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Don’t you just love the smell of old books in the morning? Madeline Moore does. Books & Moore, the musty bookstore her family has owned for generations, is where she feels most herself. Nothing is going to stop her from coming back after college to take over the store from her beloved aunt. Nothing, that is—until a chain bookstore called Prologue opens across the street and Don’t you just love the smell of old books in the morning? Madeline Moore does. Books & Moore, the musty bookstore her family has owned for generations, is where she feels most herself. Nothing is going to stop her from coming back after college to take over the store from her beloved aunt. Nothing, that is—until a chain bookstore called Prologue opens across the street and threatens to shut them down. Madeline sets out to demolish the competition, but Jasper, the guy who works over at Prologue, seems intent on ruining her life. Not only is he taking her customers, he has the unbelievable audacity to be… extremely cute. But that doesn’t matter. Jasper is the enemy and he will be destroyed. After all—all’s fair in love and (book) wars.


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Don’t you just love the smell of old books in the morning? Madeline Moore does. Books & Moore, the musty bookstore her family has owned for generations, is where she feels most herself. Nothing is going to stop her from coming back after college to take over the store from her beloved aunt. Nothing, that is—until a chain bookstore called Prologue opens across the street and Don’t you just love the smell of old books in the morning? Madeline Moore does. Books & Moore, the musty bookstore her family has owned for generations, is where she feels most herself. Nothing is going to stop her from coming back after college to take over the store from her beloved aunt. Nothing, that is—until a chain bookstore called Prologue opens across the street and threatens to shut them down. Madeline sets out to demolish the competition, but Jasper, the guy who works over at Prologue, seems intent on ruining her life. Not only is he taking her customers, he has the unbelievable audacity to be… extremely cute. But that doesn’t matter. Jasper is the enemy and he will be destroyed. After all—all’s fair in love and (book) wars.

30 review for Last Chance Books

  1. 4 out of 5

    menna

    did someone say EMPLOYEES OF RIVAL BOOKSTORES?👀

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Rodkey

    10/10 can confirm it is a book UPDATE: CONTENT WARNINGS FOR LAST CHANCE BOOKS: -child abandonment by deadbeat parent -gentrification -blood/injury related to car accident -alcohol/underage drinking -internalized and challenged fatphobia I may have missed some, so I apologize in advance.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lia Carstairs

    love how i just got this in the mail and it comes out tomorrow💀 Thank you Harper Collins Canada for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    human

    rejection HURTS *broken sobbing*

  5. 5 out of 5

    aly ☆彡

    tw: abandonment & absent father "Like getting a paper cut followed by a million paper cuts, just when the first one had stopped hurting. And yet, she keeps picking up the paper" I just have to apologize for what I have to write but if I have to summarize the whole book, I'll just say it as: a book of people with issues The first problem I already have with this book is that: it's plotless. Like it's trying to be there but it's barely there, having an only difficult and childish c tw: abandonment & absent father "Like getting a paper cut followed by a million paper cuts, just when the first one had stopped hurting. And yet, she keeps picking up the paper" I just have to apologize for what I have to write but if I have to summarize the whole book, I'll just say it as: a book of people with issues The first problem I already have with this book is that: it's plotless. Like it's trying to be there but it's barely there, having an only difficult and childish character as its focus. 1. Madeline I see where she is coming from, having a mother who abandons her, a stepbrother who may or may not rub you on the face for having a father you don't. It almost felt justified to whatever reactions or feelings she had given the situation. But it's not. I wanted to understand Madeline so bad but somehow her personality made it easier for readers to focus on her bad sides instead of the good ones. Madeline is childish, self-centred and dramatic with the people around her. The book store she worked at from a family business, is almost like a family member to her. Knowing she had to lose them over a rival book store just doesn't sit right with her. She has to fight for it and that is understandable. What not is her way of daunting everyone around her just because things don't go her way. Not to say her abandonment issue thanks to her mother, she can't help but build a wall for her romantic relationship just so she won't get hurt if they happened to leave her as her mother used to. Which then leads to stupid assumptions that are usually 1) not true 2) presumptuous 3) get around to unnecessary drama. 2. Romance Meanwhile, Jasper is not as bad as he seems. He just happened to fall in love at first sight (I guess) which was rather insta-love given the lack of establishment for the couple, with no sense of emotional connection. He saw her passed by, he likes her, he tried to woo her but with a wrong move, promptly, starting fuel between the two with their childish and stupid pranks leaving me baffled at how the story goes. The dynamic between the love interests was poorly executed that I couldn't find myself to simply enjoy their romance. It has some nice and heartwarming moments but just the overall premise doesn't seem to work out between the two. 3. Mother-daughter conflict “She’s a window shopper and we’re the books inside. Well, I don’t know about Astrid, but I’m tired of discounting myself in hopes that Dahlia will finally want to buy me.” Madeline may seem like she hates her mother for always ended up leaving and choose to go over her career than with Madeline. When all in truth, she only wants to have her mother close and care for her. Therefore, you can definitely feel her hostility at first when Dahlia decided to stay for good. Although the resolution was almost nicely done, I honestly don't see how those two managed to resolve their conflicts with those abandonment & commitment issues these two seem to have respectively. The books barely showed how Madeline and Dahlia tried to clear the bad blood between them seeing how little time they have with each other in the book. Like... this was part of the conflict but it wasn't tackled good enough for readers to be remotely touched by the time they reconciled. All in all, I just don't find anything I could enjoy with this book. It could have been better sure, but the characters weren’t helping it at all. A miserly me wants to give this book a star rating. Reading this feels pointless and giving it two stars rating is generous enough. I have no expectations for this book at all but it still manages to disappoint me somehow ((´д`))

  6. 5 out of 5

    Whispering Stories

    Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com In this YA romance book, we meet Madeline Moore who is at college and works at Books & Moore her family-run bookstore. She loves the place that was started by her grandmother and wants to keep it in the family. However, the book shop is in trouble, the rent has been increased and the business isn’t doing as well as it used to. With that in mind, her aunt wants to close it when their lease is up in three months. Madeline blames the new chain bookstore, Pro Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com In this YA romance book, we meet Madeline Moore who is at college and works at Books & Moore her family-run bookstore. She loves the place that was started by her grandmother and wants to keep it in the family. However, the book shop is in trouble, the rent has been increased and the business isn’t doing as well as it used to. With that in mind, her aunt wants to close it when their lease is up in three months. Madeline blames the new chain bookstore, Prologue, which has opened up across the street supervised by the owner’s son, Jasper, who happens to be gorgeous, sexy, and talented, although he has started copying her selling techniques and Madeline is livid. This is war. She is determined to not let them drive Books & Moore out of business, she is also determined that she is not going to fall for Jasper either. I love books set in bookshops, so the idea of two rival bookshops being at war with one another had me eager to read Last Chance Books. For those of you who are bookish and want to dive into the story, just a note that this is a YA book not an adult romance/enemies to lovers book, so some might find it a little young for them. For me, I love the pace of YA books and didn’t mind the young characters who often didn’t handle situations well, be warned though if you don’t like foul language as there is a lot of banter between the characters that included it. I got through the story quickly as I found myself turning the pages at speed keeping up with all the goings-on. Madeline has a complicated life, including a mother who has been absent for most of it and so she was brought up by her aunt, however, her mother is back and once again she tells Madeline that she is here to stay this time, or until Madeline’s younger brother heads off to college in two years. There was a decent amount of humour within the pages and I did giggle a few times out loud. With its fun plot, complex but likeable characters, and set in a location all bookworms love, this was an interesting, easy-going enjoyable read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Solomon

    THE BEST BOOK BY THE BEST PERSON

  8. 5 out of 5

    cossette

    Trigger warnings for: absent father, child abandonment, estranged parents, brief mention of car accident (ch 11) still thinking about how this is literally just enemies to lovers excellence & you've got mail with teens rtc closer to publication date!! Trigger warnings for: absent father, child abandonment, estranged parents, brief mention of car accident (ch 11) still thinking about how this is literally just enemies to lovers excellence & you've got mail with teens rtc closer to publication date!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    l a u r a (currently not active)

    enemies to lovers with bookstores??😍😍😍 why did i just find this😭 *PLZ don't reject me🥺🥺 ━━━━━━━━━━━༻༻❁༺༺━━━━━━━━━━━ when you see "wish for it" but you never get what you wish for :( *plays sad playlist and cries silently* enemies to lovers with bookstores??😍😍😍 why did i just find this😭 *PLZ don't reject me🥺🥺 ━━━━━━━━━━━༻༻❁༺༺━━━━━━━━━━━ when you see "wish for it" but you never get what you wish for :( *plays sad playlist and cries silently*

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    Last Chance Books was a cute little bookstore rivalry thing-a-mah-jig. In it, you will meet Madeline and Jasper. Kind of got hints of a forbidden Romeo and Juliet romance since Madeline and Jasper both work at their family owned bookstores. One is failing while the other is thriving. It also doesn't hurt that they are both starting to develop feelings for the other.. which is a huge no no. Let the bookstore wars commence! I'm just going to admit it - I liked these two. Whether things were going to Last Chance Books was a cute little bookstore rivalry thing-a-mah-jig. In it, you will meet Madeline and Jasper. Kind of got hints of a forbidden Romeo and Juliet romance since Madeline and Jasper both work at their family owned bookstores. One is failing while the other is thriving. It also doesn't hurt that they are both starting to develop feelings for the other.. which is a huge no no. Let the bookstore wars commence! I'm just going to admit it - I liked these two. Whether things were going to become romantic or not. They were just adorkable in every lovable way possible. The one thing I thought was super awkward was when Madeline's mom came into town. It kind of sucked that she wasn't really a mom to her for most of her life. Then all of sudden she wants to start falling into that roll because it's convenient now. I mean it makes zero sense to me since Madeline is in college now but details! I could easily see how she treats her aunt like her own mom versus the random stranger who just showed up. I also didn't really like how upset her mom was because of this. Like, no, you don't get to play the mom card to your adult child now. You had endless opportunities to be her mom but you decided you wanted to be elsewhere. So suck it up buttercup and sit down. Other than that, this had some humor to it but the drama was basically here to stay. I'm also slightly jealous that their families own bookstores. Oh to be surrounded by books all day every day. What a life to live!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra

    While I love an enemies to lovers trope, I found this one to be infuriating on multiple occasions. Madeline is so impulsive and self-centred and incredibly dramatic that it makes her unbearable. I wanted to shake her pretty much the entire time. (view spoiler)[I also just felt like the animosity between the two of them, however playful it may have been, fizzled out too soon and made them feel rushed which as a result, took away from the potential chemistry the two characters may have had. Jasper While I love an enemies to lovers trope, I found this one to be infuriating on multiple occasions. Madeline is so impulsive and self-centred and incredibly dramatic that it makes her unbearable. I wanted to shake her pretty much the entire time. (view spoiler)[I also just felt like the animosity between the two of them, however playful it may have been, fizzled out too soon and made them feel rushed which as a result, took away from the potential chemistry the two characters may have had. Jasper wasn't THAT likeable, and I honestly found myself more frustrated at his part in all of this as the book went on. Madeline didn't offer any other characteristic other than the fact that she lived and breathed Books and Moore. She was going to go away for school anyway so I'm not sure what she was saving if she was leaving it behind anyways. The story could've maybe had more of an impact if she'd decided not to go to school and stay back to look after the store, and then chose school for herself in the end when she came to terms with the store closing. I think it would've shown more growth in her as a character, but instead, she just chose the path that she'd originally planned on walking. Her reaction to Benny getting a new job was kind of valid? But girl, relax. I really expected to love this because it reminded me of Tweet Cute but unfortunately, I think this one just missed its mark with me. (hide spoiler)] Thank you to Edelweiss+ and HarperCollins for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

  12. 4 out of 5

    kimberly ☆

    thank you so much to harperteen for this arc! this lovely book gets a 4/5 stars from me! this book is a breath of fresh air, i really liked the complexity of madeline’s character. it’s been a while since i’ve read a character that acknowledge her faults, and it really refreshing to see that. throughout the story you hate her and love her, there are moments that you are rooting for her and moments that you want to yell at her through the screen! then we welcome in jasper the perfect rival across th thank you so much to harperteen for this arc! this lovely book gets a 4/5 stars from me! this book is a breath of fresh air, i really liked the complexity of madeline’s character. it’s been a while since i’ve read a character that acknowledge her faults, and it really refreshing to see that. throughout the story you hate her and love her, there are moments that you are rooting for her and moments that you want to yell at her through the screen! then we welcome in jasper the perfect rival across the street who happens to also be very attracted to madeline & and very attractive in his own way. i feel like their relationship is very natural in the sense of its progression romantically. i really liked how that was depicted. i also very much enjoyed zelda‘s character as a whole, i feel like in the story if i was to place myself in a character i probably would be zelda so she was also nice to read about. all in all this book was a very easy nice read and i would recommend it!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jillian

    *YAWN* it's boring. the you've got mail vibes pulled me in, I'm almost halfway thru this on audio and everything is just so surface level. these days if I read YA contemporary there has to be something really special about it. *YAWN* it's boring. the you've got mail vibes pulled me in, I'm almost halfway thru this on audio and everything is just so surface level. these days if I read YA contemporary there has to be something really special about it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    ✫erin✫

    rating: 3.5 stars I have a review going up on my blog in a few weeks. AHHHH WHYYYYYY??? I can't go too into depth about what I loved and what I didn't love, but this book is very ~intereesting~..... first of all, the main characters are 18 and 19, but they are written like thirty-year olds? The dialogue is so weird, and the characters are given barely any depth. Once again, the male character is simply there to aid her storyline and we don't learn much about him. Overall, this could have been a L rating: 3.5 stars I have a review going up on my blog in a few weeks. AHHHH WHYYYYYY??? I can't go too into depth about what I loved and what I didn't love, but this book is very ~intereesting~..... first of all, the main characters are 18 and 19, but they are written like thirty-year olds? The dialogue is so weird, and the characters are given barely any depth. Once again, the male character is simply there to aid her storyline and we don't learn much about him. Overall, this could have been a LOT cuter, and it just wasn't what I was looking for in a romance about books(HELLLLOOOOO it sounds amazing?). my socials : my blog my twitter my bookstagram my pinterest my amazon wishlist

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Received advanced reader copy from publisher Goodreads giveaway. Madeline Moore loves books. She has grown up among the shelves of her family’s store, Books & Moore, and she cannot wait to go to college, get her degree, and return to run the store. But now the store that has been in her family for generations is in danger of closing: Prologue, a chain bookstore, opened a branch right across the street. When Madeline discovers that her favorite customer Jasper is an employee of the store, she set Received advanced reader copy from publisher Goodreads giveaway. Madeline Moore loves books. She has grown up among the shelves of her family’s store, Books & Moore, and she cannot wait to go to college, get her degree, and return to run the store. But now the store that has been in her family for generations is in danger of closing: Prologue, a chain bookstore, opened a branch right across the street. When Madeline discovers that her favorite customer Jasper is an employee of the store, she sets out to ruin him. And if she saves her store in the process? Well, that would be a bonus. Hmmmmm. A meet-cute story where ones shoulders get tense and ones stomach clenches & grumbles? At one point, I almost got out of bed to update my GR progress with “Oh my god. I cannot take the tension of this prank war. I’m done.” But I stayed in bed and, eventually, I read to the end. It was a diversion with promise that never really blossomed. As I read, I was so confused over the ages of the characters. I had to remind myself that Madeline graduates high school during the time of the story. At times she read older, most times her actions seemed younger. I truly admired her drive to save the store. But, if one is truly interested in taking over the family business, why keep it from the current family-owner? Madeline never had a conversation with her aunt Astrid (at least within the story) about wanting to run the store. She never sat down with Astrid and said “I’d really like to save the store. Here’s my ideas. Can we try?” Madeline seemed self-centered and every decision & action was taken in her own interest without thought to others. I understand this is her character but, instead of reading as a character trait and then there is a process of growth & maturity, at the end of the book, I felt like Madeline hadn’t changed or grown at all. The relationship with her mother Dahlia just infuriated me. This is where Madeline read as younger than a high school graduate. I get that Dahlia has been in-and-out of Madeline’s but here, again, she fails to address the issue with the person involved. Just as she never discussed the store with Astrid, she never confronts Dahlia with her feelings of abandonment and anger – and fear it will happen again. Then, the author has Dahlia, who is an actor, on the phone with her agent and (view spoiler)[we never know what happens! We know Madeline overhears the call and is certain that Dahlia is leaving again. Then, Dahlia reiterates to Madeline that she is there to stay. But why? Why NOW? What changed? Why not take this role? Why stay THIS time? (hide spoiler)] And, then, near the end, (view spoiler)[Madeline decides to invite Dahlia to the midnight movie premiere? Dahlia? Just because Madeline’s on the outs with Jasper and her friend Zelda is busy? Dahlia? And it seems famous people can cause daughters to forgive mothers of anything – because, when Madeline discovers her mom’s connection to an actor in the movie, Madeline is all “well do this for me and the store” and then all seems … okay between them???? ARG! (hide spoiler)] My last annoyance may seem prudish. (view spoiler)[When Madeline and Jasper finally call a truce and are moving toward a relationship, Madeline visits Jasper’s home and – sex. Admittedly, I do not like steamy romance. If I encounter sex scenes in a book, I skim them and get back to the meat of the story. This scene? Out. Of. Nowhere. Seriously Madeline? You want to have sex with a guy you hated just a handful of pages earlier? And we get to watch? No thank you. Nothing in the rest of the book hinted that a sex scene would be incoming. I don’t know why it shocked me so much. I’m not an idiot; I know that, just like with adults, some teens are a.o.k. with reading sex scenes. But this didn’t read or feel like that kind of story until it happened. (hide spoiler)] I did like the secondary characters Zelda and Ravi. I was intrigued by Jasper’s friend Grant. I wanted to get to know all three of them much more. I also like reading about the author event, the Discontent fandom (why, yes, I did have flashbacks to midnight Harry Potter book & movie releases!), and Madeline’s attempts to save the store were intriguing. These bits pushed the rating up a star. But, I have been given a lesson in just-because-the-story-is-set-in-a-bookstore-doesn’t-mean-it-will-be-a-great story. Chalk this one up as frustrating, anxiety-filled, with SAY-WHAT? moments. Could have been … but wasn’t.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Megan Rivera

    Madeline Moore does. Books & Moore, the musty bookstore her family has owned for generations, is where she feels most herself. Nothing is going to stop her from coming back after college to take over the store from her beloved aunt. Nothing, that is—until a chain bookstore called Prologue opens across the street and threatens to shut them down. Madeline sets out to demolish the competition, but Jasper, the guy who works over at Prologue, seems intent on ruining her life. Not only is he taking he Madeline Moore does. Books & Moore, the musty bookstore her family has owned for generations, is where she feels most herself. Nothing is going to stop her from coming back after college to take over the store from her beloved aunt. Nothing, that is—until a chain bookstore called Prologue opens across the street and threatens to shut them down. Madeline sets out to demolish the competition, but Jasper, the guy who works over at Prologue, seems intent on ruining her life. Not only is he taking her customers, he has the unbelievable audacity to be cute. Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read this book. It’s an overall great read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mia

    Romance in this book was bland I liked side characters the most especially Benny.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amélie Boucher

    This wasn't bad, but not what I was expecting. My biggest issue about this book is how petty the main character is. The whole enemies-to-lovers thing is pretty one-sided because she's the only one seeing a threat in the new bookstore across the street (I mean even her family doesn't care, and it's a family-run bookstore). The only reason the love interest plays along with her little prank war is because he's so obviously into her. So in the end, it was hard for me to root for the main character. This wasn't bad, but not what I was expecting. My biggest issue about this book is how petty the main character is. The whole enemies-to-lovers thing is pretty one-sided because she's the only one seeing a threat in the new bookstore across the street (I mean even her family doesn't care, and it's a family-run bookstore). The only reason the love interest plays along with her little prank war is because he's so obviously into her. So in the end, it was hard for me to root for the main character. I really enjoyed the romance, but it didn't take up enough space in my opinion. I wanted more pining and angst, but instead I got some awkward moments and a few hot and heavy scenes. In the end, the plot was fun and made me laugh, but the main character was pretty unbearable and made it hard for me to connect with it the way I wanted to. There was also some questionable plus-size rep?

  19. 4 out of 5

    Catalina

    dnf this at 30% so by all means ignore this review I went into this book expecting a swoon worthy retelling of You Got Mail and what I received was far less than that. I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes every other page and don't get me started on the dialogue which was written very weird and I can't pinpoint exactly why it read weird but it was awkward. dnf this at 30% so by all means ignore this review I went into this book expecting a swoon worthy retelling of You Got Mail and what I received was far less than that. I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes every other page and don't get me started on the dialogue which was written very weird and I can't pinpoint exactly why it read weird but it was awkward.

  20. 4 out of 5

    ally

    ummmm why was this literally so amazing? I spent like my whole morning in bed reading this and seriously, what's better than a book about books?! even more, enemies to lovers in bookstores?! I love jasper so much like AHH idk the whole aspect of this *chef's kiss* I love how in like chapter 27, this is a line. “Friends working at rival bookstores?” Warbeck gives us an appraising look. “That would make a good story.” fakhskjhfdjksfhsdjdshksfjhd I loved this so much, and now I can finally get ready for ummmm why was this literally so amazing? I spent like my whole morning in bed reading this and seriously, what's better than a book about books?! even more, enemies to lovers in bookstores?! I love jasper so much like AHH idk the whole aspect of this *chef's kiss* I love how in like chapter 27, this is a line. “Friends working at rival bookstores?” Warbeck gives us an appraising look. “That would make a good story.” fakhskjhfdjksfhsdjdshksfjhd I loved this so much, and now I can finally get ready for the day (and eat) no seriously, read this <3

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ritz

    All of the books I’ve read this month have been 3 stars. So believe me when I say I wanted to enjoy this. But I was so disappointed about this one. I came into this expecting a cute, banter filled enemies to lovers with rival bookstores. Instead, I got to read about Madeline, who’s rude and self-centered, by the way, blame others for her problems. So this book sucked. Madeline was so annoying. She blamed others for her problems. She hated Jasper just because he worked for another bookstore. She All of the books I’ve read this month have been 3 stars. So believe me when I say I wanted to enjoy this. But I was so disappointed about this one. I came into this expecting a cute, banter filled enemies to lovers with rival bookstores. Instead, I got to read about Madeline, who’s rude and self-centered, by the way, blame others for her problems. So this book sucked. Madeline was so annoying. She blamed others for her problems. She hated Jasper just because he worked for another bookstore. She was so rude to Astrid for no reason. Seriously, she got angry at her brother Benny for his dad being around. That’s actually so horrible. She kept on making it a competition between them, even though it was clear that Benny didn’t want to create an argument with her for no reason. The romance was laughable. This was supposed to be enemies to lovers. So can someone remind me why Jasper and Madeline got together by the 50% mark? For some reason, Jasper already was in love with Madeline despite talking to her about 2 times. And then something happened and Madeline got mad at him. And then there was a stupid and childish prank war. The dynamic between the two was weird. It was just so inconsistent. Where is the plot? Guess what? It doesn’t exist. There is nothing but bad dialogue and Madeline whining and acting like an 8 year old for 350+ pages. This book would have been so much more enjoyable if it was shorter. And also, there are so many plot holes. So many things that the author doesn’t tie up, which was so frustrating. My final issue with this book was Madeline’s relationship with her mom, Dahlia. I fully understand why Madeline would be upset with her mother, since she left her so many times. But it was so inconsistent. Madeline would hate Dahlia one moment, and then she would love her because she did some small thing. But the thing that made me the most angry was that she never actually talked to Dahlia about how her leaving made her feel, and how not having an actual mom was hard on her. The reason this is 2 stars and not 1 star is because the side characters, Zelda, Benny, Ravi and Grant were likable, and I wish they were bigger characters.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sheena ☆ Oh, the Sheenanigans!

    'Last Chance Books' was not much of a stand out. After reading the synopsis I was more than game for epic book store rivalry enemies turned lovers book war, it felt flat. The characters—Madeline and Jasper lacked the chemistry and depth to pull me in and their childish pranks were just that, childish. More so, the unrealistic dialogue was a turn off and the love hate plot was too abrupt and quick for me. One moment the bitter rivals are trying to one-up another and in the next, 'Last Chance Books' was not much of a stand out. After reading the synopsis I was more than game for epic book store rivalry enemies turned lovers book war, it felt flat. The characters—Madeline and Jasper lacked the chemistry and depth to pull me in and their childish pranks were just that, childish. More so, the unrealistic dialogue was a turn off and the love hate plot was too abrupt and quick for me. One moment the bitter rivals are trying to one-up another and in the next, wham-bam! They’re coupling up. So all in all, it wasn't completely terrible read but there are a few things that could be tweaked and adjusted to make this a somewhat more salvageable read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Libby

    Look, I really wanted to like this book. A meet-cute in a used-books shop? A dream. Rivals to lovers fighting to keep their stores in business? Sign me up. Sure to be full of flirty banter and literary references? I’m in. Unfortunately, this book fell short on nearly every front. There were a few moments that were cute in a rom-com way but on the whole this book left me thoroughly disappointed for numerous reasons, mainly because it had the potential to be a great adult fiction book with some c Look, I really wanted to like this book. A meet-cute in a used-books shop? A dream. Rivals to lovers fighting to keep their stores in business? Sign me up. Sure to be full of flirty banter and literary references? I’m in. Unfortunately, this book fell short on nearly every front. There were a few moments that were cute in a rom-com way but on the whole this book left me thoroughly disappointed for numerous reasons, mainly because it had the potential to be a great adult fiction book with some changes. WARNING: long review with spoilers ahead TL;DR: main character is self-absorbed, petty, and shows no growth; love interest is under-developed; plot is haphazard and it reads like a fanfiction or a short story attempted to stretch into a novel (view spoiler)[ 1. Madeline Throughout the entirety of the book, Madeline is petty, self-centered, and demanding of everyone around her. I’m not against a selfish main character, but usually in those cases there comes a reckoning for them in the latter half of the book which ultimately leads to character development. There is no development for Madeline. One could argue that her development comes in the form of how she reacts to the store closing at the end, but that still leaves much to be desired. I kept waiting for Zelda to pull the best-friend tough love on her and tell Madeline how selfish and rude she was being to everyone who cared about her, but it never came. In fact, the whole book felt like you were supposed to believe Madeline was fully in the right and justified about everything she does. While the storylines of the store being like a member of the family to her, and her trust issues regarding her mother flitting in and out of her life were powerful and you could justify some of her actions, she ultimately was so self-absorbed it was very difficult to root for her. She also blamed everyone else around her for anything that went wrong, and was so overdramatic in her climactic fight with Jasper, especially since he forgave her instantly for everything. ALSO, the whole point of her crusade is she wants to take over the bookstore after graduation, but she never has a real conversation with her aunt about that, she just expects to get what she wants without talking about it or asking for it. In general, she is just an annoying character with very little development 2. Jasper Oh, Jasper. It’s not you, it’s how you’re written. To put it bluntly, Jasper sounds like a 14 year old’s description of a perfect boyfriend. He’s drop dead gorgeous, smart, designs cosplay costumes, and falls head over heels in love with Madeline at first sight. And oh, she has to be careful with him, as she’s warned by his best friend, because he's so obsessed with her and he falls too hard too fast and he’ll get his heart broken. The problem with Jasper is that there is none. He has no flaws, because he isn’t developed enough to have them. He’s a two-dimensional character that only exists to be a love interest for Madeline. And when the book is supposed to be a YA romance, it’s tough when half of that romance has the character depth of a puddle. There’s no conflict with Jasper. I think this is partly because the book is Madeline’s POV, and it would have helped to have Jasper’s as well, but he also just has nothing going on outside of Madeline. There is a slight storyline of him wanting to go to design school but not telling his family, but that gets wrapped up neatly in a bow when he tells them and they’re totally supportive. I would have loved an actual backstory or arc for Jasper that’s not just trying to woo Madeline, maybe real conflict with his family not supporting his dream, or trying to live up to their expectations and feeling like he can’t. Much like Madeline, Jasper also had no character development throughout the book, but that’s because there wasn’t any character to begin with. 3. The Plot My main issue with the plot is that there isn’t one. It feels like a short story that they attempted to stretch into a novel, but there isn’t enough substance for that. There’s a loose thread of “Madeline is trying to save her family’s store from closing and is in a rivalry with the store across the street” but the enemies to lovers plot is pretty much abandoned halfway through the book when she gets together with Jasper. For most of the book there just isn’t a substantive story and it doesn’t work as a full length novel. As far as the ending, It was just so frustrating to me that everyone is apologizing and siding with Madeline, especially Jasper’s family. It made me so mad at the end when his whole family came over to replace the books and were fawning over Madeline, telling her she was completely in the right and Jasper had no business doing that to her store and please forgive them. Like, this girl was actively trying to sabotage your business and GOT YOUR SON HIT BY A CAR, why are you acting like she’s a saint? It just didn’t make sense. Additionally, the ending with the store closing just felt hollow. Like, then what was the point of the whole story? She’s still on the exact same path as she was in the beginning, all that’s different is she has a boyfriend now. And she’s suddenly fine with the store closing because she’s learned what? To live in the moment? It just doesn’t resonate or feel like a proper ending for the character. This brings me to my biggest issue with the book, and it’s that it should have been an Adult/New Adult romance. Having Madeline try to save the store before she goes off to college is a miss because the stakes aren’t very high for her. Even if the store is saved, she’s going off to college. If the store fails, she still goes to college, she just might get a different degree? She acts like it will derail her future but she’d still be on the same path. I get the idea of her trying to hold on to this piece of her family, but to me that isn’t enough to go on as her main motivation. If instead she was 22-23, just graduated college, came back to take over the bookstore, and then found out the competition was driving her out of business, that would have made for a much more compelling story. Not only would she be trying to save her family’s store and hold on to this place that means so much to her, her job and her future actually would be at stake. Plus it would resonate with so many more people if she spent four years at college working towards this and now she feels like it’s slipping away and she’s failing. You would want to root for her to keep her store in business because you would be able to recognize the stakes and the pressure that she feels. With her being a teenager trying to save a store she’s going to leave at the end of summer anyway, she just comes off as petty and whiny. 4. The Writing I won't lie, I cringed at a lot of this. I know it’s a YA and the characters are in their late teens, but there were several moments where it felt like they were 13. There were moments when the characters acted far younger than they actually are, and then there are attempts to contradict this and remind readers they are older by throwing in lines about sex, drinking, and masturbation, which just makes for a confusing read. (Another reason why this should be an adult novel, the blatant and frequent mentions of how badly Madeline wants to bang Jasper and the sex scene that came out of nowhere). I expected a lot of banter and flirting, classic in an enemies or rivals to lovers book, but again it fell flat. They have a couple cute back-and-forths but far less than I was expecting. A lot of the dialogue just doesn’t make sense for two teenagers. It’s either “no 19 year old would ever say this” or “no human being would ever say this”. Now, there’s always some leeway in dialogue for me, but some of it is just so unrealistic it pulls you right out of the story. There are also so few literary references for a romance set in rival bookstores, it's criminal. The only references are to a fake dystopian series. I actually really liked the side characters. Zelda, Benny, Grant, Ravi, Luke were all interesting but the problem was there was nothing about them. All we got were throwaway lines like Zelda’s father being in rehab and Luke thinking Jasper doesn’t have any drive that weren’t addressed again in any meaningful way. I guess since the book is Madeline’s POV and she’s so thoroughly self-centered she doesn’t pay attention to anyone else? All things considered, this book was a tough read. I think it had the potential to be a great Adult/New Adult Romance with some tweaks, but it just doesn’t work as is. If you are looking for a YA romance, I would not recommend it. (hide spoiler)]

  24. 4 out of 5

    Skye (skyeslibrary)

    A quick read with enemies-to-lovers, a cosplay contest, family reunification, and a “save the family business” mission, Last Chance Books has a lot of teenage angst without as much action as I’d hoped. Great if you’re looking for a fast, summery read!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bruna Oliveira

    Actual rating: 2.5 Well, that was disappointing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Hilda

    Jasper Hamada, welcome to my shit list. What a crazy emotional ride. I did not expect all of the feels. Madeline was full of so many emotions I’m surprised she accomplished as much as she did. But I’d expect no less from her. She is going to go places! This enemies to lovers was everything I didn’t know I needed. I felt for Madeline throughout the story. She was fighting for her legacy, one which seemed to be fought only by her. I had so many issues with her family. From her absentee mother, her Jasper Hamada, welcome to my shit list. What a crazy emotional ride. I did not expect all of the feels. Madeline was full of so many emotions I’m surprised she accomplished as much as she did. But I’d expect no less from her. She is going to go places! This enemies to lovers was everything I didn’t know I needed. I felt for Madeline throughout the story. She was fighting for her legacy, one which seemed to be fought only by her. I had so many issues with her family. From her absentee mother, her run away brother, and sabotaging aunt (not really, but it felt like it). Then we have Jasper “Hotmada” Hamada and his crazy pranks. She started it, but still. It really did feel like Madeline was the adult most of the time and the only one fighting to keep her beloved bookstore alive. I wish her aunt would have said something before it got so bad. It just seems like everyone was against her. And I’m still mad at Benny, her brother, he’s the one I had the biggest problem with. He yelled at her for being harsh and jealous when he left her to struggle alone and did so many other things. After she was his pseudo mother his whole life and had no one to run to. He never even apologized. His non apology blamed her and the store. I felt so betrayed by him. I mean they had a bond like no other but it did seem like he took Madeline for granted. Even though she has always been there for him. “She bolted.” “She always does.” He offered me a small smile. “You we’re there, though.” “Four-year-old Madeline had her shit together better than Dahlia ever has.” Benny sighs, shaking his head. “And that time she convinced you to split your tooth fairy money with her—“ “And I agreed, because I was ten and she made it sound like I was getting double the money, not half—“ “And she helped you pull, like, three teeth in one go.” I sigh. “Another instance of blood everywhere.” “I wonder what she’ll break this time.” “Probably just my spirit.” When Dahlia returns Benny jumps ship, this seems to be is MO. I understand he’s 16 years old but Madeline never had that option and that’s what frustrates me the most. It’s okay for him to run away because he wants money for clothes and gas money. His words. But Madeline is the bad guy for expecting him to side with her. Y’all I’m still pretty upset. I would have been heartbroken and never forgiven him. But I’m petty and hold grudges. I’ve gone off on a Benny tangent when the book isn’t even about him. Back to the review. Madeline and Jasper are sworn enemies. He likes her and feels guilty about leaving his family’s bookstore. She’s drowning in despair and heartfelt. Her rivalry isn’t a game or flirting. It’s her life. It was still very entertaining and I devoured this book. I wish I’d read it before. I had an ARC!!! I’m kicking myself so much right now because this was the best debut novel and it was definitely the best summer read. I cried so much last night finishing this book my face hurts. I think I gave myself a sinus infection. Haha. Only I would get sick from reading. This is a sweet read about a dysfunctional family, slightly toxic (I’m looking at you Dahlia), that no matter what loves each other. I mean their aunt Astrid and Benny’s father Sterling raised these kids. And even though they weren’t the “normal” family unit they lived each other very much. The added romance with Jasper, all the book puns and metaphors, and book love made this story so wonderful to read. I really enjoyed it. I can’t wait for what this author comes up with next!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Paige Hettinger

    read this review on my blog now!!! I received an advanced copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much to HarperTeen for providing this galley! Actual rating: 3.5 If Kelsey Rodkey’s next effort is as fun and seamless as Last Chance Books, then she’ll be one to watch for a long time. While I remain confused about where this trend in YA of “books about book lovers” has come from, I can’t deny how heartwarming it is to read a book infused with such a love for read this review on my blog now!!! I received an advanced copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much to HarperTeen for providing this galley! Actual rating: 3.5 If Kelsey Rodkey’s next effort is as fun and seamless as Last Chance Books, then she’ll be one to watch for a long time. While I remain confused about where this trend in YA of “books about book lovers” has come from, I can’t deny how heartwarming it is to read a book infused with such a love for books in general (even if the fangirling made me…cringe, to say the least). When you add an enemies-to-lovers romance and perfect pacing to that equation? You simply get a really great time and a truly good reading experience. I loved Madeline and Jasper’s relationship, but it was their banter that really sung here. It was genuinely brilliant and the pace at which they could throw simultaneously realistic and novelistic quips at each other so easily was astounding. Their rivalry lasted for just the right amount of time. You got a very comprehensive sense of their dynamic, and it was undoubtedly well written. However, I never got a good sense of who Jasper was outside of his dynamic with Madeline. That was my biggest gripe with this book. The only thing you really come to learn about him is one sole interest; he had no true depth. Considering the strong undercurrent of family in this novel, I would have liked to learn more about Jasper’s and their relationship. The centrality of Madeline’s family never left room for his. I actually think this book would have worked better for me if it was written from a dual-POV. But I actually loved the family element of this book. I loved reading about Madeline’s explorations of her changing family dynamic, even if she could be frustrating at times, and I especially loved that this book left much unresolved. It felt true. Rather than tie a neat and pretty bow on the messiness of it all, it showed a path forward not without consistent hardship, and I really liked that. Overall, this was a good, strong book. The plot was solid, the conception strong, and the pacing and writing were just so great. But I wish it had given me just a bit more to work with across the board. It was a cute, fun book and while I loved the reading experience, it just didn’t strike me as all that memorable or unique enough to stick with me for long. But if you’re looking for a simple and sweet summer/beach read, it’s time to snatch this up, and I cannot wait to see what Rodkey does next.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Zoë ☆

    *2.5🌟I think?? I was a little underwhelmed and some things were so dramatic 🙈 I also didn’t really like the main character 😅

  29. 4 out of 5

    D.J.

    LAST CHANCE BOOKS is a book lover's dream thanks to its premise of competing bookstores and the two teens who quickly find themselves becoming more than rivals. It's funny, heartwarming, and dreamy. The kind of story that is both relatable and escapist. Kelsey tackles the pains of growing up with skill and care, and readers will be rooting for Madeline and Jasper from start to finish. LAST CHANCE BOOKS is a book lover's dream thanks to its premise of competing bookstores and the two teens who quickly find themselves becoming more than rivals. It's funny, heartwarming, and dreamy. The kind of story that is both relatable and escapist. Kelsey tackles the pains of growing up with skill and care, and readers will be rooting for Madeline and Jasper from start to finish.

  30. 5 out of 5

    liv.for.writing

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I would just like to preface-this is the ONLY book I have rated two stars. I wanted to love this book so freaking much. I saw a tik tok on it and then saw it in Barnes and noble and was so excited to get what I thought was going to be a nice, light-hearted book. That’s literally why I got it. But that’s not what it was. Madeline-okay. Let’s see. She hypocritical for a lot of reasons, but mainly because she called her mom self-centered when Madeline is literally the definition of that?? And she lit I would just like to preface-this is the ONLY book I have rated two stars. I wanted to love this book so freaking much. I saw a tik tok on it and then saw it in Barnes and noble and was so excited to get what I thought was going to be a nice, light-hearted book. That’s literally why I got it. But that’s not what it was. Madeline-okay. Let’s see. She hypocritical for a lot of reasons, but mainly because she called her mom self-centered when Madeline is literally the definition of that?? And she literally made her brother feel bad for HAVING A DAD when she didn’t?? Like how horrible can you be honestly. I didn’t love her in the beginning but also didn’t hate her, thinking she was going to get better-no Dahlia-her mom. Honestly, if I liked anything at all it was her character arc. But even that’s a little...mm The romance-so...this is an “enemies to lovers” book. I didn’t love the enemies to lovers part when they were enemies for a short part. Someone tell me why they were already together by the time I was half way through?? I didn’t love-I cant remember his name-, which I really thought I would. I didn’t feel any connection or Sparks or chemistry or anything between them, and Madeline had no reason to ACTUALLY be mad at him, and it started out of no where. Also, why was the guy in love with her by talking to her like twice? The smut-okay, I don’t like smut in books to begin with, or like a lot of talk about it but if the author just like makes them kiss and then SAYS or IMPLIES they did it I really don’t care. But there were just weird times where Madeline thought of sex or mentioned it and I was like?? Excuse me?? It was weird, and then Madeline goes over to the guys house and she’s doing something and she’s literally just like “you wanna have sex” “yeah” AND THEN I WAS LIKE HOLD UP and then I skipped over a like four page sex scene and then she finds out something but the sex came out of nowhere? And it’s literally the only reason she wants him. She literally said she didn’t want to be in a relationship and miraculously by the end she’s like “oh nvm it’s fine” sorry like I really thought I’d like it it sounded so good

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