The Last Girls Standing

Posted August 16, 2023 by Carole in Reviews / 5 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Last Girls StandingThe Last Girls Standing by Jennifer Dugan
Narrator: Mia Hutchinson-Shaw
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, Penguin Random House Audio on August 15, 2023
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Thrillers & Suspense / Psychological
Length: 9 hours 38 minutes
Pages: 320
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Amazon | Audible | B&N | Kobo |

In this queer YA psychological thriller from the author of Some Girls Do, perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying and A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, the sole surviving counselors of a summer camp massacre search to uncover the truth of what happened that fateful night, but what they find out might just get them killed.

“Shocking, captivating, and utterly chilling. A delicious thriller that will have you tearing through pages to get to the end, where you won’t be disappointed.” —Jessica Goodman, bestselling author of They Wish They Were Us

Sloan and Cherry. Cherry and Sloan. They met only a few days before masked men with machetes attacked the summer camp where they worked, a massacre that left the rest of their fellow counselors dead. Now, months later, the two are inseparable, their traumatic experience bonding them in ways no one else can understand.

But as new evidence comes to light and Sloan learns more about the motives behind the ritual killing that brought them together, she begins to suspect that her girlfriend may be more than just a survivor—she may actually have been a part of it. Cherry tries to reassure her, but Sloan only becomes more distraught. Is this gaslighting or reality? Is Cherry a victim or a perpetrator? Is Sloan confused, or is she seeing things clearly for the very first time? Against all odds, Sloan survived that hot summer night. But will she survive what comes next?

My feelings on this book are rather mixed. I needed some time to process this one after finishing it. I wasn’t exactly sure what I really thought about the book as a whole. On one hand, I was really curious to learn what really happened that night that Sloan and Cherry were the only survivors after a massacre at the summer camp they both were working at. Unfortunately on the other hand, the story took a turn that I didn’t expect and I honestly didn’t care for. The ending turned out to be a huge disappointment.

Sloan and Cherry both survived a terrible tragedy at the camp that they were working at and ended up being the only two survivors. Sloan doesn’t remember what happened and wants to get her memories back so that she can move on. Cherry and Sloan met at camp just prior to the tragedy and are now the most important people to one another. Sloan’s mother does not like Cherry at all but their bond remains strong.

Sloan starts to question what really happened that night and starts to doubt those she cares and trusts most of all. She sees connections that may not be there and becomes desperate to find answers. It was hard to see Sloan spiraling out of control but I did want to see her find those answers that she needed. Cherry and Sloan’s relationship felt rather toxic at times and I wondered if maybe Sloan’s mother was right after all.

I listened to the audiobook and thought that Mia Hutchinson-Shaw did a wonderful job with the story. I honestly don’t know if I would have liked the book as much as I did without her narration. She did a wonderful job of bringing this group of characters to life. I would not hesitate to listen to more of her narration work in the future.

I think that some readers will like this one a bit more than I did. I do think that the book had some really positive traits but the ending just didn’t work for me at all. I would definitely give this author’s work a try again in the future.

I received a review copy of this book from G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers and Penguin Random House Audio.

5 responses to “The Last Girls Standing

  1. The thriller aspect associated with a summer camp incident does grab one. Bummer there were plot directions that didn’t work out in the end.

  2. Thanks for the warning about the disappointing ending! I was kind of on the fence about reading this one.