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Sammy Espinoza's Last Review

By Tehlor Kay Mejia
Sammy Espinoza's Last Review by Tehlor Kay Mejia digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

“A sexy, funny, sweet story about second chances and found family . . . I fell in love with Ridley Falls and everyone in it.”—Emily Henry, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Book Lovers

“This immersive tale will have everyone flipping pages.”—Good Morning America


A music critic stuck in a spiral of epic proportions targets her teenage crush for a career comeback and a chance at revenge. What could possibly go wrong?

Sammy Espinoza’s life is a raging dumpster fire. Her desperate attempt to win back her singer ex-girlfriend has landed her in hot water at work, and she has one last chance before her editor cuts her column. Luckily, Sammy has a plan to redeem herself, but it won’t be easy.

Rumor has it that Max Ryan, the former rock god, is secretly recording his first-ever solo album years after he dramatically quit performing. And it just so happens that he and Sammy have history: Right before Max got his big break, he and Sammy spent an unforgettable night together.

Exclusive access to Max’s new music would guarantee Sammy’s professional comeback and, even better, give her the opportunity to serve some long-awaited revenge for his traumatic ghosting.

But Max lives in Ridley Falls, Washington, and Sammy has history there as well: a family that never wanted her and a million unanswered questions. Going back would mean confronting it all—but what else does she have to lose?

6 Reviews

“This wasn't a terrible book by any means, but it definitely wasn't for me. In fact, I think my biggest problem with SAMMY ESPINOZA'S LAST REVIEW is more my problem with romance books in general: they expect me to root for couples who are almost always objectively terrible together. Like... I'm sorry, but Sammy and Max had absolutely no business ending up together (which is barely even a spoiler, let's be real)—and when your main premise is flawed right off the jump, it's hard to fight your way back from it. The domestic drama surrounding Sammy's complicated relationships with her mother and grandparents was by far the more compelling and emotive plot thread, but it also felt a little half-baked and underdeveloped. And where was all the friggin' music? Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.”
“I enjoyed many parts of 'Sammy Espinoza's Last Review' except for the romance, and that's a problem for a romance book. The main characters, Sammy and Max, met and spent a great night together ten years ago. Max was in a band, and he told Sammy that he would take her with him on tour, but he ghosted her. Being ghosted forced Sammy to think more about herself and her career. It led her to being a music critic and reviewer. She has held on to the pain of that night for all of these years. Sammy's reaction seemed very juvenile, and it was hard to believe that she was 29 years old. That part of the story read as very YA. When Sammy hears a rumor that Max is back in his hometown and working on a new album, she sees it as her opportunity to get answers about her past. The problem is that he doesn't remember her when they meet. I really don't like miscommunication, lying, and deceit in romance stories, and Sammy had all of those issues with Max. I felt uncomfortable reading those parts of the book because I didn't want their relationship to be built on lies. I didn't want Max to get hurt. I really didn't like what happened toward the end of the book and the third act breakup seemed like it came out of left field. I wasn't rooting for them to be together, and I didn't believe that they could make things work. If I remove the romance part of the book, I enjoyed the rest of the story! I loved how Sammy had a found family with Willa and Brook, Willa's parents, and her grandmother. I connected to those parts of the story, and I loved that she was able to meet her grandmother and have a bond with her. Meeting with her grandmother was such an emotional part of the story, and it brought me to tears many times. Willa and Brook had such a strong marriage, and I wanted more of their characters. I would enjoy a romance book about their backstory and their love story together. If I focus on parts of the book other than the romance, I enjoyed this book so much. The romance was lacking for me because it was built on dishonesty. I wish that Sammy and Max had been honest from the beginning. It would have helped to create a strong foundation, and it would have allowed me to root for their happy ending together. Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House for an ARC of this story. If you're looking for a story with a found family, supportive friends, and music references, this is the book for you.”
“Listen. This book was SO GOOD. I didn’t know what I was expecting but it was so much better than I could have ever imagined. Don’t get me wrong, it also HURT MY FEELINGS. A LOT. But the second chance, found family, finally finding a safe place to land, uncovering things that desperately needed to be uncovered, all the music…it was all so good. I loved Sammy so much. She was lost and searching for a way to safe her career and instead she found herself. It took place over just two weeks and so much happened! I loved her and Max, and her and Willa and Brook, and Maeve and Larry! And Paloma! They all had such important relationships with Sammy but it wasn’t until now that she knew what to actually do with that. And I loved watching her figure it all out. I loved watching her go back to the one place where she has family, found and biological, and find some sort of peace. It took a second, and it wasn’t easy. But she finally came home and it was exactly where she needed to be. I also really loved Max’s story! It was very much Sammy’s story, but his journey was so important to Sammy too! Also I LOVED MAX AND SAMMY. The way they fell right back into their easy relationship. And they were able to use each other to work through their problems. While it hurt that Max didn’t recognize her immediately…he did eventually! And he was able to tell her that all those years ago she changed everything for him! The last quarter or so…HURT. I wasn’t expecting any of it. And while I loved what happened afterward and the full circle moments and the realizations and the declarations…I was tearing to the whole time. And I love a good epilogue! It was so so sweet and a perfect button to the story! Thank you so much to Netgalley and Penguin Random house for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! Like a 4.25/4.5”

About Tehlor Kay Mejia

Tehlor Kay Mejia is the author of the critically acclaimed young adult fantasy duology We Set the Dark on Fire and We Unleash the Merciless Storm. Their debut middle-grade series, Paola Santiago and the River of Tears, is currently in development at Disney as a television series to be produced by Eva Longoria. Tehlor lives with their daughter, partner, and two small dogs in Oregon, where they grow heirloom corn and continue their quest to perfect the vegan tamale. Sammy Espinoza’s Last Review is their adult debut.

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