Last One at the Party by Bethany Clift #review

Book cover of Last One at the Party by Bethany Clift

Title: Last One at the Party
Bethany Clift
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton



It’s November 2023. The human race has been wiped out by the 6DM virus (Six Days Maximum – the longest you’ve got before your body destroys itself). The end of the world as we know it.

Yet someone is still alive. Alone in a new world of burning cities, rotting corpses and ravenous rats, one woman has survived. A woman who has spent her whole life compromising what she wants and hiding how she feels to meet other people’s expectations. From her career to her relationships, to what she wears and where she lives, she’s made a lifetime of decisions to fit what other people want her to be.

But with no one else left, who will she become now that she’s completely alone? 

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My review:

Wow! I don’t really know where to start with this entertaining and shocking novel. It’s a subject that, for many, is still probably way too close to home to read about – a virus, named 6DM because you have 6 days maximum left to live once you get it, is sweeping the world. It’s 2023, so COVID19 already happened (and is referenced in this book) and now there’s something far worse wiping everyone out – everyone but one woman in London, who sets out to find survivors and goes on one hell of an adventure.

We switch backwards for short passages, where we learn about this woman’s life before the virus hit, and these parts are just as absorbing and intriguing as the present-day storyline – perhaps more so as we can identify more with this.

The main character that we’re following is incredibly likeable. This story is very much about her and the way she deals with everything. Obviously, the apocalyptic state of the world is very much there and always present, but I kept reading this book because I wanted to see how she dealt with it, and what would happen to her. She feels like a very real, well-developed character and I found myself thinking about myself reflected in her life as I read about the ‘before’ sections. She’s dealing with her own problems and has many flaws, which she’s fully aware of, but she’s very likeable and someone you want to remain with.

I found this book a wonderful mix of (darkly) humorous, emotional and uplifting, whilst simultaneously being terrifying because it’s just so realistic... I felt almost every emotion reading this book! I did find the book very difficult to read at times, mainly because it all felt very real – I imagine if I’d read this before 2020 I would have just taken it at face value, but it definitely gets you thinking more as we’ve all lived through one global pandemic. There were parts that made me cry and some really disturbing images, but it never felt too much like doom and gloom, which is a testament to the brilliant writing. I couldn’t put Last One at the Party down and raced through it!

You might not be able to face reading about a topic like this just yet, but if you can, I’d highly recommend this fantastic read.

My rating: 5/5


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