In Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski, sixteen-year-old Samantha D’Angelo has death on the brain. Her summer internship at the local newspaper has her writing obituaries instead of soaking up the sun at the beach. Between Shelby, Sam’s boy-crazy best friend; her boss Harry, a true-blue newspaper man; and AJ, her fellow “intern scum” (aka the cute drummer for a band called Love Gas), Sam has her hands full. But once she figures out what—or who—is the best part of her summer, will she mess it all up?Review:
As Sam learns her way around both the news room and the real world, she starts to make some momentous realizations about politics, ethics, her family, romance, and most important—herself.
After reading Jennifer's heartwarming and funny debut How My Summer Went Up in Flames, I was beyond happy that I had a copy of Famous Last Words, her second novel, on hand. Even though Jennifer's first book is still my favorite of the two, Famous Last Words is an enjoyable and fun read, perfect for fans of contemporary YA.
For most of her high school career, Sam has just floated by, never being incredibly popular or incredibly unpopular. However, everything changes the summer she interns for her town's local newspaper, one of the last with its very own printing press. Suddenly, she finds her niche in the newspaper community, even though she has the boss from hell and obit writing isn't the most exciting of tasks. What happens, though, when she teams up with AJ, her fellow intern, in a scheme to expose the town's lying mayor? Will she succeed, or will she loose everything she has worked so hard for this summer? Then there's the whole boy dilemma as well as her best friend's neediness....all Sam knows for sure is it's going to be one interesting summer.
Famous Last Words was a novel that focuses more on the characters than the plot; however, with characters like Sam and AJ, I wasn't complaining one bit. Determined, smart, and a wee bit reckless, Sam was a great main character. I loved seeing her come out of her shell, thanks to her summer gig as an intern. Plus, it was fun seeing her evolve her journalist skills in the process. I also enjoyed the addition of AJ, her obit writing partner. He was sweet and cute, and I enjoyed seeing his relationship with Sam evolve, even though Sam was a bit oblivious to the whole thing. The staff at the newspaper was also a ton of fun! I also enjoyed scenes that occurred in the newsroom. From Harry, the newspaper's leader, to Bernadette, Sam's archenemies and boss, to everyone else, they all kept the laughs and action flowing with some sweet, emotional scenes thrown in as well.
The plot in this wasn't terribly suspenseful nor unpredictable, but it still managed to keep me interested. It was always interesting to see Sam and AJ on their hunt to find out the mayor's lies. Plus, as mentioned before, I just loved the whole newsroom scene that came with the book. I wish there had been a bit more romance between Sam and AJ; however, in some ways, I was okay with it taking the back burner, as this book was more about Sam finding her voice than anything else.
Sweet as well as funny, Famous Last Words is a great lazy day read, and if you like this one I highly suggest you check out Jen's first book, and vice versa.
Famous Last Words (Amazon, BN, Goodreads) is now out!
Source: ARC provided by publicist for review