**Disclaimer: I received a free early access copy of The Last Laugh by Mindy McGinnis through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this opportunity.
The Last Laugh by Mindy McGinnis is a young adult novel inspired by the stories of Edgar Allan Poe. It is the sequel to the first novel in the duology, The Initial Insult. It is set to be published on March 22nd, 2022. I rated it four stars on Goodreads.
Here’s the summary from Goodreads:
In the dark and stunning sequel to The Initial Insult, award-winning author Mindy McGinnis concludes this suspenseful YA duology as long-held family secrets finally come to light . . . changing Amontillado forevermore.
Tress Montor murdered Felicity Turnado—but she might not have to live with the guilt for long. With an infected arm held together by duct tape, the panther who clawed her open on the loose, and the whole town on the hunt for the lost homecoming queen, the odds are stacked against Tress. As her mind slides deeper into delirium, Tress is haunted by the growing sound of Felicity’s heartbeat pulsing from the “best friend” charm around her fevered neck.
Ribbit Usher has been a punchline his whole life—from his nickname to his latest turn as the unwitting star of a humiliating viral video. In the past he’s willingly played the fool, but now it’s time to fulfill his destiny. That means saving the girl, so that Felicity can take her place at his side and Ribbit can exact revenge on all who have done him wrong—which includes his cousin, Tress. Ribbit is held by a pact he made with his mother long ago, a pact that must be delivered upon in four days.
With time ticking down and an enemy she considers a friend lurking in the shadows, Tress’s grip on reality is failing. Can she keep both mind and body together long enough to finally find out what happened to her parents?
I read and reviewed the first book in this series in the past. You can find that review here. Because I had so much fun reading the first, I was super excited to read the second and was glad to be able to get the audiobook to listen to. There’s something really great about an audiobook, even though technically this was a synthesized voice for a narrator so it wasn’t the actual narrator for the final thing.
I won’t get too much into the specifics of the story since it is a sequel, but I will say that I had just as much fun listening to this story. It was well written, and I enjoyed all the different points of view we got. I really liked the way that Mindy McGinnis was able to layer in details to various Edgar Allan Poe stories as she wove together a rather original story.
The characters in this one continued to be really interesting. I liked the development of the characters, though there were moments that I really wondered what the heck the characters were doing and what their motivation was. It did all come together in the end, and I liked the way they interacted and why the story had so many twists and turns.
It’s a really fun series and I highly recommend that you check out the first and then read the second.