After acing her sophomore year finals, Brooke is looking forward to a fresh start. Transferring to a new high school across town with more AP options, Brooke has her path to college and the world mapped out.
But life takes an abrupt turn when she arrives home at her apartment to find flashing lights, sirens and her mother arrested, charged with the murder of her father. Lashing out at those around her and the world, Brooke must try to find a new way under a new reality. It helps that she’s falling in love with a new girl at her new school even as she struggles to hold her family together.
Told from the first person point of view of Brooke, The Last to Let Go is a complex, dark and enthralling young adult novel. Brooke’s dogged determination and belief in her mother’s innocence and desire to have things go back to the way they were drives much of the tension early in the novel. And while it’s clear that Brooke is lashing out at people and not behaving well, readers are treated to the internal struggle and justifications Brooke has for her behaviors. It doesn’t help that her family has secrets and many of those are about to come to light.
A coming of age story, Brooke’s raw, emotional storytelling captured my interest from the first page. Amber Smith’s prose sweeps you in, capturing the emotions and conflict of what Brooke feels. This is a confidently told story that deals with some big real-world issues.
In the interest of full disclosure, I received an ARC of this book as part of the Amazon Vine program.