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Book Review: The Last Guest House by Megan Miranda

Updated on November 21, 2019
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Jen Chichester is a writer and editor with a penchant for the mysterious and macabre.

I read this book for work, but I got to choose it from a list of unassigned books. I chose it because, well, I'm a thriller reader. Avid to the core. I read and write in this genre.

There are good and not-so-good things about The Last House Guest. I'll compact them into two lists to better explain them.

The Good

1. The plot moves quickly. I did not feel like I was stuck in a total quagmire, trying in vain to get out. The chapters are short enough and digestible for readers like me who have short attention spans. And, yeah, this is how a good thriller should be paced.

2. There are some relate-able characters. Faith is a minor character who plays an important role and comes off as infinitely more likable than the narrator, Avery. Connor is also relatively likable and believable. But we do not get to see a lot of Connor or Faith, Avery's two former friends.

3. The description of the scenery is vivid enough for me to get a clear idea of what fictional Littleport is supposed to look like. These passages are some of the best parts of the novel, in my opinion.

On to the Not-So-Good Things

1. Some of the language gets repetitive. I don't think I've ever seen "fulcrum" used as often in a novel.

2. The language can get lofty. Even for an adult thriller novel, it comes off as excessive. I would suggest that the author tone down some of the word choices to make the book more accessible. Some readers might also find this to be a bit pretentious.

3. What the hell is with the concluding chapter?! First off, Detective Collins' demise is not at all fulfilling. The showdown between Avery, Parker, and Collins just feels like a blip, not a climax. Then to have Avery reveal she has been investing all along, setting herself up to survive her split with the Lomans... It didn't feel right. It kind of made me dislike Avery even more. At no point in the novel did I feel sorry for her, but I had hoped that she would leave Littleport for good in the end.

4. It's not that thrilling. The format feels repetitive. Avery goes somewhere she shouldn't. Avery hears odd noise. Avery sees shadowy figure. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I'm divided on how I feel about this novel. Parts of it are really good, and parts of it are just... bland. I don't know. Maybe it caters better to a younger audience. But, if it is trying to do that, the elevated lexicon gets in the way.

Where to Find It

Megan Miranda's website


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