The Last Letter

Rebecca Yarros
The Last Letter
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Publisher
Entangled: Amara
Release Date
February 2019
ISBN
1640635335
Genre
Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Reality-Based Romance (TM)

SUMMARY
Beckett,

If you're reading this, well, you know the last-letter drill. You made it. I didn't. Get off the guilt train, because I know if there was any chance you could have saved me, you would have.

I need one thing from you: get out of the army and get to Telluride.

My little sister Ella's raising the twins alone. She's too independent and won't accept help easily, but she has lost our grandmother, our parents, and now me. It's too much for anyone to endure. It's not fair.

And here's the kicker: there's something else you don't know that's tearing her family apart. She's going to need help.

So if I'm gone, that means I can't be there for Ella. I can't help them through this. But you can. So I'm begging you, as my best friend, go take care of my sister, my family.

Please don't make her go through it alone.

Ryan

Book Review by Pip (reviewer)
Mar 18, 2019   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
37 people found the following review helpful
It's hard to put into words what THE LAST LETTER is about, even if the emotions they draw out are raw and unrelenting, leaving you to grapple with them past the last page of the story. On the surface, it's about a loyal soldier putting down roots in a small town because he'd promised his best friend to take care of his sister, though there're some secrets he's carrying on him along with the burden that he'd long fallen in love with her before they had even seen each other face to face.

Movingly told with a very slow burn, THE LAST LETTER is women's fiction and romance with the heavy emotional waves of angst and brooding that I'm tempted to shove into the New Adult category all at once. It's both easy and difficult to get through because of the very weighty, no-easy-answers topics Rebecca Yarros has chosen to cover here, but the payoff is one that understandably leaves readers reeling--if the characters are put through the wringer, so are we.

There are more than the usual tinges of reality creeping in here, nonetheless. Ms. Yarros's marked conditions in this are that the HEA doesn't come without a price and it's quite a steep one that the characters pay for. Without the typical fluff cloud that many romance stories are built on, Ella/Beckett's story resembles the very thorny bed of roses of real life more than the sometimes-unrealistic bent of HEAs that I've gotten used to; it's a brutal kick in the arse and a sombre awakening as much as it is one that can make my chest ache with the poignancy of a love that comes with lots of attached baggage.

And where do I even begin with Beckett? Eloquent, stalwart, and so so unswervingly loyal that he stands out as a protagonist who should be enshrined, Beckett Gentry's strength, integrity and stability became my pillar of light as he was Ella's as they navigated the murky waters of child-cancer and the ever-lingering shadow of death that never seemed far away.

Yet oddly what deterred me from giving a higher rating really was Ella's reticence and her own refusal to see past her mixed signals and her own hang-ups. Her lack of understanding when it came to Beckett's omission, the overwhelming need to shut him out and only do what she thought was right for her frustrated the hell out of me especially when Beckett had laid everything else on the line repeatedly. And the overall enjoyment I had for it detracted not because of the shock ending, but because I thought Beckett had the constant uphill battle to climb when it came to Ella, even when he'd laid out his own insecurities and was instead, flayed and punished for it by her.

With not quite an instant love, but an old-time affection that develops over the written word--it's strange but magnificent to see how the epistolary form has been done here--THE LAST LETTER is a book that made me glad I took it up despite my initial reservations. Ms. Yarros starts an intricately woven tale of tragedy and joy mixed with pockets of angst and ends it that way, but because of this, it'll stick with me longer--ironically, perhaps--than many of the books that have passed me by.
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Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
Mar 28, 2020   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
11 people found the following review helpful
I'm miffed I waited so long to read THE LAST LETTER. This book is a beautiful and heartwarming story with a satisfying romance and characters that burrowed their way into your heart. Also a tearjerker. My emotions have been put through the wringer with this one, and I can't remember when a book has affected me this deeply. Easily one of the best books I've read this year. I'm glad I picked this up. If I could give this 100 stars, I would!

Ella and Beckett are wonderful characters that you'll get invested in, and they're vividly drawn. Beckett believes he's not worthy of love, family and home, but his actions prove otherwise, and you'll love how he always just accepts what Ella wants to give. He doesn't push, maybe due to his insecurities and guilt, that he owes Ella for something he thought he's done. I do admit to being exasperated at Ella sometimes for the way she pushed Beckett away, thus making me feel sorry for Beckett, but I'm willing to cut her some slack because I know the root of her actions is due to her experiences with the men in her life and she's just protecting herself and her kids. That said, she's a great mom, and I love how she's always fought for Colt and Maisie throughout their lives.

And how adorable are the two kids? Though they're only six, they speak like adults sometimes, saying these incredible things that make me laugh.

I love that the book is long (over 6k+ on the Kindle when usual romances are only at about 3k+ or lesser), and it allows me to immerse myself fully into the characters' lives and really get invested in their sorrows and happiness, trials and successes. Despite the length, there's no sagging middle or boring scenes, and that in itself is great success. Kudos to Ms. Yarros for the magnificent writing and compelling prose, and for not sparing your characters. The book is plotted well, with conflict up to the end, ensuring readers keep turning the pages.

Lastly, I love the letters. I've just been to Ms. Yarros's blog and I learned she's an expert at them, having written thousands such letters to her husband while he was on deployment.

THE LAST LETTER stayed with me long after I've closed my kindle. Rebecca Yarros is an amazing author and one I'm putting on my favorite author list. You can bet I'll be reading anything she writes from now on. Read this pageturner now if you haven't yet.
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May 28, 2020 09:34 PM ( EST )