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The Last Present by Wendy Mass
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The Last Present (edition 2013)

by Wendy Mass (Author)

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1526111,903 (3.94)None
Member:madalenerss
Title:The Last Present
Authors:Wendy Mass (Author)
Info:Scholastic (2013)
Collections:Your library
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The Last Present by Wendy Mass

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Hm. I love most of Mass's work. I loved the first Willow Falls story. This one seemed to work less well though. Maybe just because it had to reference the previous three so much, it was more like 1/2 a book - that is, 1/2 new story, 1/2 filling in backstory. And despite all that backstory, and despite having read the other three, I was *still* confused. But, the characters are adorable, and the situations they get into are funny and charming. So, here's my recommendation. Do read them, but read them all together, not spaced over years. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.

This is the fourth book in the Willow Falls series by Wendy Mass. I am reviewing all of them, so click the links if you haven't read my reviews of the first, second, and third books (links go to my blog). Also, read ahead at your own risk: there are some unavoidable spoilers from the previous books in the series.

This is a fun book because it circles back to Amanda and Leo! We get to see inside Amanda's head for the first time in three books, and it's kinda awesome. In The Last Present, David's best friend Connor's little sister Grace (whew, that's a mouthful) goes into a sudden coma. Leo and Amanda are given an assignment from Angelina: they have to go back in time to each of Grace's birthdays and make sure Angelina's protection over Grace is established. Something has been preventing Angelina from placing the usual blessing on Grace for the last ten years, and Amanda and Leo have a second chance to fix it.

I have to say, I was a bit disappointed that time didn't repeat itself the same way it did in the first book, where the same events happened over and over again. Granted, that would have made the book a little too similar to 11 Birthdays, and it would have shut out virtually any character developement/storylines involving the other main characters we've come to love, and all-in-all would have been a bad way to do this. But still, it does seem a bit out-of-sync with what we already knew about the Ellerby-Fitzpatrick curse.

Anyway, complaints about plot decisions aside I really like this book. It's basically everything readers were waiting for, wrapped up in one big package that literally had a bow on the front. In fact, if I had to make one (more) complaint about the book it would be that it's so happy it's cloying. I suppose that's what happens when you have a series focusing on three different characters, all of which have some sort of love interest at the end of the so-called series closer (due to popular demand, Mass is now writing a fifth book entitled Graceling that might be really good, or might . . . not be).

Honestly, this is a wonderful series closer. It reminds me of the last Septimus Heap book, Fyre - not because of plot similarities (because there are, like, none) but because both books wrap up the series with a bang, tying off all the threads I care about and even throwing in some extra plot points to make it extra special.

If you haven't read the other books in the series, don't read this one! Please, I beg of you, don't read this one. If you've read the other books, then I beg of you: read this book. But, of course, if you've read the other books I don't need to beg you to read this one. If you've made it this far, wild horses probably couldn't keep you away from this one. I know they couldn't have kept me away.

This concludes my four-week review of the Willow Falls series! Thank you so much for reading these. Now I'd appreciate a little bit of feedback: have my reviews made you more likely to read the series? Did you like the way I reviewed the entire series, or would you prefer that I stick to reviewing unrelated books? ( )
  Jaina_Rose | Mar 1, 2016 |
This book is bout when the 2 main characters have to find the boys little sister in another world and she's frozen. The 2 characters go on adventure and try to find her, I like tis book because it's different from what I usually read. Another reason why I like this book because they have to try and find out where the sister is and how did she get there in the first place. So that is why I like that book.
  bubblegum109 | Jan 14, 2014 |
For fans of 11 Birthdays, Finally and 13 Gifts comes the book that pulls the previous books together. Although it can be read on its own, The Last Present will make readers want to go find the previous books. Leo and Amanda have not been able to speak to each other for a year. They’ve communicated by blackboard and text messages. Now comes a request from the magical Angelina that they have to go back time to their young neighbor’s birthdays. Grace has fallen into a coma because the benedictions that Angelina normally gives babies has been foiled. As Amanda and Leo time travel back to previous birthday parties, they are released from Angelina’s spell on them and they can talk again. Not only that but they fall in love. It’s a great conclusion to a popular series. ( )
  brangwinn | Dec 20, 2013 |
The Last Present is the final book in the Willow Falls (or "birthday") series, realistic fiction with just the right amount of magic, courtesy of Angelina, the mysterious old woman with the duck-shaped birthmark. Angelina is seemingly the architect of all that occurs in Willow Falls, the town where nothing happens by coincidence and everything happens for a reason. Readers of the series will delight in revisiting their favorite characters - Leo, Amanda, Tara, Rory, David and all rest, as their stories intertwine and the story of Angelina is finally revealed. The fact that I never read the second book, Finally, was a bit of a hindrance to me. With many plot lines, twists and turns, this is a series best read in order. I'm sad to see it come to an end. It's been great fun!

http://shelf-employed.blogspot.com ( )
  shelf-employed | Sep 26, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0545310164, Hardcover)

Don't miss the latest entry in the incredible Willow Falls series by Wendy Mass!

Amanda and Leo have a history with birthdays. Now their friend's little sister, Grace, has fallen into a strange frozen state on her birthday, and Amanda and Leo must travel in time in order to fix whatever's wrong. As they journey back to each of Grace's birthdays, they start seeing all sorts of patterns . . . which raise all sorts of questions.

Amanda and Leo are going to have to unravel the threads of the past and present - and travel much further than they ever imagined - if they're going to save Grace. Luckily, a little birthday magic always helps in the charming and funny Willow Falls series by Wendy Mass, where everything is possible and there are no coincidences.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:05 -0400)

Children's birthdays are always strange in Willow Falls, but when Connor's little sister Grace falls into a frozen state on her tenth birthday, Amanda and Leo must travel back in time to find out what force prevented Angelina from casting the blessing that would have protected her.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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