Review: Last Chance Books

Don’t you just love the smell of old books in the morning?

Madeline Moore does. Books & Moore, the musty bookstore her family has owned for generations, is where she feels most herself. Nothing is going to stop her from coming back after college to take over the store from her beloved aunt.

Nothing, that is—until a chain bookstore called Prologue opens across the street and threatens to shut them down.

Madeline sets out to demolish the competition, but Jasper, the guy who works over at Prologue, seems intent on ruining her life. Not only is he taking her customers, he has the unbelievable audacity to be… extremely cute.

But that doesn’t matter. Jasper is the enemy and he will be destroyed. After all—all’s fair in love and (book) wars.

Obviously, I was drawn to this book not only by the cover and name, but the fact that the book is set in a bookshop and the main character is a book lover. The addition of a rival store across the street, plus Jasper – the love interest who conveniently works at the rival store – had me ready for a fun read… and a fun read I got. 

I thought Madeline was a great character to have as a protagonist. She was flawed, of course, and her determination to save her family’s bookstore could make her seem like she was being a brat, but she is only 17/18 years old, so of course she’s going to sound that way. In my opinion, she’s just passionate about it, and I get that. It’s hard to let go of something that was the one constant in your life, and that’s what the bookstore is to Madeline – her constant (next to her aunt and brother). Her mother has been absent all her life, so she and her brother were raised by their aunt, and when their mother comes back Madeline and her brother are just waiting for her to leave again. 

So, yeah, I definitely get why Madeline was so passionate about saving the store.

Jasper was a fun character and he always was there with the wit, which just made for a great romantic/rivalry relationship between him and Madeline. Later on I felt bad for him because he had been crushing on Madeline from the start, but got pulled into a prank war with her after she realized he worked for the competition. He seemed to just go along with the prank war because it was (kind of) fun and it was the only way he could really interact with her for a while. He could be a smug little crap at times, but that was kind of part of his charm, and his family was great too! I wish there had been more of his family featured in the book.

Both Madeline and Jasper go a bit too far with their prank war, as to be expected. They end up hurt in different ways, which throws some extra tension between them. While the instances were definitely twists I did not see coming, they added to the story and made for a good enemies-to-lovers romance.

I also enjoyed the dysfunctional family aspect of this book. Obviously not the fact that Madeline and Benny’s mom abandoned them as kids, but their aunt and Benny’s dad were great characters and it’s always nice to see stories being written about these mixed families. Plus, the characters were diverse in nationalities and body types, which is being more represented in YA literature, and it’s another reason to love this book.

This book is perfect for a late spring/early summer read, and a good one for my first book coming out of a reading slump. It’s cute, witty, and all around enjoyable to read.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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