Psychics and killers and ghosts, oh my! Luckily, these are all things that we don't have to deal with on a daily basis. However, Willa, the protagonist in Katie Alender's Famous Last Words, is not a lucky girl. Her father dies unexpectedly after an argument with her, then her mother remarries a successful movie director, and poor Willa is whisked away from her simple home in Connecticut to the glamorous Hollywood Hills. While most girls would relish being dropped into the life of the rich and famous, Willa is not like most girls.
Willa is happy that her mother has found love again and that her new stepfather, Jonathan, is a great guy. Unfortunately, Willa is still reeling from the loss of her father and has only found one way to try to deal with it--she read a book on contacting the spirit world and has been practicing a special ritual ever since. She continues her ritual even after she moves into Jonathan's mansion, which had once belonged to silver screen star Diana Del Mar who, bear in mind, died in the house. When strange happenings begin to occur in the house and Willa starts having flashback visions that are not her own, she realizes something is seriously wrong. She believes that the ghost of Diana Del Mar is reaching out to her but why?!?
When Willa learns of the Hollywood Killer who has been kidnapping women and murdering them in the style of famous movie death scenes, she begins to understand that the visions she is having are from the eyes of the murder victims! She joins forces with Wyatt, a boy in her school who is a bit off the wall and totally obsessed with these murders, and they work towards finding out what Diana Del Mar is trying to tell Willa and hopefully solve the murders.
This was a quick and interesting read. Although Willa started off as a victimized character, she had a lot of growth throughout the story and I really liked her in the end. She was strong, resourceful, and resilient-all qualities I like in a main character. This book had excitement, intrigue, mystery and just a touch of romance thrown in for good measure. I would recommend this book to older teens and adults that enjoy a fast-paced, simple, paranormal mystery.
Other similar books you may enjoy include: Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender; The Body in the Woods by April Henry; Shutter by Courtney Alameda; and Lockwood and Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud.
Recommended by Brandy Walton