Title: Famous Last Words
Author: Katie Alender
Hollywood history, mystery, murder, mayhem, and delicious romance collide in this unputdownable thriller from master storyteller Katie Alender.
Willa is freaking out. It seems like she’s seeing things. Like a dead body in her swimming pool. Frantic messages on her walls. A reflection that is not her own. It’s almost as if someone — or something — is trying to send her a message.
Meanwhile, a killer is stalking Los Angeles — a killer who reenacts famous movie murder scenes. Could Willa’s strange visions have to do with these unsolved murders? Or is she going crazy? And who can she confide in? There’s Marnie, her new friend who may not be totally trustworthy. And there’s Reed, who’s ridiculously handsome and seems to get Willa. There’s also Wyatt, who’s super smart but unhealthily obsessed with the Hollywood Killer.
All Willa knows is, she has to confront the possible-ghost in her house, or she just might lose her mind . . . or her life.
Acclaimed author Katie Alender puts an unforgettable twist on this spine-chilling tale of murder, mystery, mayhem — and the movies.
Famous Last Words is a Young Adult thriller/mystery. My first of Katie Alender’s. I don’t usually enjoy reading thrillers with teens as a protagonist, but the synopsis and cover are promising, so I gave it a shot. Ghost, murders, Hollywood. Who wouldn’t be intrigued? Willa was forced to move in to Los Angeles when her mom got married to a famous movie director. You’d think she’ll be delighted. Not so much. While struggling to fit in her new environment, news of a Hollywood serial killer surfaces. One who kidnaps and targets young actresses, staging their deaths like scenes from movies. To top it off, her new home is not what it seems to be, it is haunted. She started seeing and hearing things: a dead body in the pool, creepy messages on the walls, dripping leaks that don’t exist, bathtub filling up with water and so on. Were they visions or she’s just going crazy? Is it a ghost answering her summons?
Willa may have issues but it didn’t come off as annoying. I even find her relatable most of the time. She is a bit snarky but it helps in her character growth. I have mixed feelings about Marnie, Willa’s new friend. But I guess it’s because Willa doesn’t completely trust her. There’s Wyatt, who’s creepy weird but smart and also unhealthily obsessed with the Hollywood killer. I like how his friendship with Willa developed. Two outcasts thrown together but both are wary of each other. And then there’s Reed, another love interest for Willa, who is equally interesting because, well, he is hot. Reading on Willa’s mistrusting perspective will make you suspicious of everyone around her. But since there are not a lot of characters in the mix, it’s easy to guess who the culprit is.
There is a bit romance going on but I’m glad it’s not the focus of the story. I very much enjoyed reading about Willa’s haunting visions. I made the mistake of reading it alone at night and it gave me quite a scare, I ended up sleeping with the TV on, just so I have a bit of light. The revelation about the ghost haunting Willa was brilliant. I thought it would be entirely someone else. I totally enjoyed reading Famous Last Words. It’s not short of suspense and there’s a right mix of mystery. If you’re the type to enjoy creepy paranormal stuff, this one is definitely for you. I’m looking forward to reading more Katie Alender books soon.
(*Photos and synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)
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