Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words
Age Range
Release Date
September 30, 2014
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Hollywood history, mystery, murder, mayhem, and delicious romance collide in this unputdownable thriller from master storyteller Katie Alender. Willa is freaking out. It seems like she's seeing things. Like a dead body in her swimming pool. Frantic messages on her walls. A reflection that is not her own. It's almost as if someone -- or something -- is trying to send her a message. Meanwhile, a killer is stalking Los Angeles -- a killer who reenacts famous movie murder scenes. Could Willa's strange visions have to do with these unsolved murders? Or is she going crazy? And who can she confide in? There's Marnie, her new friend who may not be totally trustworthy. And there's Reed, who's ridiculously handsome and seems to get Willa. There's also Wyatt, who's super smart but unhealthily obsessed with the Hollywood Killer. All Willa knows is, she has to confront the possible-ghost in her house, or she just might lose her mind . . . or her life. Acclaimed author Katie Alender puts an unforgettable twist on this spine-chilling tale of murder, mystery, mayhem -- and the movies.

Editor review

1 review
Hollywood and Murder
(Updated: April 05, 2015)
Overall rating
Writing Style
There is one thing you don't do with this book. That is to read FAMOUS LAST WORDS right before going to bed. I read the first seven chapters before jumping onto the mattress. While snuggled underneath my blanket, I kept on thinking the worst whenever there was a simple creaking sound. Thank you, Katie Alender, for scaring me. I did not sleep well that night.

FAMOUS LAST WORDS is a supernatural thriller. Katie Alender, the author of BAD GIRLS DON'T DIE, gives us a creepy mix of a ghost, multiple murders, a serial killer, and the magic of Hollywood. Alender goes into detailed descriptions, bringing the classic horror and mystery story with a touch of romance. Alender is skilled with red herrings and misdirections. The book is targeted at young teens and up (meaning 12+), which is the age group I approve of.

The main POV of FAMOUS LAST WORDS belongs to Willa. Uprooted from her home, Willa comes to Hollywood and finds the promise and glamour of Hollywood lacking. (Don't worry, Willa. I feel the same thing.) Stalked constantly by the ghost, Willa sees images of gruesome thoughts and hears words that may or may not be related to the Hollywood Killer. Willa is unnerved from the ghostly attention she receives, and I sometimes find myself questioning whether or not Willa is mentally sane. Despite that, I like Willa and her soft personality.

The book kicks off right away. The house has a drippy leak that doesn't exists. There is a dead body in Willa's swimming pool, which disappears as soon as Willa's parents check on her. Paranormal events happen almost out of nowhere, and there are definitely some parts that have me screaming: "Don't go in there!" (Someone should give Willa a phone number for the Winchesters.) The plot is a wild ride from beginning to end. Even more haunting is the fact that the crafty murderer, who has been nicknamed "the Hollywood Killer by the press, is closer to Willa than everyone thinks. The weight of the murders increases as the tale unfolds.

The mystery of the Hollywood Killer is not as climactic as it could be. But the reveal of the killer is amazing and almost flawless. The impact definitely changes the book and its characters for the remainder of the story.

In a love triangle, Willa is torn between Reed and Wyatt. The romance isn't a major plot, which is exactly how I like it. Alender sets the plots perfectly, putting the ghostly and paranormal movements in the driver's seat. The romance is in the backseat.

Overall, FAMOUS LAST WORDS has my feet on the edge. It is one of those books that are worth rereading over and over again. Ghost? Supernatural? Murder? Romance? Check, check, check, check. Famous Last Words has the perfect length, the entertaining plot, the intriguing characters, and the flawless pace, which has me wishing for a sequel. Katie Alender meets my expectations and goes beyond that.

Rating: Four out of Five
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