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- Last One At The Party by Bethany Clift -



Published : 4th February 2021

Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton

Format : Kindle, Audio, Hardback

Genre : Womens Fiction/Comedy

Review #12/2021

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* All words highlighted in Grey are affiliate links to either purchase from a range of sellers or links to the authors sites. Where ever possible I will try and provide different versions of the book on all purchase sites.



Synopsis


THE END OF EVERYTHING WAS HER BEGINNING


It's December 2023 and the world as we know it has ended.


The human race has been wiped out by a virus called 6DM ('Six Days Maximum' - the longest you've got before your body destroys itself).


But somehow, in London, one woman is still alive. A woman who has spent her whole life compromising what she wants, hiding how she feels and desperately trying to fit in. A woman who is entirely unprepared to face a future on her own.


Now, with only an abandoned golden retriever for company, she must travel through burning cities, avoiding rotting corpses and ravenous rats on a final journey to discover if she really is the last surviving person on earth.


And with no one else to live for, who will she become now that she's completely alone?


Thank you @Hodder and Steven for this stunning advanced copy and totally unputdownable read


My Review


"I cant decide whether I am writing a diary or a journal.

Im not really sure of the difference, or even if there is one, and I cant google it anymore. The internet no longer exists.

Either way, I am writing this because there are things I think should be recorded somewhere, and I am, or was, a writer and journalist, so it feels like it's my duty to do it.


Plus, I am the only person here who can.

Because I am the only person here.

In this country.

Potentially the world.


I need to go back to the beginning.




The story is told from a single narrative, we never find out her name but she has decided to write down her thoughts and feelings in a kind of diary as she believes she is the only person left alive.

Its February 2024 and the entire world has been decimated by a virus called 6DM (stick with me here) four years after everyone survived covid. This unknown virus started not in China or the back ass of Africa but in smack bam in the middle of America. They don't know how it started or could predict the speed of which it would spread, but when the government and all civilisation was beginning its decent they decided to make a drug called T600 which you could get anywhere for free and take your own life to save the hours of suffering. 6DM literals means 6 days maximum and by the description in the book of how you suffer its clear most go straight for the pills.

Our protagonist has woken up after a hangover, realised her husband has contracted the virus whilst shopping for the two of them so she lies with him whilst he slowly dies.


She then decides to go around London and see if anyone else is alive, this being at the back of her mind as she spends most of her time wandering alone in and out of expensive shops, lavishing in hotels and sadly, only once, the zoo!

The story keeps taking you back to before the virus hit so you gradually build up a picture of what her life was like, its not as wholesome and happy as you are initially led to believe.

When she has had enough of all the drink, drugs and everything thing else that she has made the most of she decides she has to venture out of London and find survivors, mainly because the electric has been cut off but also because she is starting to freak out a little.

This is where we meet Lucky! He was my most favourite character. A golden retriever who was slowly dying in its flat with its owners who were also dead. She wasn't going to take him as he was literally on deaths door but he gave her a look that made her go back. This was the best thing she did as it gave her someone to live for on the many occasions that she thought she just couldn't take the quiet and lonely life anymore.

In amongst the flashback chapters you really cant help loving this character, she is totally relatable and it was not an unrealistic storyline, im sure there are many that could relate to how she dealt with what was going on, seeing what she saw and fearing taking that final leap of the T600 just in case there was someone, something else round the corner to give you that reason to live.





Why I Loved It

I wasn't sure where to start with this review.

I can say that I absolutely loved it. I didn't think I would love it as much as I did if im being completely honest with you but as soon as I started, I realised that this one was going to be totally unputdownable.

Lucky and Simon are fantastic characters, they made me laugh and panic on equal measure! I cant remember the last book that made me so emotional as this one did. At times I was angry with the protagonist for walking away from all the trapped animals and not setting them free, at the same time reasoning with myself that realistically she could never have done that for fear of being eaten ( I won't mention the rats saga )


This story was so wonderfully written that the author kept me on a knife edge all the way through, so many times I was cringing and wondering what on earth she was going to do to save herself and Lucky every time things got sticky and loved how she made a post apocalyptic storyline so totally realistic!

I was so angry and scared at the same time when I thought the book ended, I was like "Noooo you cant leave it there" when I realised I had another page to go! The relief was huge!

I have heard that this is apparently a science fiction novel? I do not read science fiction, never have BUT if this is actually true then I have been converted ;0)


Bethany Clift has created this debut that quite literally lures you in from the first page and holds you so tight until the very last.


Rating

โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…












Buy from


๐Ÿ›’ Waterstones

๐Ÿ›’ Amazon


๐Ÿ›’ Bookshop


Meet the author

Bethany Clift is a graduate of the Northern Film School and has had projects in development with Eon and Film 4, as well as being a director of her own production company.


Last One At The Party is her debut novel.












Connect with Bethany

Twitter

Instagram



Claire's Similar Reads

A Boy His Dog and the End Of The World by C.A Fletcher

The Last by Hanna Jameson

The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway






I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on this review, if you have read this book why not drop me a line telling me your thoughts?









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