Thursday, 11 February 2021

BLOG TOUR: Last One At The Party - Bethany Clift


THE END OF EVERYTHING WAS HER BEGINNING

It's December 2023 and the world as we know it has ended.

The human race has been wiped out by a virus called 6DM ('Six Days Maximum' - the longest you've got before your body destroys itself).

But somehow, in London, one woman is still alive. A woman who has spent her whole life compromising what she wants, hiding how she feels and desperately trying to fit in. A woman who is entirely unprepared to face a future on her own.

Now, with only an abandoned golden retriever for company, she must travel through burning cities, avoiding rotting corpses and ravenous rats on a final journey to discover if she really is the last surviving person on earth.

And with no one else to live for, who will she become now that she's completely alone?


What did I think?

Wow what a book!  I admit to being a bit scared to read Last One at the Party but whilst the 6DM virus is scary, the story is funny, hopeful and soul-searching.  Although I could have easily read this book in one sitting, I chose to read it over 3 days to fully experience and contemplate the extraordinary story.

With an unnamed protagonist who appears to be the only survivor of a global pandemic, the reader is taken on a literal and metaphorical journey as our heroine searches for survivors and learns the skills needed to keep herself alive.  Written in the form of a diary, we experience everything from the horrific impact of the virus to her hopes and fears, and even get to know more about her past through reminiscences.  

The writing is stunning and amazingly vivid and I think the solitary nature of the story made me visualise a Hitchcock style movie in my head, which I think is exactly what the author was going for as the filmmaker does get a mention later in the book.  Despite the subject matter, the writing is often surprisingly witty and I often found myself laughing out loud one minute and being covered in goosebumps the next.

Bethany Clift wrote Last One at the Party before the Covid-19 pandemic, however, she added in references to our current day pandemic when editing her debut novel.  I read this in the lovely letter to the reader that the author has included at the start of the book and it really helped to get myself in the right frame of mind before I started reading the story.  We often read to escape real life so reading a novel about a pandemic during a pandemic kind of defeats the object, however, although it does have some similarities to the Covid-19 pandemic it is ultimately a story of survival and one woman's incredible journey to find happiness in the simple things.

Don't be scared to read it, Last One at the Party is completely awesome and an absolute must read.  Although it's a real goosebump-frenzy kind of book it's also a humourous, hopeful and powerful read.  An incredibly impressive debut from an exceptionally talented new author and with film rights already having been sold to Ridley Scott, I can't wait to see this breathtaking novel brought to life on screen.

If you only read one book this year make sure it's Last One at the Party; this book is sure to be the biggest debut of 2021.  5 huge stars from me!

Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC to read and review for the blog tour; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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About the author:

Bethany Clift is a graduate of the Northern Film School and has had projects in development with Eon and Film 4, as well as being a director of her own production company. Last One At The Party is her debut novel.


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