Thursday, 22 February 2018

Review | The Last Laugh by Tracy Bloom

Image and video hosting by TinyPicThe Last Laugh by Tracy Bloom
Published On: February 23, 2018
Published By: Bookouture
Genre: Adult, Chick-Lit
Pages: 294
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley
Rating: ★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

‘I’ve googled it, how to die,’ Jenny says to Maureen. ‘It was full of climbing this mountain, swimming that sea, becoming a marathon runner and raising millions for charity.’ 
‘Sounds like bloody hard work. You can make it more fun than that surely?’ 
Jenny discovers her days are numbered at the same time she discovers her husband is having an affair… 
Frankly, her life was tough enough already. Two tricky teenagers, her mother’s constant complaints, friends who aren’t up to the job and a career which has been spiralling downwards since she won ‘Sunseeker Tour Rep of the Season’ twenty years ago. 
And now this: a cheating husband and a death sentence. 
Enough is enough. Jenny vows to keep both catastrophes a secret. She takes her life – and death – into her own hands and decides to live as she did when she was happiest… in 1996. She plans a spectacular 1990’s themed party in place of a wake that she herself will attend. But will she be able to keep her secrets for long enough to have the party of a lifetime?

*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Tracy Bloom is one author I have a bit of a hit or miss relationship with. I have read two of her books before, one of which I really enjoyed, the other I didn't like so much. However, as her writing is usually pretty hilarious, I wanted to give her another chance, which is why I picked up her new release. Like I said, her writing is usually hilarious so I was interested to see how she would take such a serious topic and make it laugh out loud funny.

Now, don't get me wrong, this book was funny, but, as it turns out, it was not laugh out loud funny. Perhaps that was a bit much to ask of a book dealing with terminal illness and a husband having an affair. Tracy Bloom did a great job of mixing humour and serious topics, however some aspects of the book that I feel were meant to be humorous just seemed downright bizarre.

In fact, much of this book seemed bizarre; sometimes in a good way, other times not so much. The plot is very unique. Never before have I read a book about a terminally ill woman finding out her husband is having an affair and deciding to deal with it all by throwing a party. It was all very strange and I found it hard to understand any of the reasoning behind many decisions Jenny makes. It all just seemed very irrational and a little bit crazy.

Despite a rather crazy plot, the characters were pretty average. For me, Tracy Bloom tried too hard to make the characters, Jenny in particular, quirky and interesting and it didn't really work out. The only character I really enjoyed, who felt authentically quirky, was Maureen. Maureen is a truly great character who, despite being a little bit mad, was hilariously funny and really made the book for me.

One thing I really liked about this book was that it featured a character with anxiety. Jenny's son really struggles with anxiety and this became quite a big aspect of the book. There were points throughout the book in which I really did not like the way he was being spoken to and about; however, this did improve as the book went on and I really liked how his part of the story wrapped up.

Overall, this book was enjoyable but nothing particularly special. The plot was interesting, if at times difficult to fathom, and did have me laughing at times, despite the serious subject matter. The bland characters were somewhat disappointing but mad Maureen made up for it. While not my favourite of the Tracy Bloom books I have read, this has definitely encouraged me to give some of her other books a go.

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