Monday, May 2, 2016

#Book #Review . . .The Last Good Girl


In the bestselling tradition of Jodi Picoult and written in a style that’s as real as it gets (USA TODAY), this ripped-from-the-headlines novel features prosecutor Anna Curtis as she finds herself again at the center of a national story involving a freshman girl at a prestigious university who disappears after filing rape charges against a young man in a powerful fraternity.

Emily, a freshman at a Michigan university, has gone missing. She was last seen leaving a bar near Sigma Pi, the prestigious and secretive fraternity known on campus as “the rape factory.” The main suspect is Dylan Highsmith, the son of one of the most powerful politicians in the state. But so far the only clues are pieced-together surveillance footage of Emily leaving the bar that night…and Dylan running down the street after her.

Anna Curtis is on the case when she discovers the video diary Emily kept over her first few months at college, exposing the history she had with Dylan—and accusing him of rape before she disappeared.

Emily’s disappearance gets media attention and support from Title IX activists across the country, but Anna’s investigation hits a wall. Now Anna is looking for something, anything she can use to find Emily alive. But without a body or any physical evidence, she’s under threat from people who tell her to think hard before she ruins the name of an “innocent young man.” Inspired by real-life stories, The Last Good Girl shines a light on campus rape and the powerful emotional dynamics that affect the families of the men and women on both sides.

M & J's Review

This is the fifth installment in the Anna Curtis series.  It's the first time I've read the series and I must say, this book had me on the edge of my damn seat--squirming quite a bit.

What should have been the time of her life, as would be expected of any young freshman hopeful embarking upon college life, didn't quite pan out that well for Emily Sharpiro. College life wasn't unfamiliar territory for Emily.  In fact, she and her family lived in the campus community.  This was her dream to one day become a student and enjoy the life she imagined other students enjoyed. 

She carried a secret, and one she'd hope none of the other students would ever find out.  It wasn't anything that would hinder her work, but it would cause her peers to look at her differently, and she didn't want that.  Her roommates asked her to go to the party of the year and mingle with frat boys.  After all, isn't this why parents paid all that money for their kids to go to college, to party, drink and become hungover?  But what Emily's parents couldn't possibly foresee was their daughter, in which she was one of many girls, sexually assaulted by a particular high-profile frat brother, Dylan Highsmith.

Dylan had all the prestige any Highsmith was afforded.  His father was a well-respected man in the community and a high ranking political figure and he wanted to ensure that his son would graduate top in his class, as well as carry on the legacy of their family name. Unfortunately, Dylan would carry on the name, but not in the way his father would have respected.  It would appear Dylan has a problem with the word "no."  When Emily came into contact with Dylan, she thought he was cute and she liked him.  They were getting along and dancing to the music and acting crazy like all the other college kids were doing.  There didn't appear to be anything out of the ordinary.  He was such a gentleman to ask if she wanted something to drink, and Emily happily accepted.

The next morning when she awoke, she found herself lying next to a sleeping Dylan, nude and sore.  She thought she recalled seeing him on top of her at one point, but she blacked out and couldn't remember.  
Unfortunately, what happened to Emily was a fact of life that sometimes happens to women on college campuses.  Of course, the colleges and/or universities want to sweep those unfortunate "incidents" under the rug for that kind of publicity would stop potential applications from coming their way.  Any school worth its salt needs a student body in order to survive.  Was the rape all in Emily's head or was she just an intoxicated naive girl out for a little fun, but got a little too carried away?  

Dylan and Emily were seen having an argument.  When the argument was over, it appears that Dylan went after Emily and that would be the last time he or anyone else saw her alive. Emily's mother was extremely distraught of her daughter's disappearance, but her father didn't think much of it at the time.  As the reader continues with the story, what you learn will be mind blowing and quite witty at the same time.

This was a fast-paced thrill ride type of read.  I hated to get off! Between the legal aspect and Emily's disappearance, there was so much going on your mind will be in a whirlwind of drama.  Mello & June gives The Last Good Girl five stars.  This book will be available for sale tomorrow.  If you love legal thrillers, this is most definitely the one to read!  Get yourself a copy wherever books are sold!

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

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