Book Review: Last Train Home (Home #1) by Megan Nugen Isbell

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Genre(s): Young Adult; Young Adult Romance

Plot: [Copied from Goodreads] 17-year-old Riley Regas has spent her entire life in Boston, so when she learns she’ll be picking up and moving to her mother’s childhood home of Carver, Kansas, she is less than thrilled. In fact, she is downright furious. Riley’s only visited Carver a handful of times. She barely knows her family that lives there and she has no desire to spend her senior year among the backward, simpleminded residents of Carver. Reluctantly though, her views begin to change, despite her encounters with Adrienne, a girl Riley quickly realizes is determined to make her life miserable, when she meets Alex Bettencourt. Alex is popular and gorgeous and Riley’s never seen brown eyes quite like his before. While Riley couldn’t be happier, she knows Jesse, her best friend in Carver, isn’t sure of her new relationship with Alex. She soon finds a balance between Alex and her friends though and life in Carver doesn’t seem so bad after all, even if her relationship with her mother is rocky at best. Just when Riley thinks she might be happy in Carver, a single decision changes it all, leaving her to find out who she really is and who matters most in her life before she loses everything.

Pros:

  • This was an easy read. I read it in one sitting.
  • I lived in a place like Carver basically my entire life, and I can totally see the pros and cons of the town.
  • Jesse is such a great character.
  • I learned that ultramarine is a color, one that I would definitely use to at least paint an accent wall.
  • It’s part of a series, which is cool because I liked this and may pick up the others.
  • Grandma is pretty awesome.

Cons:

  • It was sort of predictable.
  • Sometimes the writing was only so-so.
  • Riley was such a snob about Boston sometimes that even I was annoyed.
  • Alex. Fk that guy.
  • Some things were repeated a few times, which makes me question the editing.

My Thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I predicted the ending within the first third of the book or so, but even as I kept reading I really enjoyed it. I really felt for Riley throughout the book, but I also felt for her mother, who had to deal with Riley’s hormonal teenager self. The characters were believable — so much so that I was picturing them as people from my high school — and the plot moved along well. I was team Jesse the whole time, and when Alex came along, I wanted to scream because I knew he wasn’t right for her. But Riley’s friends were so supportive, and that’s great.

While I could really relate to Riley’s feelings toward Carver, having grown up in a place like Carver and then moving to the LA area later on, I felt like that was maybe brought up a few too many times. There were also a few things that were mentioned a bunch of times, as if for the first time, and a few cliches were over used.

But overall, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading at least the next couple of books in this series to see where it goes.

Links:
Goodreads
Amazon
Megan Nugen Isbell

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