“The Last Girl” by Joe Hart: It’s Not What You Expect

The Last Girl Joe Hart

I practically devoured The Last Girl by Joe Hart, though it left me with a bit of an off taste in my mouth – almost as if there was so much to like about it, but a couple minor ingredients didn’t quite mix in the way they were supposed to.

WARNING: Minor plot spoilers for The Last Girl follow, but no major events or twists are revealed.

The Last Girl is essentially billed as “Thriller & Suspense”, but honestly it fits far more categories than that. This was a nice change for someone who loves reading a lot of different types of novels but rarely finds one that can mix several fiction classifications without turning into a giant sludgy mess.

To be honest, at first I allowed myself to get lost in the story (mostly just waiting for *something* to happen) just enough to not really think about the ramifications of what was going on. But by the time I finished reading, I was full of more questions than answers, and not exactly the “good” questions that the first book of a trilogy should leave you with. But before I delve into that, I want to say that my biggest point of contention with The Last Girl is that it should have come with several trigger warnings – mainly for not one but several graphically depicted rape attempts, as well as two more specific warnings regarding a character with a mental disability that I honestly can’t even get into without spoiling the novel.

Listen, it sounds like I’m hating on The Last Girl quite a bit, here. I will admit that I think it has some major story development issues – for instance, the fact that they’re blaming it on the women who can’t have female babies despite the fact that it’s the man who provides the Y chromosome that makes a child male. {spoiler alert} There’s a very brief mention at the end that babies actually start out female but change around the one-month mark, and in my opinion, that should have been mentioned sooner. {/spoiler alert} I felt like the author was trying to keep this fact a mystery but in doing so was just making me question whether the “National Obstetric Association” even understood basic biology.

All that said, I couldn’t put the book down. The main character, Zoey, was a bit YA-antagonist-perfect for a book that doesn’t brand itself as YA, but I truly enjoyed experiencing her story. I’m still not quite sure why it was told in present tense – a tactic that, especially in fiction, is usually eyed from afar but avoided at most costs – yet somehow the tense rarely took me out of the story. This is a problem I had with another novel that I recently read, so it was a pleasant surprise.

Another pleasant surprise was the fact that The Last Girl was somehow both predictable and shocking. Yes, Zoey’s near-perfection at most things was a bit grating at times, and I definitely could have done without the rape scenes and one (if not two) of the character deaths, but again, it’s hard to say more without spoiling too much – and that, I don’t want to do, because the author does throw in a few twists that are well worth pushing through the questionable parts of the story.

The Last Girl is a little bit sci-fi, a little bit dystopian, and even a little bit horror. If you enjoy at least two of the above, and if you have a fairly strong constitution and can also handle nearly 400 pages written in present tense, I do suggest giving it a read. As for me, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for book two of the Dominion trilogy.

This is an honest review given in exchange for a free copy of The Last Girl thanks to Wunderkind PR.

Author: Tara Lynne

Tara Lynne is a fandom and geek culture expert, public speaker, and character cosplayer who is best known for her Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones), Starbuck (Battlestar Galactica), and Andrea (The Walking Dead) cosplays. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.



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