Last Time She Died


Last Time She Died

by Niki Kamerzell

2 out of 5

Synopsis
A rainy night. A slick road. A car crash.

‘A puff of yellow dust blew from the vent, and the car filled with a strong sulfur smell. Laughter whispered through the speakers, then blared at full volume.’

Everything changes for Alexia Harper the night she leaves late from her waitressing job. When voices threaten her through the radio, she wonders if she’s gone crazy. Then lightning explodes close by, and Alexia crashes.

Following the accident, every day is the same. Every night the same nightmare stalks her. It’s like her life is on repeat, but she can’t shake the fearful warning her subconscious is screaming at her.

When Leland starts working at the diner, Alexia is drawn to him. He’s kind, funny and handsome, and he’s…familiar. It’s like they’ve spent the past eight lifetimes getting to know each other.

Now, the memory-like dreams make sense. She recognizes people she doesn’t know—and they are giving her clues; answers she desperately needs to stop the thing that’s coming for her.

Coming for all of them. Again. 

Review
Alexia and Cali are both in trouble, and the world has more layers than they know.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

The narrative follows two best friends, after Alexia was involved in a car crash.
Alexia has drifted apart from all the friends she knew before, which is a natural part of life. She's at college, and working at a diner. She misses Cali, but life is good.
Until things start to happen that make her question her sanity. Leland, the new guy at work, has awoken memories that aren't hers, but still seem to belong to her.

Cali feels like she's going through the motions since the accident.
Which is a complete contrast to how great her life is going. She is in love with her boyfriend, Dustin; and their photography company is going from strength-to-strength.
But she starts seeing things, dark things, and things that try to hurt her...

I found the first half of this book very hard to follow.
It was all a chaotic jumble of visions, fear and feeling bad vibes.
I felt that the author wanted to instil uncertainty about what is actually happening, whether it is something dark and paranormal at work; or psychosis from one or both girls.
I liked the answers that were given in the second half of the book - I thought it was creative and unexpected.
But the first half was beyond unreliable narrators. Past and present blur together with no definition - actually, the snippets of the past are the easiest parts to read, because the narrative focusses on one thing long enough to establish a small story.
The present scenes are so unsteady, I never knew what the heck was going on. It just needed to take a breather and establish a base point. As such, it was hard to sense any tension building in these scenes.

Overall, this had some nice ideas, but the execution was frustrating.



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