The Last Best Story 

the last best story

Maggie Lehrman

Review by: Ivy

Available: August 2018 

 

“He had read about these tragedies for the coverage, to watch reporters and news outlets do their jobs. Whether to name the killer, how deep to get into his personal history. How to talk about the victims, when to quote the police or homeland security. All things that felt extraordinarily and almost offensively unimportant while he was in the school where the event was happening.”

Rose Regnero and Grant Leitch were done. Not that they ever started. After being co-workers on the school newspaper since freshman year, the pair had grown pretty close, but when Rose suddenly left the paper and refused the talk to Grant, it felt like a pretty solid breakup.

Now it’s prom night, and neither of the seniors is having as much fun as they should be. Rose should be feeling delighted: she’s got a handsome date, she’s popular, she’s leaving high school on a high note, and Grant… he’s leaving high school. Before either of them can put on a finger on what feels so off, the school goes into lockdown, and no one knows why. Grant and Rose’s journalistic tendencies kick in, and it’s up to them to sort through all the misinformation and write the last, best story the Hawks High Gazette has ever seen.

The Last Best Story is filled with romance, but not in the typical YA way. A good analogy would be instead of steamy makeout seshes and staring at each other, it’s high fives and great minds thinking alike. It’s refreshing and shows that good teenage romance doesn’t just need to be sexy and dramatic, but ships should actually be compatible and be able to work with each other..

YES! JOURNALISM! Story is packed full of free speech, and while it can lean into stereotypical “fighting against the restrictive authority”, it’s fun and makes sense, giving Grant and Rose some maturity, since they’re actually fighting for things that matter.

Don’t even get me started on the secondary characters in Story. From Grant’s GBF Nick to prom crasher Marty, the kids at Hawks High, although a bit cliche, add a depth to the book that you don’t get normally. I’m actually interested in all of the characters, and while each had their comedic moments, they all had serious character arcs too.

The best word I can use to describe Story is fresh. This book is topical while still staying entertaining and funny, with an awesome romance and zig-zagging plot that fans of Becky Albertalli and Caleb Roehrig will love. The Last Best Story, to me, totally honestly, is a perfect book. Plain and simple.