The Last Laugh (The Initial Insult #2) by Mindy McGinnis #bookreview #YA #thriller #suspense

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 don’t usually post reviews on Fridays, but the second book in this duology released this week, and I didn’t want to wait a month to post it (the blog schedule is pretty full).

It’s not the first time I’ve mentioned this – McGinnis is an auto-buy author for me. Each of her books is vastly different, but all that I’ve read are bizarre, unpredictable, and will take you to places you never imagined.

This sequel picks up immediately after the events of The Initial Insult. Felicity Turnado never came home from the party the night before, and everyone is looking for her. Tess Montor, who murdered Felicity, is dealing with a severely infected arm after being clawed by her escaped panther and is still unsure of what happened to her parents after their disappearance seven years ago. Ribbit Usher is the star of a viral video after humiliating himself at the party the night before while intoxicated. Time is running out for him to follow through on the morbid promise he made to his mother many years ago.

It’s difficult to write this review without spoilers, but I’ll say what I can. McGinnis mentioned this series was inspired by Poe, and The Tell-Tale Heart strongly influenced this sequel. The story moves along quickly with surprises waiting to ambush you. Starting around the 80% mark, trust me when I say you won’t want to be interrupted until you’ve finished reading. Weird and perilous events occur at a rapid fire pace – not everyone survives. Flood gates are opened and long held secrets come surging out. You may utter expletives in shock. I certainly did.

An incredibly dysfunctional family (seriously, I can’t emphasize this enough), an escaped black panther, an orangatan who signs, maggots (you’ll need a strong stomach), revenge – all are present in this phenomenal sequel. If you haven’t ready any of this author’s books, you’re seriously depriving yourself. Correct that as soon as possible.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

21 thoughts on “The Last Laugh (The Initial Insult #2) by Mindy McGinnis #bookreview #YA #thriller #suspense

  1. Sophie @BewareOfTheReader

    Well you make it very tempting to read her books but I am usually not doing well with bizarre books so I might resist a little longer 😉


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