Summary: In a span of mere hours, the entire adult population is destroyed, leaving their children behind to fend for themselves and deal with the horrific aftermath of the freak occurrence. As one of the newly made elders in his small town, Shane finds himself taking on the role of caretaker for a large group of juvenile survivors. One who just happens to be Kelly Douglas—an out-of-his-league classmate—who, on any other day, would have never given Shane a second glance.
Thoughts: As a fan of Michael Grant’s Gone series, I was intrigued by another novel where the adults are gone and the kids have to deal with things. This novel is different in that the loss of the adults is a lot more horrific. The animals go nuts and kill them all basically. All in all, this book had a lot of potential I think. I loved the storyline and I really wanted to love Shane and Kelly and everyone, however I felt the writing fell a little flat.
Throughout the whole book, I found myself wanting more shown to me rather than told to me. This was drilled into us in my Creative Writing studies and is something I looked out for in books before I was even really aware I was looking for it. The language of The Last Orphans is very much ‘this happened, this happened, they were horrified by it all’ and because of that I struggled to really feel for the characters and their pain.
The character I did feel the most for was Kelly and her connection to her sister, Nat. Nat was a lot younger and was left behind with a few designated adults and the whole time Kelly was desperate to get back and make sure she was safe. Through this I was rooting for Kelly’s safety as I wanted to make sure she could go back to see how Nat was. Imagine my disappointment then, near the end of the book when the group get back to the younger kids and we don’t even get a reunion scene between Kelly and Nat. It was such a shame and I felt completely needed.
The end of the book did grab me attention. I was finding myself dragging my way through the book, although I really enjoyed the storyline, I didn’t get on with the writing, and then the ending really caught me. Without spoilers, there was a very unexpected turn up at the end and it now has me in the difficult place of deciding to continue reading for the storyline or leave it because I don’t enjoy the writing.