Wednesday, October 22, 2014

YA Pick: Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words
by Katie Alender
320 pages
ISBN: 9780545639972

PRAISE FOR FAMOUS LAST WORDS (from the author's website)
“Gothic horror meets Hollywood glamour in this satisfying mystery-thriller with a supernatural twist.” ~ Booklist
“Romantic, suspenseful, and so L.A — Katie Alender spins palm trees and movie magic into a killer ghost story that will haunt your heart from first page to last.” ~ Margaret Stohl, NYT bestselling author of the Beautiful Creatures series
“This fun, creeptastic book is a thrill ride that kept me guessing until the last moment. Nobody does ghost stories like Katie Alender.” ~ Cynthia Hand, NYT bestselling author of the Unearthly series
“Gothic horror meets Hollywood glamour in this satisfying mystery-thriller with a supernatural twist.” ~ Booklist
“Teens will keep the lights on all night to finish reading, but leave them on, just in case.” ~ VOYA
“A compelling supernatural thriller.” ~ Kirkus Reviews
Spooky, supernatural, surreal, and sensational! Famous Last Words will have readers turning pages at breakneck speeds racing to find answers to the mystery and a string of lurid murders.

Willa and her mother have just moved to sunny California. She has a new step-father who just so happens to be a fancy Hollywood director and lives in a  McMansion  in sunny  California. The mansion is well-known in Hollywood as it was built by a once famous actress of yesteryear. Soon, Willa begins classes at a Hollywood high school with the sons and daughters of the  rich and famous.

Willa's real father died two years ago, and she feels responsible for his death. If only she hadn't had a fight with him, he might be alive today she thinks. She tries to contact her  father's spirit every night.

Jonathan, Willa's step-father, tells her about a notorious serial killer who has been striking fear in Hollywood. The Hollywood Killer--as he is known--always kills young, single, pretty wanna-be actresses. He stages each body in a pose from a scene in some famous Hollywood movie. 

Willa meets dark and mysterious Wyatt who has been following the Hollywood Killer case on his own. She accidentally picks up his notebook and sees notes about the killer. Why would Wyatt have such detailed notes? How does he know so much about the case? Only someone close to the killer or the killer himself could know all the things in that notebook. Willa decides to steer clear of Wyatt.

When Willa  starts getting strange visions and having nightmares, she pretends nothing is wrong.  Sometimes she hears water dripping in the house, but after checking all the faucets realizes that there is no water running. Strange warning words appear on the walls of the house, but no one but Willa can see them. Willa is afraid she's going insane, either that, or there's a ghost haunting the mansion.

The visions get worse and more frequent and Willa begins seeing death scenes of the Hollywood Killer's victims. She gets more and more information from each vision and is close to solving the case. The closer she gets to answers, the more dangerous it becomes.

Famous Last Words is an exciting YA read. Katie Alender just keeps getting better and better. She is one writer who can write a great ghost story!

Highly, highly recommended grade 7-up. No sex. Murder and serial killer.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the arc from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at

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