Monday, December 8, 2014

Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler - Early Review

Release Date: December 9, 2014

Lizzie Brandt was valedictorian of her high school class, but at Radleigh University, all she's acing are partying and hooking up with the wrong guys. But all that changes when her parents are killed in a tragic accident, making her guardian to her two younger brothers. To keep them out of foster care, she'll have to fix up her image, her life, and her GPA—fast. Too bad the only person on campus she can go to for help is her humorless, pedantic Byzantine History TA, Connor Lawson, who isn't exactly Lizzie's biggest fan.

But Connor surprises her. Not only is he a great tutor, but he’s also a pretty great babysitter. And chauffeur. And listener. And he understands exactly what it’s like to be on your own before you're ready. Before long, Lizzie realizes having a responsible-adult type around has its perks... and that she'd like to do some rather irresponsible (but considerably adult) things with him as well. Good thing he's not the kind of guy who'd ever reciprocate. Until he does. Until they turn into far more than teacher and student. Until the relationship that helped put their lives back together threatens everything they both have left.

---------------------------- AmazonB&NGoodreads ----------------------------

I just finished the book a few minutes ago, after a 7-hour reading spree, so just let me catch my breath for a second.

*takes a deep breath*


So, Last Will and Testament is a New Adult story of Elizabeth “Lizzie” Brandt, who is struggling with the transition into college and then suddenly gets hit with a tragedy and responsibilities that no college student should have to deal with. Well, that no one should have to deal with, really. A loss that gives Lizzie guardianship over her two younger brothers, plus a quarter life crisis, PLUS an attractive, caring TA equals a novel jam packed with grief, humor, and romance a.k.a. a novel I greatly enjoyed.

Lizzie isn’t the type of protagonist to which I am usually drawn: she is mouthy and makes lots of bad choices on purpose and likes to get herself into trouble. But she’s also a character I can understand – she is feeling lost in the pressure and competition of college and therefore experiments in some not-so-healthy pastimes and eventually becomes a person she doesn’t really recognize. I was pleasantly surprised and really pleased with how much Lizzie grew on me, not only because of her resiliency and strength during her tragedy but because of the fun, sassy character that emerges amidst all this sadness and the responsibility of taking care of her younger brothers. Her self confidence and gung ho attitude really drew me in – she has a mouth and isn’t afraid to speak her mind and do what she wants. That being said, her insecurities also made her relatable and not completely reckless. Basically, I liked the depth that Dahlia gave her main character, whose humor and complexties made me fall in love with her.

And I couldn’t fall in love as deeply as I did if it wasn’t for Connor, her history TA and my new book boyfriend (please?). Intelligent, kind, and reliable, Connor is the sweetest love interest. He isn’t perfect, with family issues that still affect him and the little problem of him being Lizzie’s “teacher” *coughjustanassistantcough*, but he is perfect for Lizzie. He brought out Lizzie’s sensitive side, without which it wouldn’t make me love Lizzie as much as I do. Likewise, Lizzie brings out Connor’s wild side, which made me love him even more (how is that even possible, Dahlia, HOW?!). Their relationship builds well throughout the story and really helps the pace. And the witty banter! It’s not an insta-romance, which makes me so incredibly happy.

I also think that Dahlia handled the familial relationships really well. While I haven’t experienced the kind of loss that Lizzie, Tyler, and Max have suffered, the forms of grief and the difficulties surrounding such loss were treated in a way that seemed real and genuine. The love and affection, not only between siblings but also between Lizzie and Connor, was well developed and deep and authentic and I loved every minute.

Last Will and Testament made me feel every emotion and by the end I was cheering on Lizzie and Connor and couldn’t be more content in my love of these characters and their story. The ending was complete and lovely, but luckily this is only the first in the Radleigh University series. I feel like the other books will focus on Lizzie's quirky best friends, but I could always go for revisiting these characters that I fell in love with on a reading spree during a 7-hour bus ride. ;)

Find out more about Dahlia and her works here:

I'm an Associate Editor of mathematics by day, a Copy Editor by night, and a YA and NA author and blogger at every spare moment in between. I've also been a Production Intern and Editorial Assistant at Simon & Schuster, a Publicity Intern at HarperCollins, and a Fashion Intern at Maxim. So, I'm kind of into that whole publishing thing. 

My debut YA novel, BEHIND THE SCENES, is out now, and you can order it from Amazon, B&N, or The Book Depository now, if you're so inclined! (You can also preorder the companion, UNDER THE LIGHTS, from Amazon.) My debut NA novel, LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT, releases on December 9, 2014, and you can preorder that from Amazon too!

I live in New York City with my husband and our overstuffed bookshelves, and you can find me on Twitter at @MissDahlELama and blogging at The Daily Dahlia, YA Misfits, and Barnes & Noble. I'm also a member of OneFourKidLit. Come say hi!

Happy Reading!


No comments:

Post a Comment