Last Woman Standing by Amy Gentry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Dana Diaz is a Latina comic trying to make it in the Austin Comedy scene after leaving Los Angeles and her life with her best friend Jason behind. After one of her sets, she meets Amanda and the two of them begin sharing secrets.
What starts out as a friendship ends up turning into a revenge scheme that Dana is both happy and appalled to be a part of.
One of the biggest themes throughout the book is that of male apathy towards rape culture. Both women were abused in some form or another. Either through emotional or physical abuse, these women had to put up with multiple instances of having their minds or their bodies violated.
There are some minor spoliery bits ahead…proceed with caution.
I had some problems with this book but at the same time some of it was so true to life that I couldn't help but be impressed by the narrative skill of the author.
I'm not going to sit here and pretend like I understand anything remotely tech related, but it seemed as though some of the things that Amanda was able to do in order to track people down weren't as detailed as they could have been. Don't get me wrong, they were listed in detail, but they didn't feel very real.
Amanda herself was also a problem for me. She went from friend to crazy town super fast. I think that the more dynamic story would have been for Amanda to go Single White Female on Dana rather than just coming up crazy right away. Maybe the author was attempting to avoid that?
One of the biggest problems I had with this book was Jason. I realize that the character is meant to be both the love of Dana's life AND a total dick. The problem was that there were such major transitions in character so swiftly in scenes. One second he's kind and sweet and the next he's a raging raving jerk. I had trouble believing that Dana would somehow not know that her best friend of 20 years was like this. Or that his controlling behavior suddenly began when she moved out. Surely he was controlling women long before it's revealed that he does.
The motivation was never 100% clear with Amanda as well. She'd never hurt a woman, only men, right? But she threatens Dana with jail, or threatens Dana's loved ones if Dana doesn't follow her plans. What's the endgame here?
What I did like, though, was the pacing of the book. You're certainly not going to feel like this story is dragging on. There are a few plot points that are really quite unnecessary, but I wouldn't go so far as to say they detracted from the overall storyline.
I also enjoyed the comedy scene that gets portrayed. Kim (the other female comic) was one of my favorite secondary characters. I wish there had been more comedy sets written about, but at the same time, a good portion of stand up success is in body language so I understand why it wasn't.
While I did find this thriller short in some areas, I was overall OK with it. It was a quick read for me and I did stay up a little extra late so I could finish it. It's worth a read if there's nothing else around.
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