Praise for THE LAST REAL GIRL:
“Warman’s taut prose is pitched perfectly for her subject matter, managing to make the high school drama feel high-stakes and creepy by turns… The author’s sharp senses of pacing and character make this a thoroughly enjoyable read. Readers will be waiting with anticipation for future volumes. A captivating teen mystery in a secretive lakeside town.” -Kirkus Reviews
When 17-year-old Reese first moved to the wealthy, lakeshore town of St. Clair over five years ago, she never expected someone like Charlotte Walters to take her under her wing. Charlotte is everything that Reese is not: rich, gorgeous, and carefree, living with her enigmatic older brother and her parents in a mansion at the top of the lake.
But when senior year starts, everything seems off. Reese notices that Charlotte’s older brother Aiden keeps coming back from college to hang around on weekends, stoic and grim. And Charlotte’s parents seem more distracted, almost lost. Meanwhile, Charlotte keeps insisting to Reese that nothing is wrong, and decides to host a Halloween party with the theme of “missing girls.”
That night, at the party, Charlotte goes missing.
Everyone who attended becomes an instant suspect, from Charlotte’s brother (who argued with Charlotte earlier that night), to Charlotte’s field hockey teammate (who wasn’t invited to the party in the first place), to Reese herself (who was the last person to see Charlotte alive, out near the lake).
With the clock ticking, Reese must unravel what happened to her best friend, and dig through the layers of secrets protecting people in St. Clair. Because now, being the quiet sidekick won’t cut it. And maybe only an outsider to St. Clair can truly confront all of the town’s dark mysteries.
L.C. Warman is the author of spooky young adult mysteries. She grew up in New England, in a town where real estate contracts stipulated that you couldn’t back out if you discovered your new place was haunted. She currently lives in a Michigan lakeside town with her husband and two dogs.
I received a copy from the publisher via Audiobook Boom for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.
The Last Real Girl by L.C. Warman is definitely a mystery to start reading. Truthfully, I feel it could be joined with the other two books just from how this one ended, but I do say this book is a fully thought out book and a great introduction to something truly dark.
The first thing that caught my attention was the way Charlotte is described. It reminded me of how I would describe my own best friend. As something other, someone to aspire to, and a person I would probably set aside anything to make sure she was safe. It helped me feel connected to Reese and the mystery unfolding in front of her. The mystery behind her best friend’s disappearance.
You don’t get much in the reveal of the mystery (the bulk of the story unfolds in three books), but you do get a taste of the environment. And, in my opinion, environment is key in a mystery.
And boy does this town seem odd. Like, really odd. Shady Pines kind of odd. The kind of odd that you wonder if you are in the Twilight Zone. And yet, I don’t think this is all of the oddity around the town. I have a feeling that Charlotte’s disappearance and the disappearance of other girls is closely intertwined with the deeper mystery of the town.
It is inspiring, odd, and just gets the mental gears running. I am left trying to piece together what little information I have from book one. And no answers are given. We have only more questions.
I definitely say you need to read the second book after this one. I am going to have to.
As for the narration of the audiobook, the narrator is a good one. Her reading and voices pulled me into the world of the story. The narrator is a good mix of the teen we relate with and the ethereal feel to the strange town. A great choice for a moody mystery that leaves you wanting more.
Final Rating: 4/5