Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1665
So Good!
Overall rating
Writing Style
“Victory goes to the player who makes the next to last mistake. During a game of chess, you can make mistakes along the way and still come out ahead as long as you learn from that misstep and adjust accordingly.”

Tess’s bucolic life is uprooted when her dad decides to reenlist in the army.
When her family relocates to North Carolina, she leaves behind her beloved farm, her best friend Zander, and the only way of life she is ever known.
I first got a taste of this story when I read the prequel in ‘Mistletoe and Magic’. It was such a wonderful slice of life story about friendship and first love. It gave a glance into the underrepresented (in YA at least) view of farm life in America. Having loved the short story I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to Tess.

There were so many topics in ‘The Next to Last Mistake’ that can apply to so many people. The biggies are first love, adapting to new places, military life, making new friends, meeting and making friends who are diverse. (I loved Tess’s friend group she makes in North Carolina).

As a character I loved Tess. She was a little naïve in the beginning but her character is so loveable. She is a chess-loving, nerd who is good at history and literature but bad at math. I loved how much she loved animals and how she was defensive of her friends. She was also upfront about her fears and shortcomings.

I thought it was great how Jahn portrayed Tess and her sister’s relationship. They are close but also constantly at each other’s throats as most teenage siblings are. There is also a twist that I didn’t see coming and ripped out my heart.

‘The Next to Last Mistake’ is a wonderful and refreshing look at how many teenagers struggle through new situations (with a beautiful cover by the way). Amazing characters, unique plot, interesting relationships make this a great read. I definitely would love a sequel and I can’t wait to see where Tess’ life takes her.
Good Points
Awesome topics. Page Turner. Great Characters
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