Book Review – The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

Here we go! The second book in the Charlotte Holmes series, hurray! I’m going to start out by saying – this is the second book in a series! There will be spoilers for book one in this review! There’s really no other way to review this book, so I’m not even sorry about it. Are you ready for this? I’m excited!

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Following the events in A Study in Charlotte, Jamie and Charlotte find themselves in England, trying to enjoy their winter holiday together. Their time at Jamie’s mom’s flat passed without incident, but strange things start to happen once they arrive at Charlotte’s family’s estate. Charlotte’s mother begins to get ill, and her uncle visits and then mysteriously disappears. Something isn’t right, and Charlotte and Jamie know it. What follows is a European adventure that would make their ancestors proud.


3 Things I Loved

  1. Jamie. As I said in A Study in Charlotte, I feel Jamie on a very deep level. Jamie is… me. He’s me. He feels everything and wants to be something more than he is and is so in love with Charlotte that it’s almost painful. The first time I read this book, it killed me. The ending just ripped me apart. But the second time I read it, it resonated a little differently. I could see the toxicity of Jamie and Charlotte more clearly, but it was such good writing. And Jamie… I just love him. His character is so relatable. And OH MAN, does he get even more relatable as the books go on.
  2. August. If there was one character I thought I wouldn’t like (because I like Jamie so much), it was August. But he was delightful, and the way he and Charlotte played off each other was really fun to read. He was exactly who I wanted him to be, after how he was described in the first book. And his ending… well. He deserved better.
  3. Charlotte’s progression. Charlotte was such a mess in the first book. And, I mean, she’s still a mess in this one, but she’s more verbal about knowing these things about herself. And that’s nice. It’s nice to see actual human growth, visceral growth. And I was there for it entirely.

Dislikes/Problematic Content

As I stated with A Study In Charlotte, I think I’m a little too close to these books to truly be able to see problematic content. However, there were a couple things about this particular book that I didn’t love. Some of them are plot points, so SPOILERS AHEAD.

  • What the hell is with Milo? When he swooped in to save them in the first book, it seemed to fit with the plot. But the way he handled things in this book I just HATED. The whole idea of Charlotte knowing that he always had men following her screwed them entirely in this book at one point. Just like, COME ON Milo. Quit being such a tool. Was he truly only looking out for Charlotte? Maybe. That becomes more clear as the series goes on. But is he the worst? Fuck yes, he is. (Sorry for the language.)
  • I didn’t love the fake suicide plot point on the part of August. I know that’s key to the way this book works, because his family is supposed to believe he’s dead. But first suicide… and then the ending?? UGH. Cut us a break with August, I was just starting to like the guy.
  • Charlotte’s whole family is just PROBLEMATIC. Again, I get that they’re supposed to be characterized this way, that it’s how Charlotte was molded to be who she is, etc., etc. HOWEVER. Jesus. Try to treat her like your child, perhaps? Rather than a constant thorn in your side? Maybe she would be able to cope with things a little better, for crying out loud.

Rating

A reminder of the rating scale:

  • Red = DNF, I hated everything
  • Orange = Ugh, no thank you
  • Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
  • Green = This was good! 
  • Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
  • Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!

This book leaves me aching. It’s in a way that truly goes to show how great Brittany Cavallaro’s writing is. But it’s still an ache in my chest. But I don’t love the sequel as much as the original. So I’m going to give The Last of August a BLUE rating. It’s pretty great, but it’s not perfect. (But the series as a whole is divine.)

Happy reading!

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