Book Club: The Last Days of Us

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Author: Beck Nicholas
ISBN: 9781489220493
RRP: $19.99
Publisher: Harlequin
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

The Last Days of Us is a book I have been eagerly awaiting for ages, it’s even been on my shelf for a long time but I had to wait. Now that I’m on holidays I decided that I can pick what I want, I had to bring them all with me…. though I did get what I could on NetGalley so that they weren’t all print.

There is a companion novella called The Music of Us which I downloaded a while back but held off until I could read them together. This little snapshot is only loosely linked but an enjoyable enough read, a light escape while we were out roadtripping.

Speaking of road-tripping that’s exactly what The Last Days of Us is; it’s a road-tripping coming of age story about 5 Australian teens traveling the Great Ocean Rd to Melbourne for a concert. We learn a little about the scenery but I couldn’t quite get past the fact that it took days to get from Adelaide to Melbourne when I know it could easily be achieved in a day. I understand that taking your time and seeing the country is an adventure but I guess the fact that my cross country trips involve an SUV and a family means that the priorities change a little and I just want to get to the destination.

Nicholas has written a story that is totally character driven, the dragged out road trip is a wonderful vehicle to take the reader from start to finish but it is the characters who will keep you glued.

Zoey is a wreck, she lost her older brother and went completely off the rails; ruining friendships, splitting up with her boyfriend and making some terrible decisions. She has decided it’s time to get her life back on track and the catalyst in her mind for finding the girl she was before losing her brother is getting her ex back. Unfortunately for Zoey her ex is now dating her best friend.

There is a big part of me that understood where Zoey was at but I just couldn’t come to terms with her behaviour. She irritated me because for all her talk about making things better and getting her life back on track she plans to destroy her best friend to get it.

It took quite a lot of time to discover what it was Zoey did to break Finn’s heart but it all unfolded the way it  probably should. It was relatable, it was believable and it rang true for me… but Zoey’s behaviour still irritated me no end.

Joining Zoey on the road trip is her ex, Finn, and her best friend Cass, both who claim to care about her and promise the trip won’t be awkward. These are two more characters who irritated me. They were not very good friends to Zoey, and even though she had made some bad decisions these were the closest people to her, they really needed to cut her some slack.

Luc and Jolie round out the fivesome and they are cousins of Finn. Luc is the grumpy, over-protective older brother to 16 yr old Jolie who is eternally bright and optimistic. These two seem to be polar opposites but it doesn’t take long to realise that there’s more to these two than meets the eye. Zoey sees the glint of a completely different guy shining from behind the gruff exterior and the two really seem to understand each other.

The Last Days of Us is an end of summer road trip story that sees a change of perspective and a coming of age. It is a story that I really enjoyed with characters I could relate to, even when their actions seemed reprehensible. The bonds of friendship once fractured are quite fragile, the best of friends find themselves battling bitterness and a sense of not knowing one another anymore.

The long road back from the depths of grief can be a slippery slope and it can be difficult to try and work out what will be that magic cure to bring things back to an even keel, because we all know that things will never be the same. Sometimes it seems that getting as much as possible back to the way it was will work but people aren’t the same after suffering so there is no way to go back, you have to find a way to move forward.

The Last Days of Us is an engaging road-tripping tale that is just perfect for the long summer days we are currently blessed with and I would recommend it to anyone who loves a character driven YA novel with messed up leads trying to find their way.

Beck Nicholas can be found on Facebook, Twitter and her website.

The Last Days of Us is available now through HQ Young Adult and from Angus and Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to HQ Young Adult 20 of our Beauty and Lace club members will be reading and reviewing the Last Days of Us so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

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21 thoughts on “Book Club: The Last Days of Us

  1. Thank you Harlequin and Beauty and lace for the chance to read this novel.

    This is not something I would have picked up of the shelves, but after reading it, it is definitely one to recommend!

    A easy read but very well written touching on many emotions.

    Very much enjoyed reading this one.

  2. The Last Days of Us is a YA book that follows 5 teenagers as they road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne via The Great Ocean Road to see a concert. The story is about Zoey, her ex Finn, her best friend Cass (who is now dating Finn) and Finn’s cousins Luc and Jolie. Zoey unfortunately lost her older brother and that has thrown her life into chaos causing her to ruin friendships and her relationship with Finn. But now she is getting back on track which for her includes trying to get Finn back even if it means destroying her friendship with Cass. Unfortunately I found the characters very irritating at times as they don’t really care about hurting others only about what they want but I suppose that is very characteristic of their age group. Overall I found it an easy and enjoyable read to while away a sunny afternoon. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin for the opportunity.

  3. Great book I think for all as it shows how grief can affect young people and how they might deal with it, it was easy to read and follow, a book good for all ages

  4. This book somewhat fell of the radar so this is a little late but betrer late than never!

    The best aspect of the Last Days of Us is the characters. It’s based on 5 friends who decide to go to Melbourne to see a concert.

    There’s main character Zoey who’s still grieving the loss of her older brother. Her best friend Cass who is now dating Zoey’s ex Finn. Finn also comes along on the trip and brings his two cousins, broody Luc and effervescent Jolie the youngest of the group.

    You can sense there’s some unresolved history between Zoey a Finn and frankly I found it a little odd that the bestie would now be dating the guy that Zoey was so close to in the past.

    This is a typical road trippin/ growing up teen angst style book but I felt like the development of the characters is what sets it apart. In some places I thought it took a little too long to get to the nitty gritty but overall I enjoyed the ride.

  5. I really enjoyed this book. I think a great read for young readers. I personally felt on edge the whole read of what was going to happen next.

    I think the portrayal of grief in the book resonated with me the most. Everyone handles it differently and it was good to see other perspectives.

    Overall well written and I would give this book a 4/5 Star rating

  6. The Last days of Us is about love and losing a loved ones and they are all teenagers. They are going on a road trip to see Gary the singer because one of the girls is not well. A great read with ups and downs along the way.

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