Title: Last Chance Books
Author: Kelsey Rodkey
Pub. Date: May 18, 2021
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Don’t you just love the smell of old books in the morning?
Madeline Moore does. Books & Moore, the musty bookstore her family has owned for generations, is where she feels most herself. Nothing is going to stop her from coming back after college to take over the store from her beloved aunt.
Nothing, that is—until a chain bookstore called Prologue opens across the street and threatens to shut them down.
Madeline sets out to demolish the competition, but Jasper, the guy who works over at Prologue, seems intent on ruining her life. Not only is he taking her customers, he has the unbelievable audacity to be… extremely cute.
But that doesn’t matter. Jasper is the enemy and he will be destroyed. After all—all’s fair in love and (book) wars.
This will be a spoiler free review. I listened to the audiobook via Audible. I was so incredibly excited for this book…and it just did nothing for me.
This was one of my top anticipated contemporary books coming out this year. Rivals to lovers, books, romance…I loved the premise. Hell, any book that is this kind of book, I thought I was bound to love it and make it a new favorite.
This book fell so flat. I kept hoping it would get better. I kept hoping that I would fall for the MC – Madeline. I hoped I would fall for the Love Interest – Jasper. I’d hoped the book would’ve ended a different way, because what was the point?
None of these things happened.
I borderline hated Madeline. She was supposed to be mature, but she felt like a child trying to act like an adult. She was terrible to everyone. The only time I felt any kind of kinship with her, was towards the end, but otherwise, she’s not likeable.
Jasper was boring. His thing that sets him apart from other Male YA Love Interests felt like exactly that – just something to make him stand out. I don’t think it felt natural to his character. Just some personality quirk to make him different. But as a whole, he was just kind of bland.
As for the plot – so much happens. And not in a good way. What I expected to be the whole premise of this book, gets lost and shoved aside for other stuff. I was just seriously underwhelmed with everything that was happening. This felt like a debut…great big aspirations, too many ideas, and just not woven together in a way that kept me invested.
I also don’t know if I would classify this as YA – maybe Upper YA, but probably more NA. I definitely wasn’t expecting the bedroom scene. And if I’d been invested in the characters, I might’ve been more on board, but honestly, I didn’t think they had chemistry and it just came across weird.
Y’all, I just didn’t like the MC and the love interest.
Actually, I don’t think there is any character that really did anything for me. If I hadn’t been at work, needing something to read, and hoping that the book would get better – I probably wouldn’t have wasted my time.
I’m so disappointed in this book. I’m bummed that it didn’t work for me. I had such high hopes, and this just missed all the marks.
I wasn’t planning on spoilers in this post, but I can’t think of a vague way to phrase this – so be warned.
This next part is going to be a bit spoiler-y.
Look away if you don’t want spoiled.
If I’d busted my ass all summer to save a bookshop that I loved dearly, was able to bring my all-time favorite author there to sign books for a Hunger Game popularity level series and the boy I had a crush on kept me from listening to that author speak, we’d have issues.
Like, are you kidding me?
Not to even go into my dislike for Madeline and Jasper, but the fact that she stood there and let him occupy her time, when she could be listening to her favorite author speak, while he basically demands that she forgives him?
Jfc, get out of here.
Especially when she spends the whole fucking book being hot and cold with her feelings, saying she doesn’t want a boyfriend because of college and long distance, but then again, maybe. But oh wait, changes her mind again. And then to take that leap of faith, because it’s whatever, it’ll work out if it’s meant to.
I legit didn’t like Madeline. And Jasper was boring.
And the car accident?
The tampering with another business’s computer?
Madeline’s whole attitude and demeanor? Yuck.
And then there’s the whole thing where the fucking bookstore isn’t even saved in the end. WHAT THE FUCK IS THE POINT? If I’d been reading a physical copy of this book and I finished it, I might’ve actually chucked it across the room. I definitely expected the bookstore to be saved, and for all of the energy Madeline puts in to save it, alienating her family and just being a bitch, for her to just come to terms and let it go that quickly BULLSHIT.
The more I think about this book, the more annoyed I get – so I’m just going to end it here.