Title: The Last 8 (The Last 8 #1)
Author: Laura Pohl
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Aliens, LGBT
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
No. of pages: Hardcover, 384
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Date Read: March 2, 2019
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. Clover is convinced she’s the only one left until she hears a radio message urging her to go to the former Area 51. When she arrives, she’s greeted by a band of misfits who call themselves the Last Teenagers on Earth. Only the aren’t the ragtag group of heroes Clover was expecting. The seven strangers seem more interested in pretending the world didn’t end than fighting back against the aliens, and Clover starts to wonder if she was better off alone. But when she finds a hidden spaceship within the walls of the compound, she doesn’t know what to believe…or who to trust.
I had been really intrigued about this book and I’m so glad that I won an advanced copy via a giveaway from the author on Twitter. The Last 8 is a book about the end of the world, aliens, friendship, and survival. It’s a realistic view of what it might look like if aliens ever really invaded our planet. The thoughts and actions that Clover and the gang take aren’t extraneous, they’re logical and more capable than any alien movie ever could be. Also, it referenced Pacific Rim for like one second and I was SOLD.
The Last 8 follows Clover Martinez, a girl from a small town with big dreams of working for NASA who just wants to fly. When the aliens arrive, no one really knows what to do. On a quick trip to town for batteries, Clover and her ex-boyfriend, Noah, find that everyone has disappeared. When the aliens find them and begin to chase them down, Clover witnesses Noah turned to dust, she returns home to find her abuela gone, and she runs without looking back. Six months later, Clover is alone and only has a Bernese Mountain dog, Sputnik, for a companion. She’s encountered the aliens and mysteriously has come out unscathed. Then, she hears a radio program that calling all remaining humans to Area 51. When Clover arrives, she finds seven other teens hiding out. She was hoping for an army, but she quickly realized that these other teens not only are hesitant to fight, but they don’t know what’s happened on the outside. As she learns more about the bunker and her fellow Last Teenagers on Earth, she also learns that there is so much more going on; both with the other teens in the bunker and with the aliens that came to devastate her planet.
It was SO hard to put this book down. I needed to know what was going to happen next. Pohl has written a set of characters that you can’t help but love. She has created a story that is reminiscent to the alien movies we all grew up with, but way more realistic. I absolutely loved it.
One of my favorite things was getting to know all of the characters. The Last 8 are Clover, Adam, Brooklyn, Avanti, Flint, Violet, and Andy. Each were so crucial to the storyline and as you get to know them, you realize that all of them were in some way affected by what happened when the aliens arrive. I loved how their friendships and relationships were written. I loved that Pohl didn’t shy away from the tough topics of depression, suicidal thoughts, and PTSD as sometimes these topics have been the ones that a lot of writers gloss over. TW: if the topics of depression, suicide, and PTSD trigger you, please do what’s best for you. The way that the author approaches these topics is not lightly. With each instance, the characters are truly going through something, they’re not there “just because”. If the world ended and you watched everyone you loved and/or were close with were killed and were alone for months, that is definitely something that will mess with your mental health.
I also loved all of the major twists and turns in this book. Nothing was like I thought it would be. I thought for sure that I’d had something figured out, but NOPE. Or I hoped that something would go well and that they’d have some good luck, but NOPE. Pohl puts these characters through the wringer, ESPECIALLY at the end. You aren’t prepared, but you’ll survive and then you’ll want to read it again.
This was absolutely one breathtaking debut novel that I didn’t want to put down. Clover and the gang will steal your heart and stay in your mind long after you read it. And you’ll definitely want to read it again. The Last 8 released today, March 5th, 2019. This is definitely one to add to your TBR this year!