Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey

Hi Everyone! It’s Becky. A colleague recommended Last Chance Books to me, and it turned out to be more disappointing than pleasing.

***Warning! There are slight spoilers in the review below!***

Title: Last Chance Books
Author: Kelsey Rodkey
Note: I listened to the audio.

Summary: Madeline Moore loves her family’s bookstore, Books and More, and dreams of one day running it. Madeline’s dreams are put in danger when a new chain bookstore opens across the street. Madeline will do whatever it takes to save Books and More, even if that means dealing with Jasper, her crush who happens to work at the competing store. Can Madeline save her family’s business without losing her heart?

***Warning! There are slight spoilers in the review below!***

Review: I had to take a day away from Last Chance Books before I could write my review. The book annoyed me, really annoyed me. After almost twenty-four hours, I think I now understand what my issues are with this book.Review

I didn’t love the characters. If I am honest, I didn’t even like the characters. Madeline was constantly trying to act like an adult, but her behavior was like a child. She didn’t want to accept the state of the book store, so she plowed over everyone to try to get her way. It made her unlikable. Her best friend, Zelda, was a spoiled brat whose role was to add a shock factor. She wasn’t a good friend, and everything she said was sexual or unkind, making her a caricature instead of a character. I was genuinely disappointed every time she was on the page. I may have been okay with Madeline and Zelda if the love interest was great, but Jasper wasn’t. Jasper was stuck between what his parents wanted and his dreams. In most books, I love when a character stands up to their family to follow their passion, but I never cared in  Last Chance Books.  Jasper’s love of design was barely mentioned and felt like an afterthought. Adding to this menagerie of unlikable characters were adults that never actually did any parenting and were just there to fill pages.         

I would have been okay with the unlikable characters if the plot was good, but it didn’t work for me. Madeline and Jasper are in a rivalry over their stores before they develop feeling for each other. I love a good enemy-to-lover story, but in this story, the enemies were cruel and petty and not fun to read about. Plus, there were plot points that don’t make sense. At one point, a character is hit by a car. This character is thrown through the air and is just fine to get up and walk around. How is that possible?  

The only aspect of the book I appreciated was the resolution of the “battle” better the bookstores. I thought the author did a nice job of creating a realistic conclusion without creating an unbelievable happy ending.  Last Chance Books is a coming-of-age story, and the ending required the characters to learn a lesson necessary for adulthood.   

Last Chance Books had a lot of potential but, for me, it was just an annoying disappointment.

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