move on, but how can she forgive when she can’t forget?

The Last Thing You Said is my second Sara Biren book and I think it won’t be my last. There’s something simple, yet always poignant about the stories and characters she creates and I’m here for this.

The Last Thing You Said wasn’t an easy read at times, as it deals with grief a whole lot. We follow both Lucy and Ben’s point of view as they deal with the loss of, respectively, their best friend / sister a year after the facts and how their relationship changed because of it. I loved both characters’ point of view and appreciated how different they were, too, both their voices and the way they dealt with life and their grief in their own ways.

If this book was mainly focused on the romance and the complex feelings between Lucy and Ben, I appreciated the fact that there was a lovely focus on the friendships, too, especially between Lucy and Hannah. I loved how supportive and wonderful Hannah was during the entire book and how, despite their differences, the two got along. I also appreciated the families and their presence in the story, even if I feel like Clayton, Lucy’s brother, could have had an interesting place in the story and unfortunately…. just didn’t.

I appreciated both characters’ journeys, even if the story ended up being a slow contemporary, I had all of the emotions while reading and I’m here for this. Definitely a good read for contemporary lovers!

Final rating: 4 drops!

A million thanks to Amulet Books for sending me a review copy of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.

Trigger warnings: grief, loss of a loved one, alcoholism and drinking, drowning.

Other books by Sara Biren I’ve reviewed:

 

Before I Disappear, Danielle Stinsongoodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

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Rose Montgomery parks her family’s trailer in Fort Glory, Oregon with one goal: to carve out a new life for herself and her little brother, Charlie. They need a fresh start for their family, and she thinks she’s finally found it in a town where nobody knows them.

But Rose’s plans come crashing down when, in an instant, Fort Glory disappears and every person in town vanishes into thin air—including Charlie.

Rose and four other teens become trapped in the Fold, a patch of woods caught halfway between the real world and the lost town. In the Fold, a mysterious force suspends the laws of physics, and everyone’s inner darkness has the power to kill.

To survive the Fold, Rose must unravel the clues Charlie sends her from the missing town. And Rose has to find Charlie soon—or he’ll be gone forever.

Before I Disappear was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, because… somehow I have a thing for stories about disappearances. After reading, I have mixed feelings on this story overall, which, I feel like, had a lot of potential.

Before I Disappear is a book about survival through the darkness, through elements, through the unexpected and it was an unexpected, unique read for sure. One of my favorite things about Before I Disappear was the strong siblings vibes, as the main character fiercely searches for her brother all along, not giving up ever. We feel the strong bond between her brother right from the very beginning and until the very end, something I loved so, so much.

The characters were also a very strong suit in this story: from the main character to the group of unlikely friends surrounding her, they each had their own personalities, their own issues and past that we slowly discover as the story goes along and I really loved that… and I was surprised more than once by it all, especially the revelations about the main character. Their relationships to each other, from friends to slowly blooming romances, were lovely and certainly not taking the spotlight away from the main quest, which I loved.

What unfortunately made me drop my rating a little bit was the world and, my own non-scientific mind for it all. If I appreciated the characters, the overall adventure and wanted Rosie to save her brother and everyone to be okay, I had a hard time grasping the inner workings of the world, multi-dimensional (literally), which made my reading a little confused, at times.

Overall, Before I Disappear had a lot of potential for me, with great characters, beautiful writing and intriguing world. Unfortunately, my confusion didn’t make this a hit for me, but if you’re a sci-fi fan and curious, I’d definitely recommend giving this debut a try.

Final rating: 3,5 drops!

A million thanks to MacMillan International for sending me an ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.

Trigger warnings: talk of suicide, violence, blood, parental abuse, talk of substance abuse and overdose, loss of parents.

Did you read The Last Thing You Said or/and Before I  Disappear? Do you want to?

What are some of the latest books you’ve read that you would recommend? I’d love to hear from you in comments!

 

 

 

 

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

26 thoughts on “Mini reviews: The Last Thing You Said, Before I Disappear

  1. I’m excited to read Before I Disappear, but I definitely get what you mean by not understanding the inner workings of the world. If I have a hard time understanding that, it makes it difficult for me to really appreciate the novel and understand what’s truly going on. I loved your reviews 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oohhh… these are two books I haven’t heard that much about!!
    Sometimes a slow contemporary can be really good as it allows you to see all the emotions and the little details so for certain books I think it can work and it looks like it did for The Last Thing You Said . And I’m glad there was a focus on friendship too! 😊
    It is a shame Before I Disappear was slightly confusing for you. I hate it when that happens because it can make the story hard work and I am always wondering if it me or the book that’s the problem!!
    Great reviews Marie!! 💛
    I recently read the seven deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and it was nice to read as it was so different to my usual reads and the writing was great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you Sophie, I’m so happy I could make you discover some new books!
      I hope you’ll decide to check them out, The Last Thing You Said was such a lovely contemporary, I had such a great time reading it. If Before I Disappear was a little confusing, the strong sibings vibes made me SO happy 😀
      Thank you so much! ❤ And oh, I have heard a little bit about the seven deaths of evelyn harcastle, so happy you enjoyed it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. OH YES. I should have written that in my review, because Sarah Biren’s books are giving me all the Sarah Dessen vibes so far, too! I hope you’ll give this book a try, it was such a lovely read ❤
      Thank you so much! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Last Thing I Said sounds like a great book! I’m a new reader of your blog, & I love how you rate your reads, in keeping with your name/theme; it’s so unique ❤

    twinklexthoughts.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your reviews are so well-written, as always!! I haven’t heard a lot about these books, but they definitely sound really interesting and I’m glad you mostly enjoyed them ❤ And I'm sorry Before I Disappear was a bit confusing for you, but I'm happy there was a strong sibling relationship because I know you love those!! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have, and want to read, both of these books! I am glad that you mostly enjoyed them, though I am a little concerned about the confusion of Before I Disappear, because that was actually my worry about this one going into it. But I do love sci-fi, and the fact that the characters are strong and there were surprises… I’ll still give it a go! Great reviews!

    Like

    1. Ahh I hope you will love both of them, Shannon! ❤ I really liked the characters and the twists, so my confusion wasn't bothering me all the time if that helps? 😂 I hope you'll love it even more than I did 😀

      Like

    1. Right? I love it so much! And it certainly has some emotional vibes, but it didn’t hit me as hard as The Sky Is Everywhere did… most likely because that one dealt with sisters, haha 🙂
      I hope you’ll give these books a try sometime and that you will love them! 😀

      Like

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