Posted in Personal Blogs

Recommended Summer Reading for 2023

Photo by Perfecto Capucine on

It’s almost the end of May and that means summer is right around the corner! Now, I have come to you with a lists of books that give me feelings of summer, whether that’s a roadtrip, vacation, or being free from school and getting a break. So here we go!

  • The Tea Dragon Society by K. O’Neal – I think this is a good book/series for anytime of year, but I think the first book has summer vibes for sure.
  • A Little Bit Country by Brian D. Kennedy – This book takes place at a theme park similar to Dollywood, and it’s perfect for anyone who likes LGBT+ stories, country music, or books that take place in a theme park.
  • Crazy Food Truck Vol. 1 by Rokurou Ogaki – Take a roadtrip through this post-apocalyptic wasteland in search of the next meal, or maybe just end up finding trouble in town. This whole series is only 3 volumes, so it’s a quick read.
  • Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire by Dan Hanks – This is for the Indiana Jones fans, there’s traveling, and treasure hunting, and I think it’s a perfect summer read for those looking for an escape into the archives of archeology.
  • The Last One by Alexandra Olivia – I will never stop recommending this book, it has stuck with me even after all this time. It reminds me of the TV show Survivor, which usually airs in the early summer. Highly recommend this one!

So there we are! Five books to add to your TBR this summer! Hopefully you’ll check them out and share with me your thoughts on any summer read or books you’re looking forward to this summer! If I get enough responses, I might feature these in a future post!

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Last One by Alexandra Oliva

*No Spoilers*

She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far.

It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it human-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them—a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo—stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.

Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life—and husband—she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all her survival skills—and learn new ones as she goes.

But as her emotional and physical reserves dwindle, she grasps that the real world might have been altered in terrifying ways—and her ability to parse the charade will be either her triumph or her undoing.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I joined TikTok to find more book recommendations (like I need more books). And this was one of them. I wish I could remember which BookTok I saw talking about it. However, I’m glad I dove straight to this dark adventure! Let’s hop into The Last One.

I listened to this one as an audiobook, and I believe this is the best way to enjoy this novel. You have two distinct voices narrating; the present from Zoo’s perspective and another narrating what happened once the filming for the TV show began. The TV show perspective is more of a third person point of view. Often referring to the contestants by stereotypical nicknames such as ‘black doctor’ and ‘cheerleader boy’.

I’ve heard believers speak of the coldness of science and the warmth of their faith. But my life has been warm too, and I have faith. Faith in love, and faith in the inherent beauty of a world that formed itself.

Alexandra Oliva, The Last One

The Last One tapped into my irrational fear of coming back from a long night shift at work and not knowing that the world is actively falling apart around you. The atmosphere is portrayed beautifully. I was actually waiting for Zoo to come across her first zombie and how she’d handle that scenario. Thankfully there’s no zombies here.

When Zoo breaks her glasses after getting attacked, that made me feel even more nervous and on edge since I wear glasses and I am like Velma when she loses her glasses. I couldn’t imagine having to survive in the wilderness without the ability to see clearly.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Last One. It’s full of suspense and a relatable main character you can really root for. I would recommend this novel for people who enjoyed Bird Box by Josh Malerman and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. If you haven’t read those novels, that’s okay. If you like Survival Fiction, Dystopian Fiction, or stories with strong female leads. Then I would check out The Last One by Alexandra Oliva.