Read like a writer: Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphyhttps://i0.wp.com/www.writerandthewolf.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Copy-of-Copy-of-How-to-think-like-your-middle-grade-readers.png?fit=1024%2C683&ssl=1 1024 683 Siobhan O'Brien Holmes Siobhan O'Brien Holmes https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/ba3674976788a4e771f9a93e14b42805?s=96&d=mm&r=g
This was a really fun, pacey YA horror with grown-up Point Horror vibes as Kathryn Foxfield pointed out in her quote on the back of the book. What I found particularly interesting about Last One to Die is that it reads as a realistic slasher up right until the last couple of chapters and then – SPOILER ALERT! – it turns a corner into supernatural horror for the big reveal. I say spoiler alert but actually Kat Ellis’ quote on the back, ‘a supernatural horror-fest’, sort of gives away that twist. This is what sets it apart from Point Horror stories, for me, as those are always based in reality.
The story is told primarily through Sara’s ‘witness statement’ which reads as a linear first person, present tense narrative. She relates the events that took place in the woods when she and her friends attempted to find and rescue her sister from local ghost Lucy Gallows, but that narrative is framed by a present-day paranormal investigation trying to piece together what really happened that night. Sara’s statement is interspersed with audio transcripts, text message conversations, news articles and emails that fill the gaps in Sara’s own memory and reveal the truth about Lucy Gallows’ game. Sara is an often unreliable narrator and the reader discovers information she doesn’t have, making them active participants in the story and increasing the dramatic tension as events come to a head.