Tuesday, December 4, 2018

2019 Most Anticipated - Last Things

The next book in my 2019 Most Anticipated event is one that pairs music with the supernatural (which seems like a natural pairing to be honest).  Jacqueline West's Last Things immediately piqued my interest because I love books that feature music in some way and I love the paranormal genre.

This book has a young hot guitar player whose skills may not be the result of natural talent alone. This premise basically gave me goosebumps because who hasn't heard of the notion of selling your soul to the devil for your talents. It gives this story so much potential. 

The Goodreads synopsis for this novel will be enough to sell you on it and have you rushing to add it to your to be read list!
When strange things start happening to local music idol Anders Thorson, everyone blames his number-one-fan, Thea. But is she out to hurt him? Or protect him?

High school senior Anders Thorson is unusually gifted. His band, Last Things, is legendary in their northern Minnesota hometown. With guitar skills that would amaze even if he weren’t only eighteen, Anders is the focus of head-turning admiration. And Thea Malcom, a newcomer to the insular town, is one of his admirers. Thea seems to turn up everywhere Anders goes: gigs at the local coffeehouse, guitar lessons, even in the woods near Anders’s home. When strange things start happening to Anders—including the disappearance of his beloved cat, then his sort-of girlfriend, and, somehow, his musical talent—blame immediately falls on Thea. But is she trying to hurt him? Or save him? Can he trust a girl who doesn’t seem to know the difference between dreams and reality? And how much are they both willing to compromise to get what they want?  
I cannot wait to uncover what Thea knows and what she is really there for! Her part of the story intrigues me even more than Anders to be honest.

 Jacqueline took the some time to share a bit about Last Things and discusses why she thinks music and the paranormal are a natural fit together.

1 What gif do you feel best represents Last Things?

Ooh, probably this one:

But also—I hope—this one (it’s got some twists!):

2 If someone were to make a signature drink in honour of your book, what might be included?

This book is totally coffee-saturated. A bunch of it is set in a coffee house/concert venue called the Crow’s Nest, which is my fantasy ideal of what a coffee house should be. A signature drink for Last Things would have to include coffee, plus something a little weird and unexpected -- maybe a very dark chocolate mocha with clove or lavender thrown in, or a cappuccino with a shot of strong bourbon.

3 I love books that feature music. I also love paranormal books. Last Things, if I am correct, seems to blend elements of the two. What inspired you to combine music with the paranormal?

Well, I too love music and the paranormal/supernatural, so combining the two in my fiction was probably going to happen eventually!

Music has a lot of supernatural qualities of its own—it’s this invisible, extremely powerful thing that connects directly to our emotions, and it’s got deep ties to religion and spirituality. It can take us out of the ordinary world into something much more raw and real. And Last Things is my modern-day, Minnesotan, metal re-imagining of the legend of the guitarist who sells his soul to the devil—so I’ve got your supernatural music story right here!

4 Name a song you listed to for inspiration while writing this novel 

I usually can’t listen to music that has lyrics while I’m writing, but this book was a HUGE exception. I listened to a bunch of my favorite metal artists on a loop—In Flames, Trivium, Alaya, Mastodon, Chelsea Wolfe, Opeth. They’re so much a part of the book, they all get thanked in the acknowledgments.

5 If you could travel to anywhere, in any time period, when and where would you want travel?

Gah – so many places! I would love to watch Shakespeare onstage at the Globe Theatre in Renaissance London, playing the ghost in Hamlet. I would love to be in the audience to see Beethoven debut his Ninth Symphony in Vienna in 1824 (and then go out for fancy Viennese torte afterward).  I would love to hide in the Bronte parsonage on the Yorkshire moors in the 1840s and eavesdrop on Charlotte and Emily and Anne. But I would want to come back to our own era pretty quickly, because I really like modern dentistry. And indoor plumbing.

6 What 2019 release are you most anticipating?

I’ve been waiting to see what awesome thing Angie Thomas will do next ever since I read The Hate U Give, so I’m looking forward her second book, On the Come Up. Jeff Zentner’s stuff is always great, and I can’t wait to get my hands on Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee. I’m also keeping an eye out for an anthology called His Hideous Heart, because I’m a sucker for anything involving Edgar Allan Poe.

7 If not too spoilery, can you share the first line of Last Things?

I like the edges.

That first line is so teasingly short, I feel like I should give you the whole first paragraph:

I like the edges. Places where things end. Fade out. Disappear. Where two things eat away at each other until neither of them really exists anymore. Sharp edges. Frayed edges. Places that are more than one thing, or nothing. It’s more comfortable at the edge. No one really pays attention to you if that’s where you live, or stand, or eat your lunch. Most people don’t even notice that you’re watching them.                                            

I love  Jacqueline's thoughts that music is so powerful thing that resonates with people and that it creates a little magic of it's own and that is part of what makes it blend into a supernatural story so well. Think of all the music you love and how it can emotionally impact you. It's not hard to see where a story like this could be created from those emotions.

Last Things releases May 7, 2019 but you can pre-order it right now from any retailer (or snag it with those holiday gift cards).

You can find out more about  Jacqueline by visiting her website and you can learn more about her books on her publisher website.

Do you love books that feature musicians? What about paranormal elements? Let me know in the comments!

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to for the next book on my 2019 most anticipated list. 

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