Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Last Good Girl Book Review

The Last Good Girl by Allison Leotta

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Emily Shapiro has gone missing. A freshman at a Michigan university, Emily was last seen leaving a  bar near Beta Psi, a prestigious and secretive fraternity. The main suspect is Dylan Highsmith, the son of one of the most powerful politicians in the state. At first, the only clue is pieced-together surveillance footage of Emily leaving the bar that night...and Dylan running down the street after her.

When prosecutor Anna Curtis discovers a video diary Emily kept during her first few months of college, it exposes the history Emily had with Dylan: she accused him of rape before disappearing. Anna is horrified to discover that Dylan's frat is known on campus as the "rape factory".

The case soon gets media attention and support from Title IX activists across the country, but Anna's investigation hits a wall. Anna has to find something, anything she can use to discover Emily alive. But without a body or any physical evidence, she's under threat from people who tell her to stop before she ruins the name of an innocent young man.

Inspired by real-life stories, The Last Good Girl shines a light on campus rape and the powerful emotional dynamics that affect the families of the men and women on both sides.

Review by Brittany:

I requested a copy of this book through NetGalley because the blurb intrigued me. I didn't realize that it was a part of a series at the time, but I can honestly say that my lack of background knowledge did not hinder my reading experience at all.

Being such an avid reader, I don't always read books that make me disappear into the story and itch to keep turning pages - but this one did that. From the opening chapter, this book was full of suspense and fantastic storytelling. I loved that the focus of this book was on sex crimes in college because that is a very real problem in today's society, and I think it needs to be addressed, even fictionally.

The pace of this novel was done fantastically well. The case progresses at a steady pace, and the addition of scripts from Emily's video blog and documents regarding her disciplinary suit against Dylan helped keep the reader in the loop while also keeping the plot moving. I also thought the video blog was a great touch because it helped the reader get to know Emily without her being active in the story.

Although I haven't read the other books in this series, I was still very invested in Anna's relationship with Cooper and her past relationship with Jack. The author gave enough information for me to understand the situation between all of the characters and to help me get invested in Anna's dilemma. Being invested in Anna's personal life as well as what was going on in the case to find Emily gave the book another dimension to it that kept reading.

The end of the book was a bit of a surprise, not the way I would have expected it, but it fit perfectly. I liked that the author didn't go the way I was thinking she would with the ending. Emily's story does not tie up perfectly, but it comes to enough of an ending that I felt satisfied. Anna's relationship dilemma also clears up some by the end of the book, leaving room for more development in the next novel.

I loved this book. I wish I had started reading this series from the very beginning, but the fact that I didn't definitely didn't hinder the reading experience. I definitely recommend this one!

Notable quote:

She didn't want to think about tomorrow or yesterday. She didn't want to analyze or annotate or figure anything out. She just wanted to be here, now...

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