The Last Present by Wendy Mass
Summary: When their friend Connor’s little sister Grace falls into a frozen state on her tenth birthday, best friends Leo and Amanda must go on a magical adventure to save her. After not speaking for a whole year, the two are able to travel back to each of her birthdays to stop the mysterious shock. Can they save Grace and discover the secrets behind their small town of Willow Falls along with the help of some old friends?
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed the first few books in the Willow Falls series, (11 Birthdays, Finally, and 13 Gifts) and I was so excited when I found out this book was coming out! It was fun to see that some of my favorite characters from the other books were in this one again, and that it was told from the point of view of Amanda, who I really enjoyed reading about in 11 Birthdays. The setting of Willow Falls was just as mysterious and interesting as it usually is, and I thought that it was really cool to read about Amanda and Leo going back in time to see Grace’s (and someone else’s) birthdays there! (It was also pretty cute to see some of the characters like Rory and David when they were younger:)) This book continued most of the story lines that were in the previous stories (like when the kids go to the premiere of the movie that was filmed in Finally,) and made sure we know what happened with them, but still made sure there was something for the characters to do, (so it wouldn’t all end abruptly at one moment.)
There were lots of familiar characters in this book, plus a couple new ones and they were really developed. Luckily, you also discovered what secrets some of them (mainly named Angelina;)) were hiding. Most of the story was told from the point of view of Amanda, with a short epilogue by Grace, and I found her to be a likable and interesting main character. It was super fun to read about her and Leo going back in time, and ending up looking completely different, and then there was this really unexpected moment, and um…yeah, I won’t spoil it:) Anyways, along with Leo who was pretty goofy and sweet they made a great pair of main characters that will keep you entertained throughout the whole story. And of course, Angelina (the mysterious lady who has magical powers and a duck birthmark, and makes an appearance in every book) showed up again, this time only at the end and beginning because she goes away for the middle of the story (cue dramatic music!) Moving on, Tara and Rory (the main characters in Finally and 13 Gifts) made lots of appearances in this book also, which was good since I really liked reading about them before. Although they made me laugh and I liked the parts of the story that included them, I wish they were featured a little more. Even though Grace is frozen for most of the time except a couple of chapters I thought I should mention some magical things happen with her and her brother Connor in the past and present of the book. (But that’s all I’m going to say because if I tell you about them I’ll give away so many spoilers.) Finally, other characters like Jake (he and Rory are so cute together:)), Rey (his phrases are pretty funny), Bucky (he was acting pretty strangely) and David (there’s this really sweet moment with Tara and him at the end when he gets back from visiting his dad:)) are in the book too!
Overall The Last Present was an awesome closing to a wonderful series that I give four and a half stars out of five!