The Last One by Alexandra Oliva

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Survival is the name of the game as the line blurs between reality TV and reality itself in Alexandra Oliva’s fast-paced novel of suspense.

She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far.

It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it human-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them—a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo—stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.

Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life—and husband—she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all her survival skills—and learn new ones as she goes.

But as her emotional and physical reserves dwindle, she grasps that the real world might have been altered in terrifying ways—and her ability to parse the charade will be either her triumph or her undoing.

Sophisticated and provocative, The Last One is a novel that forces us to confront the role that media plays in our perception of what is real: how readily we cast our judgments, how easily we are manipulated.


The Last One was a really great read. I try not to get my hopes up when I read books like this, suspense novels, as they usually leave me disappointed. Not this one. I was hooked right away and absolutely loved the way this story was written. Now to wait for more from this amazing author. 

The Last One is half from the point of view of Zoo (I know the book mentions her real name at some point, but she is almost always referred to as Zoo) and half a re-cap of the reality TV show she is on. It was such a great read. Every other chapter is the story of the TV show and the twelve contestants. It goes through when they first start filming and some of their first challenges and everything. Yes, there were a lot of people so at first it was a bit hard to keep everyone straight, but it didn't really matter. It was just fun reading a bit of a behind the scenes of a reality TV show. And since the show is like Survivor and the contestants get split up, when things go wrong they don't all know. 

The other chapters were about Zoo trying to make her way home playing the game. She has a phrase she can say to end everything right now, to quit, but no matter how bad things get she just can't. You know that during these chapter it is not really the game still, but she thinks so. I loved watching her make her way through this desolate landscape and come up with how this is still the show. How the producers put everything she sees there just for affect. You are reading and thinking how much does she have to see before she realizes something is not right? I loved it. It made sense even if Zoo was a bit delusional at times. And slowly things start to change. Zoo starts to change and you get to see a lot of her thoughts and self reflections. It could have been a really cheesy read, but instead the writing made it amazing. I just wanted to keep reading and see where it would all end up. 

I highly recommend this book. The writing is fantastic, the story really great (I really enjoyed that you don't really know what happened or what is going on at all times) and it was just a fantastic read.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2


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