Review: The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

Review: The Last of August by Brittany CavallaroThe Last of August (Charlotte Holmes #2) by Brittany Cavallaro
Series: Charlotte Holmes #2
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on February 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspence, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Source: Edelweiss
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two-half-stars

In the second brilliant, action-packed book in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy, Jamie and Charlotte are in a chase across Europe to untangle a web of shocking truths about the Holmes and Moriarty families.
Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter break reprieve in Sussex after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But nothing about their time off is proving simple, including Holmes and Watson’s growing feelings for each other. When Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the Holmes estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring—the game is afoot once again, and Charlotte throws herself into a search for answers.
So begins a dangerous race through the gritty underground scene in Berlin and glittering art houses in Prague, where Holmes and Watson discover that this complicated case might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.

Review:

The Last of August is the second book in a gender-bender teenage Sherlock Holmes-inspired series featuring Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson. I really enjoyed the first one (A Study in Charlotte), with its dark tones and murder mystery-ing. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for this one. I really struggled.

The story continues off with Charlotte and Jamie spending the holidays together were we get to meet more the Holmes. Jamie is still mostly telling the story, and the sleuthing and mystery kicks in when Uncle Leander Holmes disappears from the family home. I enjoyed the fact that there was some European travelling and art forgery fun in this story but holy crap did the mystery part of this book get super boggled down by the angst, there was just so much teenage-romance angst!

I think I had mention that I could get on board with the potential spark between Charlotte and Jamie that transpired in the first book. But gosh dang it, no. Jamie spent 90% of the book in this weird funk of mopey/angst-y/whiny-ness over Charlotte, while Charlotte messed with his head. And not just the romance part, even the friendship part I was having trouble getting on board with. I understand Charlotte’s personality is akin to Sherlock, in which they do not let emotion cloud their judgement, but it came to a point where I didn’t care for Charlotte anymore. And so Charlotte and Jamie’s relationship seemed very toxic.

Sometimes I wondered if hanging out with Charlotte Holmes had made me into a monster. At times like this, I knew it for sure.

The mystery was for the most part interesting, I was invested enough to want to know what happened/see how Charlotte solves the case. But I wasn’t really invested, mostly because it was playing second fiddle to the angst, so it lost some of it’s luster. I did enjoy August Moriarty and the Moriarty in general, though I felt they were really  just playing over-the-top one-dimensional evil villains. The ending leaves us in a big of a hanger. Drama for drama sake. Or maybe I just didn’t get the big picture. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet.

So overall, this book disappointed me. I can see the potential and I liked the bit of insight from Charlotte. But all the good things just got too lost among the romantic angst. There’s still one more book, and I’ll probably give it a go because I still like Jamie and I think the Charlotte/Jamie dynamic is still salvageable.

{* Thanks to Katherine Tegen Books & Edelweiss for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

About Brittany Cavallaro

Brittany Cavallaro is a poet, fiction writer, and old school Sherlockian. She is the author of the Charlotte Holmes novels from HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books, including A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE and THE LAST OF AUGUST (forthcoming in February 2017). She's also the author of the poetry collection GIRL-KING (University of Akron) and is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. She earned her BA in literature from Middlebury College and her MFA in poetry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, she's a PhD candidate in English literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, cat, and collection of deerstalker caps.

two-half-stars

Author: Cyn

noun. a bum a student again. A master’s student…oooh. procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

10 Comment

  1. Oh I have not seen good things for this and now you too. I have it and have been putting it off. I liked the boarding school setting last time and think I am going to miss it. Yikes with the angst too. Sorry it wasn’t better. Great review!

  2. Oh. o_o Wow, this is the first review I’ve seen for this book, and dang, I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy it. I’d not read the first book but everyone seemed to love it, so I had it on my backburner TBR… I’ll pass, at this point. This one sounds not great and I can already tell that I would have the same issues you did.

    Fantastic review, Cyn! Have a great weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  3. BLERGH i can’t believe this was your experience with The Last of August, Cyn! I really enjoyed the first book as well, but I can totally see where you’re coming from with this one. The Charlotte/Watson dynamic was even odd in the first book, but I thought it would develop better in the next ones… it doesn’t seem like that’s the case. 🙁 Sighh, well I still have to read this for review but I sincerely hope the next one is better.

  4. Oh no! I can totally understand how you felt and it sounds like the relationship got too toxic. Like you said they take cues from their classic orig. but still, you have to have a fine balance to come back from and it sounds like this pushed the friendship as well. Hmm, the mystery still sounds interesting so this may be shelved for a later library read. Sorry for the disappointment, Cyn. ( :

  5. I am so glad I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed in this book. I think I rated it a two star and the review should be coming up soon. I felt like you the angst drove me crazy, I was so tired it and felt like half of the book was just poor Watson, poor poor Watson and then a little of poor Holmes…it was like decide, do you like him or do you not! 🙁 Wanted so much more from this story and not really sure if I want to continue the series if there is another one.

  6. Aww that’s a bummer! I’m sorry this book was a letdown for you! I haven’t read this book or the first one yet, but I own them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

    Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles

  7. Eep. I have book one on my wishlist, as I love all things Sherlock but wow this sounds like a let down. I am glad the mystery was strong though.

  8. Oh how sad. It’s always disappointing when the follow up just doesn’t deliver. I’m waiting for a second in a gender bending sherlock as well (historical mystery) and really hoping it’ll pull it off.

  9. I’ve heard lots of great things about the first book, but honestly I’m not usually fond of Sherlock Holmes adaptations for the exact reason you mention: Sherlock is a colossal jerk in most of them, and it sounds like Charlotte’s edging into that territory here. Hopefully the third book is a better read for you, Cyn!

  10. Oh no! This series is on My TBR but the things annoyed you would do the same to me sighs. Boo.

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