Hi readers! 💜 I’m here today with a book review for The Last Housewife by Ashley Winstead. I was a pretty big fan of In My Dreams I Hold a Knife by the same author so I was really excited to check this book out, especially after seeing it all over my bookish social circles.
- Genre: suspense, thriller, contemporary
- My rating: ⭐️ ⭐️
- CW warnings: Check the content warnings at the beginning of the book. There are A LOT in this one. If sexual violence is a big trigger for you, you’ll want to skip this one.
QUICK PLOT: Shay is living as a housewife far away from her college town where she and her friends became entranced by a cruel and seductive man during their time at university. Shay and her friend Laurel are the only ones who survived the experience, but now Laurel is dead and Shay has questions. Partnering up with her childhood friend turned true crime podcaster, Shay will need to lead herself back into the belly of the beast if she’s going to solve the mystery of her friends’ deaths.
I LIKED: Generally speaking, I like this set-up for a thriller- where there are two timelines coming together and the protagonist has to straddle both the past and present to get answers. I liked the first 20% of this book. Winstead’s writing is engaging and very readable so it’s easy to keep turning the pages.
I DIDN’T LIKE: This book has a lot of my bookish pet peeves which is why I could only give it a two star rating. I have a big problem with repetitive writing and this book is nothing if not repetitive. Shay goes to some weird sex cult party, almost gets hurt/witnesses others getting hurt, and then goes back to the hotel to record a podcast episode with her friend Jamie.
That happens from like the 30% to 80% mark in the book… over and over again. It got to the point where I was like, let me guess, another weird cult party and then a new podcast episode? Cool! ✅ It’s super boring and I’m not sure how you can write essentially the same couple scenes repeatedly without noticing lol.
Also not a fan of how unrealistic the book is. I’m just not buying this whole ‘operation undetected infiltration’ thing. I guessed the “twist” super early on in the book which isn’t ideal for a mystery and the only character I actually felt like we knew was Shay. There are other characters, but they’re so one dimensional and they essentially just exist to revolve around Shay’s character.
SUMMARY: Obviously this one wasn’t for me. 😂 I wanted to love this so much more than I did because I had a good experience with Winstead’s previous thriller earlier this year. In My Dreams I Hold a Knife was a buddy read for me and we were going to buddy read this one together too. My friend ended up getting a late start on it and I told her I would probably not bothering with reading it because I don’t think it’s something she would like either. That being said, a lot of my other bookish friends seemed to enjoy this one so if you don’t mind a lot of trigger warnings, if you enjoy the ‘true crime podcaster’ thriller trope, and if you don’t mind a somewhat slow build up through similar scenes you may want to check this one out! ♥️