Recent Reads | The Last Murder at the End of the World and Past Present Future

Posted June 12, 2024 / Book Reviews, Recent Reads / 0 Comments

Recent Reads | The Last Murder at the End of the World and Past Present FutureThe Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton
Genres: Adult, Dystopia, Mystery/Thriller, Sci-Fi
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing on March 28, 2024
Also by this author: The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Format: Audio/Physical (320 pages) • Source: Everand, Purchased
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Solve the murder to save what's left of the world.

Outside the island there is the world destroyed by a fog that swept the planet, killing anyone it touched. On the it is idyllic. 122 villagers and 3 scientists, living in peaceful harmony. The villagers are content to fish, farm and feast, to obey their nightly curfew, to do what they're told by the scientists.

Until, to the horror of the islanders, one of their beloved scientists is found brutally stabbed to death. And they learn the murder has triggered a lowering of the security system around the island, the only thing that was keeping the fog at bay.

If the murder isn't solved within 92 hours, the fog will smother the island – and everyone on it.

But the security system has also wiped everyone's memories of exactly what happened the night before, which means that someone on the island is a murderer – and they don't even know it…

The outstanding new high concept murder mystery from the Sunday Times bestselling and Costa Book Award winning author of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.

An ingenious puzzle, an extraordinary backdrop, an audacious solution.

I enjoyed Turton’s debut after being pretty confused throughout the story, and the same thing basically happened here. I was expecting a weird mystery and that’s exactly what I got – it’s not the type of mystery I’d pass along to my mom to read. She would hate it lol. Turton clearly has a specialty for writing odd mysteries with extremely unique premises and I definitely commend him for that. The end of EVELYN HARDCASTLE, to me, made up for the confusion I experienced throughout. The same can’t be said for this latest release unfortunately.

The story follows a post-apocalyptic society living on an island, trapped by a deadly fog. One of the scientists is brutally murdered and a villager (Emory) and her daughter (Clara) try to figure out what happened in order to save them all. The fog will inch closer and closer until the murder is resolved. It definitely had a lot of sci-fi elements in a way that makes it hard to classify. It also barely felt like a mystery novel. Yes, there IS a murder mystery at the base of the plot but there was so much other stuff with world-building that took me out of it.

Emory and the other characters ask so many questions and tell random stories – it felt like a lot of telling instead of showing. She would have realizations about things that the reader didn’t see so she just talks it out and gets everyone on board. There was a limited cast of characters despite the 130+ people living on the island the answer always felt like it would be too obvious no matter what it turned out to be.

Despite the confusing elements, I was pretty gripped while reading. I would not classify this book as unputdownable but for some reason I couldn’t put it down. I read it all during our vacation and was always curious to know more about what was happening; I was determined to make sense of it all.

This book will seriously be polarizing (again, kind of like his others) – I think most people will either love it or hate it. Early reviews from friends and book bloggers/etc. show this is probably the case. I’m glad I read it and generally enjoyed the ride but the ending was super anticlimactic for me. I just wanted MORE from the book, characters, and resolution.

Recent Reads | The Last Murder at the End of the World and Past Present FuturePast Present Future by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Series: Rowan and Neil #2
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on June 4, 2024
Also by this author: Today Tonight Tomorrow, The Ex Talk, We Can't Keep Meeting Like This, Weather Girl, See You Yesterday, Business or Pleasure
Format: Audio/Physical (384 pages) • Source: Everand, Purchased
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They fell for each other in just twenty-four hours. Now Rowan and Neil embark on a long-distance relationship during their first year of college in this romantic, dual points of view sequel to Today Tonight Tomorrow.

When longtime rivals Rowan Roth and Neil McNair confessed their feelings on the last day of senior year, they knew they’d only have a couple months together before they left for college. Now summer is over, and they’re determined to make their relationship work as they begin school in different states.

In Boston, Rowan is eager to be among other aspiring novelists, learning from a creative writing professor she adores. She’s just not sure why she suddenly can’t seem to find her voice.

In New York, Neil embraces the chaos of the city, clicking with a new friend group more easily than he anticipated. But when his past refuses to leave him alone, he doesn’t know how to handle his rapidly changing mental health—or how to talk about it with the girl he loves.

Over a year of late-night phone calls, weekend visits, and East Coast adventures, Rowan and Neil fall for each other again and again as they grapple with the uncertainty of their new lives. They’ve spent so many years at odds with each other—now that they’re finally on the same team, what does the future hold for them?

This is pretty much a love letter to all of us who read Rowan and Neil’s first book in one sitting and were begging for more of them upon finishing. Everyone who wanted to read more than just one day in their lives gets to see them over an entire year of college! It mostly reads as a “slice of life” over the course of the year as they work their on their long distance relationship, with a few hurdles late in the story. Everything felt realistic and brought me right back to freshman year of college. (More books set during this time of life, please!!)

As for the book and story itself – it really does stretch across the entire school year in a really interesting way. I loved seeing Neil overcome his “I was nerdy in high school” feelings and make new unexpected friends, all while working through his complicated feelings about his father. Rowan has always let the words pour out of her before college but deals with writer’s block and some impostor syndrome while having a harder time making true friends around campus. I liked that they were having different college experiences but really tried to enjoy where they were and the unique qualities of their schools/cities.

I really adored this and finished in two sittings, which makes sense after finishing the first book in one night. Be prepared for the “not everything is rosy” section of the book – candidly it doesn’t last as long as other romances and is a bit deeper than what you might expect (ex: other romantic prospects, miscommunication, etc.). Overall, it really made sense in the context of the story. The book had a great ending that will make every reader smile.

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