Title: Famous Last Words
Author: Katie Alender
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Hollywood history, mystery, murder, mayhem, and delicious romance collide in this unputdownable thriller from master storyteller Katie Alender.
Willa is freaking out. It seems like she's seeing things. Like a dead body in her swimming pool. Frantic messages on her walls. A reflection that is not her own. It's almost as if someone -- or something -- is trying to send her a message.
Meanwhile, a killer is stalking Los Angeles -- a killer who reenacts famous movie murder scenes. Could Willa's strange visions have to do with these unsolved murders? Or is she going crazy? And who can she confide in? There's Marnie, her new friend who may not be totally trustworthy. And there's Reed, who's ridiculously handsome and seems to get Willa. There's also Wyatt, who's super smart but unhealthily obsessed with the Hollywood Killer.
All Willa knows is, she has to confront the possible-ghost in her house, or she just might lose her mind . . . or her life.
Acclaimed author Katie Alender puts an unforgettable twist on this spine-chilling tale of murder, mystery, mayhem -- and the movies.
Famous Last Words was weird. Really weird. I mean, I know Katie Alender's last book - Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer - was quite strange, but Famous Last Words really takes the cake. There is a touch of paranormal in a contemporary setting, and Willa, the main character who is dealing with the loss of her father two years previous and moving to L.A. from the East Coast with her mother and movie director new stepfather.
Willa is a heroine that I think many readers will connect with. She's allowed grief for her father to overwhelm her life, and that is something a lot of people can identify with. Even before she moved at the beginning of Famous Last Words, she had already closed herself off from her friends, so she was even more alone. Willa had also drifted away from her mother, to an extent. Therefore, when weird shit started going down in her new house, she doesn't have anyone to turn to.
One of the biggest problems that I have with reading mysteries is the holes in character development and back stories. I know they are necessary (in the opinion of some) to create suspense, but they make me impatient instead of curious. I guessed the identity of the Hollywood Killer early on in Famous Last Words, but that didn't stop me from flipping to the back to see. (It was only momentarily.) Thankfully, Alender's writing style is so unique because I wanted to keep reading for the curve balls she always throws. You never know what is real.
The paranormal bit of Famous Last Words helped with the character development of Willa quite a bit more than I thought it would. Yes, it lent much to the overall creepiness of the story, but it showed me a lot of things about Willa and what she was going through.
After reading Famous Last Words, I am now a big fan of Katie Alender. She is someone who you can read when you want a creepy ghost story without the gore or terror found in horror novels. I can't wait to read more books from her. If you're looking for a unique mystery with a heroine easy to sympathize with, you should give Famous Last Words a chance. It's well worth the read.
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I have no idea how, but at ALA I managed to acquire a copy of Famous Last Words. I already read it because of Around the World ARC Tours, so it must have been handed to me by someone when they were passing out ARCs. Since the book was given out for promotional purposes, I am giving it to someone who swears to review it somewhere, be it Goodreads, a blog, etc.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book briefly for reviewing purposes through Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review. The book was likely provided to the tour by the publisher or author, which has in no way affected the outcome of my review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.