Monday, March 13, 2017

The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

Summary from Goodreads:
Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter-break reprieve after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But Charlotte isn’t the only Holmes with secrets, and the mood at her family’s Sussex estate is palpably tense. On top of everything else, Holmes and Watson could be becoming more than friends—but still, the darkness in Charlotte’s past is a wall between them.

A distraction arises soon enough, because Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring. The game is afoot once again, and Charlotte is single-minded in her pursuit.

Their first stop? Berlin. Their first contact? August Moriarty (formerly Charlotte’s obsession, currently believed by most to be dead), whose powerful family has been ripping off famous paintings for the last hundred years. But as they follow the gritty underground scene in Berlin to glittering art houses in Prague, Holmes and Watson begin to realize that this is a much more complicated case than a disappearance. Much more dangerous, too.

What they learn might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.
It’s no secret that I’m a big Sherlock Holmes fan. (I actually am going to London next month and plan on going to the Sherlock Holmes museum!) I loved A Study in charlotte, and I have been anxiously anticipating the release of this sequel.
I wasn’t quite as in love with the sequel as I was the first installment. It read at a much slower pace. It took me at least a week to read it all. That being said, the mystery was really good. I remember wishing the mystery was a little better in the first book and it’s like the author read my review and focused on that.
I also still love the characters. There’s something so unbelievably special about a female Sherlock. I love watching the girl be the mastermind genius, and the guy sort of just watching everything in awe. I love Watson too. He remains a book crush for me. He has learned so much from Charlotte too. I loved reading about him disguising himself, and observing the scene as Charlotte would. This was amazing.
However, the angst in this one was at an all-time high. The teen angst/tension between Charlotte and Jamie reached Harry Potter and the Order of the phoenix level of teen angst. To an extent, I accepted it. Of course Jamie would feel all the things he felt. I wished he was just a tad bit more brave. And I wished Charlotte was a tad bit more social. Though, I guess I could say the same about their classic character counterparts. It was this part of the book that made it easy for me to continue to put down.
I do still ship these characters like I do very few others. There were some serious shippy moments that had me jumping up and down with glee. And other kinds of childish moments that had me questioning my ship just a little bit (like anything that involves making out with someone to get information…)
The last quarter of the story was so suspenseful! I finally reached a point where I couldn’t put the book down. Unfortunately, the book ended in a bit of a cliffhanger with a lot of unanswered questions for me. It was rather open-ended, so open-ended that I thought I misread things and had to re-read the last 10 pages only to find out that yeah, it didn’t make a lot of sense. I feel like I need a friend to read this and then to explain to me how they interpreted the final scene.
I loved the chapters in Charlotte’s point of view. It humanized her more for me. I also loved getting to see Milo’s house and his crazy security team. I was fascinated by the Holmes family in general. And I’m hoping for more glimpses into that craziness in the next book.
All in all, this almost lived up to what I wanted. I loved the mystery (particularly for the suspenseful last quarter of the book). I loved the characters. I still ship Jamie and Charlotte. I still have a major book crush on Jamie. There was a bit too much teen angst in this one. It started at a slow pace. And I’m kind of confused as to what exactly happened in the end (someone tell me?). I give it an 8/10.

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