Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Book Review: Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Title: Famous Last Words
Author: Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publishing Date: July 2nd 2013
Length: 288 pages
Keywords: YA, fiction, contemporary, romance, friendship, newspaper, internship
Source: Publisher

Sixteen-year-old Samantha D’Angelo has death on the brain. Her summer internship at the local newspaper has her writing obituaries instead of soaking up the sun at the beach. Between Shelby, Sam’s boy-crazy best friend; her boss Harry, a true-blue newspaper man; and AJ, her fellow “intern scum” (aka the cute drummer for a band called Love Gas), Sam has her hands full. But once she figures out what—or who—is the best part of her summer, will she mess it all up?

As Sam learns her way around both the news room and the real world, she starts to make some momentous realizations about politics, ethics, her family, romance, and most important—herself.

Summary by Goodreads 

FAMOUS LAST WORDS is set over the course of one summer, my favourite time for YA contemporaries to be set. Samantha D'Angelo is sixteen and interning at her local newspaper, The Herald Tribune. We get to follow Sam from week one on her journey from obituary writer to investigative journalist star. This is her chance to live her dream and write the story of her life even if she doesn't know it yet.
   Sam's story is much about personal development and growth. Writing obituaries proves to be not as bad as she thought. Her work at the local newspaper is teaching her to be more open and curious, also to stand up for herself.
   Obits are not just some random collections about boring facts that have to be said about people who passed way. They are each a new chance to tell stories about lives, about people who affected us. FAMOUS LAST WORDS is about learning to appreciate every person, their varied lifestyles and knowing that every person's life can be special in its very own way.

The busy newsroom buzz immediately gets into your bloodstream, injecting you with that curious and restless energy that seems to be appertain to journalists. Readers will be offered a fabulous chance to spend time in a newsroom, learn more about publishing and the dynamics of its internal and external relations. You'll also be supplied with a dubious case that should make a brand new sensational story for the newspaper, newsroom jargon included. Get ready for a meeting with the The Herald Tribune's team. Hard shell, yet always encouraging boss Harry, busy detective type Michael, ally Meg, snappy editor Bernie, always friendly intern AJ, and of course immediate crush material Tony.
   Unsurprisingly Sam's focus is all set on features intern Tony. But what about fellow intern AJ, the sweet and supportive guy at her side?
     I totally wouldn't mind a sequel to FAMOUS LAST WORDS to see where Sam's writing skills take her and what's her life like on the romantic side. Her love story was like one big research task and sadly it took her some time- too much- to see the important facts that would help her find happiness.

Jenniver Salvato Doktorski puts great emphasis on family and friendship. Sam's parents and her best friend Shelby are always there for her. Sticking together, caring about the other, worrying, setting boundaries, but also giving room for your own decisions and experiences.
Relationships in FAMOUS LAST WORDS might not be as complicated as in other current YA contemps, but it's a definite upbeat and feel-good read. 

1) of the best playlist ever
2) internships can be fun 
3) of its energetic newspaper vibe
4) armadillos explain everything
5) of strong family ties

4/5 **** FAMOUS LAST WORDS - Noteworthy YA news! A light-hearted and endearing story that should be next on your summer reading list.

The The Herald Tribune's newsroom is where you'll be wanting to spend your summer. See how stories are made, intrigues spun and what a sixteen-year-old intern is doing at the obit desk. There's so much motivation and energy buzzing through the newsroom that you can't but feel welcome to take a look behind the scenes of publishing. 
All together, newspaper development and romance parts, the story comes along a bit too predictable. Nevertheless it's still a lot of fun and a YA contemp I'd always recommend as a light and cute summer read.

* Check out Jennifer's debut, HOW MY SUMMER WENT UP IN FLAMES!

* Read an excerpt of FAMOUS LAST WORDS

* Jennifer arranged an interview for Sam and Rosie. Want to read it? Click here.

* Click here for the FAMOUS LAST WORDS playlist. 

* For further information about Jennifer Salvato Doktorski and her books visit

* Thanks to Jennifer Salvato Doktorski, Christy Ottaviano and Henry Holt for sending me a copy of FAMOUS LAST WORDS for review!


  1. I love when family is important and "there" in YA Novels. Often tey are cast aside for the sake of creating drama. Thankfully here.. not :)

  2. Sounds like a fun one! Glad you enjoyed it. =)

  3. This one sounds like a fun read. I like that you get to learn what it's like to work in a newsroom. Great review!

  4. Great review! I love summer reads like this. I always wanted to work in a newsroom.