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  • Littleport

    There's something about the coast of Maine that seems to cause writers to create locations that become characters in and of themselves. Now, this may be because I have read far too much Stephen King, but that is certainly the case in The Last House Guest. There is a tangibility to the air of Littleport and a creeping sense that the town itself is alive in a way that the people who inhabit it simply aren't; a sense that Littleport lives, breathes and directs the behaviour of it's inhabitants. Strip away the bluffs, the beaches and the cliffs and you would be left with a heart that pounds erratically and is black as night. Ostensibly the story is about Avery, a lifelong inhabitant of Littleport and her association with The Lomans. A summer family who more or less own the town. Avery has lost her family to the town, her parents in a car crash and her Grandmother a handful of years later. Her friends stick by her until she falls under the spell of Sadie Loman and then to the wider family; gradually becoming, as one summer visitor coins it, Sadie's Monster. The story jumps between several timelines as seen from Avery's point of view. We get glimpses in to the aftermath of the accident that took her parent's lives, Avery's first meeting with Sadie, that fateful Plus One Party and this final summer. You see, Sadie washed up on Breaker Beach when she should have been at the Plus One Party and this year they are having a dedication to Sadie - a clangerless brass bell to call the lost souls home. The local Police seem to believe that Sadie went willingly in to the sea, Avery is not so sure. The story itself is delightfully claustrophobic. A small coastal town that only really comes alive for three months of the year when the summer visitors gather. A small coastal town where no resident's past transgressions can ever be forgotten or forgiven. A small coastal town in thrall to the Loman family who are gradually turning it, and it's residents, in to their private property. There is a nicely crafted twist towards the end regarding Sadie's death. The menace creeps slowly up on the reader throughout the book until you begin to feel as jittery as Avery. Unfortunately there are a couple of plot holes that never get resolved or explained away in a satisfactory manner which did leave me wondering "but what about..." On the whole this book has terrific pacing and a strong narrator in Avery Greer. The strongest character, by far, though is the setting. Not just because of it's perceived beauty but because of how insignificant Littleport makes the people seem. Truly creepy and with a true sense of terror building through the story. THIS IS AN HONEST AND UNBIASED REVIEW OF A FREE COPY OF THE BOOK RECEIVED VIA THE PIGEONHOLE.

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    5 person found this review helpful

    5 people found this review helpful

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  • loved it!

    I have just finished this book and thought that it was fantastic! The story is centred around Avery, a girl who lost her parents and her Grandmother in a horrific accident, Avery goes off the rails and makes a great deal of trouble for herself and also for others around her, that is until she meets Sadie who is the complete opposite of Avery, Sadie lives in a huge house and is very wealthy, she appears to have everything she wants. The girls form a friendship very quickly which is quite intense, Avery shares her life stories with Sadie and trusts her completely, Avery believes that Sadie feels the same about her but when suddenly and completely out of the blue Sadie commits suicide, Avery decides that there is much more to the Loman family than meets the eye.

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    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Beautiful Town, a Terrible Tragedy

    Littleport, Maine is like two different towns. For most of the year it is a small town with beautiful views and very little action, but in the summer it becomes a holiday destination for the rich and reckless, full of partying and excess. Although the town-people and the summer-crowd don't tend to mix, Sadie Loman and Avery Greer have managed to cross the divide, and become the best of friends. However, when Sadie is found dead, everything changes for Avery. With her job and her reputation in jeopardy, she must put together the pieces to figure out what happened to her friend - before its too late. This book has such a wonderful setting, I just couldn't pass it up. Small town America is always one of my favourite setting-types; it always gives me that dull ache of childhood. The story shifts back and forth between the present and the summer that Sadie died, giving you more and more information to sift through as you try to figure out the mystery along with Avery. With wonderfully crafted characters and believable drama, I love the pace and content of this story. The idea of a town with two distinct faces is incredibly enticing, and I was drawn right into the secrecy and intrigue of it all. Avery's character is strong but flawed, as many modern literary heroines tend to be. She has a complicated past, and a deep seeded drive for ambition and accomplishment. Sadie on the other hand is a rich girl with a power complex, teetering through life on the knife's edge of recklessness and refinement. She may be strong-willed, but she is also weak in her own over-confidence. The two characters are a classic pair; one rich, one poor. One an outcast, one the popular socialite. One in need of care, one in need of adoration. The only real flaw to this book was unfortunately a fairly big one, in my opinion. Avery is incredibly sharp, and she has most of the facts that she needs to figure out what happened – it's all there in her memory of that fateful night, if only she can put together the pieces. The problem is, the author doesn't follow those thought processes through properly, and what we are given feels very much like Avery making things up randomly and then those things turning out to be true. She makes some serious jumps, and we are expected to believe that she has just put two and two together – only we were never given the first “two”. It frustrated me, because I think that Miranda had a very good idea going, she just didn't quite write it all out like she seems to think she did. It made the ending feel a little bit scrambled and random, even though I have a feeling it really was well charted in the author's mind. Overall, I love the story and characters in this book. I want to visit Littleport, Maine and see the beautiful scenery Miranda describes so lovingly. Unfortunately, the oversimplified process takes The Last House Guest down from 4/5 to 3/5 for me. I really wanted to love this ending, but it felt too rushed and messy when it came down to it. Recommended for fans of Pretty Little Liars.

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    1 person found this review helpful

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  • Great read

    Really enjoyed this book. Was an easy read that was hard to put down. Good twists and turns. Highly recommend.

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  • Jumy but intriguing

    A good read, all the angst of life as a young adult in a seaside town mixed with death, love and broken promises.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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