Book Review: The Last 8 (The Last 8 #1) by Laura Pohl

The Last 8 (The Last 8, #1)
Title: The Last 8
Author: Laura Pohl
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Pages: 384
Format: ARC ebook
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Sci-Fi Contemporary

    
Clover Martinez has always been a survivor, which is the only reason she isn't among the dead when aliens invade and destroy Earth as she knows it. When Clover hears an inexplicable radio message, she's shocked to learn there are other survivors—and that they're all at the former Area 51. When she arrives, she's greeted by a band of misfits who call themselves The Last Teenagers on Earth. Only they aren't the ragtag group of heroes Clover was expecting. The group seems more interested in hiding than fighting back, and Clover starts to wonder if she was better off alone. But then she finds a hidden spaceship, and she doesn't know what to believe…or who to trust.
Well, this was interesting. It took me a little bit to gather my thoughts but I settled on the following:
  1. First, I really liked this book for its diversity. At the center is Clover Martinez, a Latina brought up by her abuelo and abuela, which I can most definitely relate because I'm also a Latina. I don't think I've ever read a sci-fi novel with a main character that was anything other than white or male. (If I'm missing out on something, please let me know.)
  2. I hadn't realized until now how much I like reading character-driven stories that have some apocalyptic event happening. I know that if it happened in real life, I'd most likely have a hard time dealing, but it's something that's riveting to me in fiction. Right away, we learn that aliens come and wipe everyone off the earth, except Clover survives. We don't know exactly why and a time jump into six months later, a distress call on the radio beckons her to Area 51. When she arrives, she encounters 7 other survivors.
  3. Another thing I enjoy in books is group friendships and their dynamics. Here, we have different personalities. I found them to be unlike each other just enough that I went between knowing who was who and then becoming confused. Clover finds 7 other people who have become complacent - as if the world isn't over. They pass the time playing video games and cards and no one seems intent on finding out what's happening outside of the Area 51 cocoon. Except Clover won't have any of it. 
  4. One of my favorite aspects is that Clover actually takes agency over her situation and in some ways, steps in as a leader of the group, helping to change the perspective of everyone. As they dig to figure out why earth and what do the aliens what, the aide of clues and the technology surrounding them, the book starts making its way towards a final conclusion - an ending that's not exactly a cliffhanger, but was baffling.
Unfortunately, there were so many things that were outlandish to the point of unbelievable, that it was easy to spot a couple of plot holes. It wasn't exactly detrimental to my reading experience but it is the reason for my lower rating. I really wanted to like this one more than I did but unfortunately, it missed the mark in some respects but yet in others, I was completely satisfied. I'm not sure if I'll continue with this series but I think it was a good effort for a debut novel.

As always, happy reading! And thank you so much to Sourcebooks for providing the ARC through Netgalley. All opinions are my own. 

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