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The Last Laugh

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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 w 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?


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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 w 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?

30 review for The Last Laugh

  1. 4 out of 5

    karen

    fulfilling my 2022 vow to read more YA/finish series i have started and left unfinished in my review of The Initial Insult, i said, "before i read this i was excited to see there was already a follow-up planned, but now that i’ve finished it, i’m apprehensive." that was me being a polite little milquetoast. i wasn't apprehensive, friends. i was PISSED. the ending of The Initial Insult was perfect: unexpected, shocking, ballsy—not just "for a YA book," but for ANYTHING, and the fact that it wasn't fulfilling my 2022 vow to read more YA/finish series i have started and left unfinished in my review of The Initial Insult, i said, "before i read this i was excited to see there was already a follow-up planned, but now that i’ve finished it, i’m apprehensive." that was me being a polite little milquetoast. i wasn't apprehensive, friends. i was PISSED. the ending of The Initial Insult was perfect: unexpected, shocking, ballsy—not just "for a YA book," but for ANYTHING, and the fact that it wasn't going to stand as written—an upraised middle finger to happy endings everywhere...it felt like a betrayal of that boldness. i was leery that a second book might soften the blow of it, but i should have trusted in her enough by now, after reading four of her books; i should have understood that 'softening' just isn't her thing. i mean: You can only swallow so much of your own blood before it turns your gut black, tinting everything inside you darkly. she's not interested in going easy on her readers, and The Last Laugh is just as bold and brutal as the first—my god, the maggots. the spray paint. this is not an "everything's gonna be okay" palliation of what happened during our first trip to amontillado, ohio. everything's not going to be okay. Everything is going to be fucking awesome. so mea culpa. mea maxima culpa. i will not doubt her again. the poe references in The Initial Insult were laid on so thick it was almost obscenely referential, yet somehow she found more gold to mine for this one: the tell-tale heart-shaped best-friend necklaces. the orangutan doing her rue morgue thing. digging deep into poe's catalog to dust off the name "ada lalage." it's so saturated with winks and allusions that it would come off as silly if there weren't so many horrific things happening in the meat of the story, but no one's laughing at The Last Laugh. not for long, anyway. it is impossible to talk about this book without bringing The Initial Insult into the discussion, and BOTH of them are impossible to plot-talk without sounding unhinged. although i don't recommend reading this sequel without first reading The Initial Insult, mcginnis does such a great job reminding you of the first book's...events, one could get away with only reading this one. but don't. that first one's a whirlwind journey, equal parts brutal and bananas. this is a fierce, clawed-and-toothed follow-up and i loved every minute of it—layer upon layer upon explosive layer. tress is a master class in endurance and perseverance; the antiheroine you root for despite her/because of her flaws and simmering savagery. Sloppy work gets you killed around wild animals, and my good habits extend to when I'm the danger in the room. i loved this book, and i am deeply grateful to mindy mcginnis for giving me something so wonderfully distracting to read while i was flattened by food poisoning that it took my mind off how lousy i was feeling for a few too-short hours. i will never doubt her again. ********************************** review to come, but for now just WOW. come to my blog!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melissa (Extremely Behind)

    Fantastic conclusion to the duology. If you haven't read The Initial Insult, this review might spoil some things that happen in that book. However, it ended on a huge cliffhanger, so there isn't a whole lot to spoil, but you will definitely want to read that book before reading this one or you will be completely lost. These books are an homage to Edgar Allan Poe's stories. Whereas the first book was all about The Cask of Amontillado and The Black Cat with a few hints to The Masque of Red Death , Fantastic conclusion to the duology. If you haven't read The Initial Insult, this review might spoil some things that happen in that book. However, it ended on a huge cliffhanger, so there isn't a whole lot to spoil, but you will definitely want to read that book before reading this one or you will be completely lost. These books are an homage to Edgar Allan Poe's stories. Whereas the first book was all about The Cask of Amontillado and The Black Cat with a few hints to The Masque of Red Death , this one has shades of The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, The Fall of the House of Usher, and probably many others that I'm not as familiar with. There is homage paid in the names of the characters: Annabelle, Lee, Lucille, and even William Wilson. I found these references to be intriguing and fun to uncover. This novel takes place immediately after the events that end The Initial Insult. The entire town is looking for the missing Felicity Turnado. Tress knows where she is but she isn't telling. Tress was severely injured by the panther, but can't go to the hospital because that will mean revealing that the panther escaped. Ribbit Usher, who was the brunt of ridicule in the viral video from the party, knows that his cousin Tress is about to turn 18 and knows that if he lets that happen what it will mean for his family. What happens next is a wild and crazy ride, and many won't make it out alive. I loved how the author tied the threads together, how everything is answered about the past and the present and how they connect. When I say above that it's a wild and crazy ride, I mean that in the best, but the wildest possible way. This is a fast-paced book with surprises around every turn. I can't say more without spoiling things, so suffice it to say if you like YA, retellings, Poe, mysteries, secrets, and everything in between, then definitely pick up this incredibly well-written tale. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shannara

    I seriously enjoyed this one, which is saying a lot because I wasn’t super enthused about the first one. But this wraps things up quite nicely and there’s some major Springer shit going on along the way. Like I can’t even with parts of this book. It was so entertaining in a sick, omg what’s going on here, kind of way… I don’t even really like Tress. I think she’s kind of a pain in the ass, but she’s so good at it that you have to sort of admire that in her. 🤷🏻‍♀️ She’s a strong character even if I seriously enjoyed this one, which is saying a lot because I wasn’t super enthused about the first one. But this wraps things up quite nicely and there’s some major Springer shit going on along the way. Like I can’t even with parts of this book. It was so entertaining in a sick, omg what’s going on here, kind of way… I don’t even really like Tress. I think she’s kind of a pain in the ass, but she’s so good at it that you have to sort of admire that in her. 🤷🏻‍♀️ She’s a strong character even if she’s not likable all the time and she does have some redeeming qualities. But as far as the characters are concerned, there aren’t many that you can relate to, but (view spoiler)[ a lot who can apparently be related. (hide spoiler)] Lol… sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Anyway, they’re all interesting and definitely worth reading about. Shit obviously got crazy in the first book, but even though I wasn’t looking forward to this read, it grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. It was so intriguing and thrilling that I could hardly put it down!! It’s just one thing after another. Major jaw dropping moments here. In fact, I threw my kindle down on the bed at one point because I was so thrown over by this book. I can’t give anything away because just about everything that happens is essential to the plot and you have to find out sequentially or else shit just won’t make sense. But trust me when I say this book is awesome. I highly recommend this book, especially if you enjoyed the first one. Actually, even if you didn’t, you may still like this one, because I know I certainly do. And the first one just wasn’t my cup of tea. Thank you so much to NetGalley, Harpercollins Childrens Books, and Mindy McGinnis for the opportunity to read this for my honest and unbiased opinion!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dom

    Given how the first one ended, I’m QUITE curious to see where this one could go from there...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stay Fetters

    "Pain is nothing compared to betrayal." After finishing up The Initial Insult, this book taunted me. It pointed and laughed at me because I wanted to read it. I was willing to give it all up for this book. Mindy left us all hanging on by a thread and I was shocked at what she put us through. Then that cliffhanger she threw at us was immeasurable. Welcome back to Amontillado, Ohio! This picks up right where the Initial Insult left us. A panther was on the prowl, Ribbit is hungover and the world saw "Pain is nothing compared to betrayal." After finishing up The Initial Insult, this book taunted me. It pointed and laughed at me because I wanted to read it. I was willing to give it all up for this book. Mindy left us all hanging on by a thread and I was shocked at what she put us through. Then that cliffhanger she threw at us was immeasurable. Welcome back to Amontillado, Ohio! This picks up right where the Initial Insult left us. A panther was on the prowl, Ribbit is hungover and the world saw his creative gestures, Tress is hanging on by a roll of duct tape, and Felicity is chilling behind magic wall number one. If you think that sounds crazy, you don't know how much more insane this book was. Here we see how all this plays out in flames. Wow! I don't think I've said the "F" word so much in my life as I did while reading this book. I mean, my mind was blown wide open. Except there were no maggots in there. This is the prime example of how a retelling should be. I thought the first book was crazy and that there was nothing that could top that. Oh my goodness, I was so wrong. This one is over-the-top insane and disgusting as all hell. And man, oh man, did I love this! The Last Laugh was phenomenal. The Initial Insult duology was the best horror retelling made current that I have ever read. Mindy is one hell of a fantastic storyteller and I can't wait to see how she amazes us next. If I have to pick one author to take on horror classics, my money will always be on Mindy. If you love a good revenge story and love to be grossed out then this duology is for you!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    …can this be… a retelling of the tell tale heart?!? Or does it continue the cask of amontillado retelling? 🤔 I mean does it really matter?! If it’s Poe, I’m IN. Plus… LOOK. AT. THIS. COVER! Gorgeous & horrifying at the same time!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stacee

    Oh man. This story was batshit crazy and I was absolutely here for it. I loved staying with Tress’s POV. She’s got a lot going on and there are some scenes where she might be hallucinating, but that swerve into a possible unreliable narrator made it even better. Getting Ribbit’s side of the story was interesting. His mindset is different from what he shows and it was quite captivating. Plot wise, it was all over the place (see the batshit crazy comment) and it really worked. For me, it added a l Oh man. This story was batshit crazy and I was absolutely here for it. I loved staying with Tress’s POV. She’s got a lot going on and there are some scenes where she might be hallucinating, but that swerve into a possible unreliable narrator made it even better. Getting Ribbit’s side of the story was interesting. His mindset is different from what he shows and it was quite captivating. Plot wise, it was all over the place (see the batshit crazy comment) and it really worked. For me, it added a layer of intensity that this story really needed in order to play out the way it did. And I know I’m being vague, but I don’t want to ruin anything. Overall, this book really delivered and I’m so happy I waited to read them back to back. I can’t wait wait see what Mindy does next. **Huge thanks to the publisher for providing the arc free of charge**

  8. 5 out of 5

    h o l l i s

    Much like book one in this series, I don't quite know where I fall with this one. Strangely, in a time where memory is fleeting because time has no meaning, I remembered so much of that weird ass first instalment that picking this up without a refresher was easy. And I blitzed through it. Maybe I was just excited to be reading something after a week-long dry spell but I also definitely think that's purely the McGinnis factor. This is a series I definitely won't be recommending to anyone but I thi Much like book one in this series, I don't quite know where I fall with this one. Strangely, in a time where memory is fleeting because time has no meaning, I remembered so much of that weird ass first instalment that picking this up without a refresher was easy. And I blitzed through it. Maybe I was just excited to be reading something after a week-long dry spell but I also definitely think that's purely the McGinnis factor. This is a series I definitely won't be recommending to anyone but I think anyone who does pick it up will likely be fascinated, just like I was. This story is dark and brutal and strange and a few times you will want to yell at your iPad much like we yell at athletes on the screens of our tvs. Because how dare that character be so stupid to do (or not do..) a thing. But overall? I was hooked. But did I like anything that happened? Maybe one or two things. The problem, I think, beyond the darkness and the weirdness, is we learn so much so late in the game -- which is the same for the MC -- that you flounder, pulled along in the current of wtf and why, for just too long. Having said that, I'll never stop picking this author up because whether it's a win or a lose or a whoevenknows, I am fascinated not only by the way she tells stories but of what kinds of stories she chooses to tell. --- This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.

  9. 4 out of 5

    AziaMinor

    Overall Rating : A- "Now, and forevermore." I've decided that Mindy McGinnis should only write stand-a-lones because my heart can only handle one sitting of her books. I literally had to put the book down multiple times because I was so afraid of what was going to happen next. Truly insane and would recommend this to anyone wanting a book where everybody - and I do mean everybody - is a horrible piece of sh*t in a town where your name means everything. Overall Rating : A- "Now, and forevermore." I've decided that Mindy McGinnis should only write stand-a-lones because my heart can only handle one sitting of her books. I literally had to put the book down multiple times because I was so afraid of what was going to happen next. Truly insane and would recommend this to anyone wanting a book where everybody - and I do mean everybody - is a horrible piece of sh*t in a town where your name means everything.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Marie

    SHEESH. Okay so if the first book leaned heavily on Cask of Amontillado and Masque of the Red Death (spoiler: it did), this one is very much Tell-Tale Heart and Fall of the House of Usher. AND I FARKING LOVE IT. Of course there are PLENTY of nods to other characters/stories across both books: the Black Cat, Murders in the Rue Morgue, Pit and the Pendulum, Annabel Lee (and Lenore, duh), and onnnnn. Mindy, you're a mad genius and I love you. SHEESH. Okay so if the first book leaned heavily on Cask of Amontillado and Masque of the Red Death (spoiler: it did), this one is very much Tell-Tale Heart and Fall of the House of Usher. AND I FARKING LOVE IT. Of course there are PLENTY of nods to other characters/stories across both books: the Black Cat, Murders in the Rue Morgue, Pit and the Pendulum, Annabel Lee (and Lenore, duh), and onnnnn. Mindy, you're a mad genius and I love you.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    A bat-shit crazy and over-the-top ending to the insane story that started in The Initial Insult. A bat-shit crazy and over-the-top ending to the insane story that started in The Initial Insult.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gracie, dog enthusiast

    4.5 stars, rounded up holy cow this was dark. mindy mcginnis is so gifted at exploring the darkest parts of people the characters were so well-written that I felt like I knew everyone. and I hated them all. everyone was so messed up and unapologetic and operating on their own hateful agenda. everyone was just nasty. you find out pretty early in the last laugh who killed tress's parents, but the motives come out as you go along. I thought the story was well paced. some of the big reveals didn't sho 4.5 stars, rounded up holy cow this was dark. mindy mcginnis is so gifted at exploring the darkest parts of people the characters were so well-written that I felt like I knew everyone. and I hated them all. everyone was so messed up and unapologetic and operating on their own hateful agenda. everyone was just nasty. you find out pretty early in the last laugh who killed tress's parents, but the motives come out as you go along. I thought the story was well paced. some of the big reveals didn't shock me as much as they were supposed to since the entire book was so batshit crazy that nothing could be surprising lol overall: I'm glad I don't live in amontillado. the initial insult and the last laugh will leave you feeling icky, but they are definitely worth reading if you're looking for a darker ya read! thank you to harpercollins and netgalley for the digital arc!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    I’ve waited a long time to get The Last Laugh. (Maniacal laughter ensues.) The book, I mean. I’ve been waiting (somewhat impatiently) for the horrific conclusion to Mindy McGinnis’s The Initial Insult and I’m thankful my wait finally came to an end! I won’t tell you much about this since it could spoil the first book, if you haven’t read that one yet. I’ll only say that the mystery of Tress’s missing parents continues as more dark, chaotic drama goes down. While I wasn’t as high on the Edgar All I’ve waited a long time to get The Last Laugh. (Maniacal laughter ensues.) The book, I mean. I’ve been waiting (somewhat impatiently) for the horrific conclusion to Mindy McGinnis’s The Initial Insult and I’m thankful my wait finally came to an end! I won’t tell you much about this since it could spoil the first book, if you haven’t read that one yet. I’ll only say that the mystery of Tress’s missing parents continues as more dark, chaotic drama goes down. While I wasn’t as high on the Edgar Allan Poe nods in this one, they are there, and I was especially excited to see a little bit of The Tell-Tale Heart woven in. McGinnis managed to open some new doors in the sequel and she resolved them all in a satisfactory way. I’ll admit that after waiting a year to find out the truth, I had wanted a bit more bang from the explanation, but it was still logical and well-written, so I cannot complain much. I’d like to reread this duology back-to-back once I have a physical copy of the second book in my hands. It’s a highly engrossing tale about horrible people doing horrible things while Poe lingers dimly in the background. What’s not to love about that?!?! I am immensely grateful to Harper Audio, Katherine Tegen Books, & NetGalley for my audio review copy. All opinions are my own. The Last Laugh will be out in March 2022.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Marie

    4.5 stars. This duology is so much fun! I can't wait for everyone to read this conclusion when it comes out in 2022. This is an intense and terse followup that never lets up on the suspense and the tension. The stakes are death and that makes this a much more intense and terrifying than your typical YA horror novel. Review to come. 4.5 stars. This duology is so much fun! I can't wait for everyone to read this conclusion when it comes out in 2022. This is an intense and terse followup that never lets up on the suspense and the tension. The stakes are death and that makes this a much more intense and terrifying than your typical YA horror novel. Review to come.

  15. 5 out of 5

    *•.¸♡ ᒪᗴᗩᕼ ♡¸.•*

    4⭐ ᑎᗩᖇᖇᗩTIOᑎ = 😁 (ᐯᙓᖇY ᘜOOᗪ) ᑎᗩᖇᖇᗩTᙓᗪ ᙖY 🎙️ᒪISᗩ ᖴᒪᗩᑎᗩᘜᗩᑎ, ᙏᗩTT ᑭITTᙓᑎᘜᙓᖇ & ᙖᖇITTᗩᑎY ᑭᖇᙓSSᒪᙓY TᖇY TᕼIS Iᖴ YOᙀ ᗩᖇᙓ Iᑎ Tᕼᙓ ᙏOOᗪ ᖴOᖇ ᗩ... YA Mystery/Thriller With a splatter of horror Small-town drama Retelling of The Cask of Amontillado POV from an animal…which I think is an Orangutan There are three POVs in this story…one is Tress, one is her cousin, Ribbit (yeah, I think that’s his real name) and the third is Rue (not sure of the spelling) and I think she/he is an orangutan…but for most of the book 4⭐ ᑎᗩᖇᖇᗩTIOᑎ = 😁 (ᐯᙓᖇY ᘜOOᗪ) ᑎᗩᖇᖇᗩTᙓᗪ ᙖY 🎙️ᒪISᗩ ᖴᒪᗩᑎᗩᘜᗩᑎ, ᙏᗩTT ᑭITTᙓᑎᘜᙓᖇ & ᙖᖇITTᗩᑎY ᑭᖇᙓSSᒪᙓY TᖇY TᕼIS Iᖴ YOᙀ ᗩᖇᙓ Iᑎ Tᕼᙓ ᙏOOᗪ ᖴOᖇ ᗩ... YA Mystery/Thriller With a splatter of horror Small-town drama Retelling of The Cask of Amontillado POV from an animal…which I think is an Orangutan There are three POVs in this story…one is Tress, one is her cousin, Ribbit (yeah, I think that’s his real name) and the third is Rue (not sure of the spelling) and I think she/he is an orangutan…but for most of the book I thought it was the panther that’s on the loose since book #1. This is probably because the first book has the panther’s point of view. So, yeah, a little confused with that. Other than that little bit of crazy…the rest of the book is pretty boring…haha, just kidding, it’s a complete mind-fuck. A dark, gritty, small-town drama and a menagerie of wild animals are just a few of the aspects you’ll find within this book. Oh…and a tidy little ending. TOTᗩᒪ SᙅOᖇᙓ 7.53/❿ OᑭᙓᑎIᑎᘜ → 7 ᙅᕼᗩᖇᗩᙅTᙓᖇS → 7 ᑭᒪOT/ᙖᙓᒪIᙓᐯᗩᙖIᒪITY → 7.5 ᗩTᙏOSᑭᕼᙓᖇᙓ/TOᑎᙓ → 7.5 ᙎᖇITIᑎᘜ STYᒪᙓ → 8 ᙓᑎᗪIᑎᘜ → 8 Oᐯᙓᖇᗩᒪᒪ ᙓᑎᒍOYᙏᙓᑎT → 7.7

  16. 5 out of 5

    Katie T

    4.5 rounding up

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Gail

    The trailblazers and pathfinders have been distilled down to a drug dealer and a loser, one high and the other a national joke, standing by as the last ancestral home crumbles. And soon, there will only be one. Hell. Yes. This sequel was the opposite of a sophomore slump. Sophomore slam-dunk? Something along those lines. Anyway, this was fantastic and I will write more words about how great it is when my brain finishes updating.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    The first book in the series is a retelling of the Cask of Amontillado and it sucked me right in, man. I need this sequel asap.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Khristina Chess

    The Last Laugh is the second book in a duology, and I read both books back-to-back. The second novel picks up immediately after the first one, substituting a new character POV, Ribbit, for Felicity. In this tight-paced book, everyone is looking for Felicity, who went missing after the party in book one. Tress is suffering from an infection following her encounter with the panther, and there are so many twists and turns in the plot. I loved this book better than the first one, but they definitely The Last Laugh is the second book in a duology, and I read both books back-to-back. The second novel picks up immediately after the first one, substituting a new character POV, Ribbit, for Felicity. In this tight-paced book, everyone is looking for Felicity, who went missing after the party in book one. Tress is suffering from an infection following her encounter with the panther, and there are so many twists and turns in the plot. I loved this book better than the first one, but they definitely go together. The cover is awesome. Mindy McGinnis is one of my favorite YA authors. Her work is unique and always worth the investment.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sheena

    i listened to this all day through my work day and somehow finished it in one day! i think i liked this but i'm glad to have finished this series, i feel complete now. not my favorite book of McGinnis but this cover is cool. also i feel like this book tried to be really edgy and it was kind of.. lame lol but other than that i liked this, everyone is crazy. i listened to this all day through my work day and somehow finished it in one day! i think i liked this but i'm glad to have finished this series, i feel complete now. not my favorite book of McGinnis but this cover is cool. also i feel like this book tried to be really edgy and it was kind of.. lame lol but other than that i liked this, everyone is crazy.

  21. 4 out of 5

    areez

    better than i thought it would be

  22. 5 out of 5

    K

    If you are looking for a light read, this is not it. But if you read The Initial Insult, you already know what you're getting into, and #TheLastLaugh delivers. #MindyMcGinnis is one of my favorite modern YA authors, but fans of hers know that she deals with heavy, heavy topics--I think, in an appropriate way. There aren't many light-hearted pages in this book, but how could there be when the first book in the duology left off where it did?! I'm not sure I could write much here that wouldn't be a If you are looking for a light read, this is not it. But if you read The Initial Insult, you already know what you're getting into, and #TheLastLaugh delivers. #MindyMcGinnis is one of my favorite modern YA authors, but fans of hers know that she deals with heavy, heavy topics--I think, in an appropriate way. There aren't many light-hearted pages in this book, but how could there be when the first book in the duology left off where it did?! I'm not sure I could write much here that wouldn't be a spoiler, but the story continues where it left off, flipping between Tress, who murdered her former friend Felicity, and Ribbit, who is reveling in his newfound fame after the livestream at the party--spliced in with thoughts by Rue, the orangutang. Tress is dealing with the physical aftermath of her injuries from the panther as well as the emotional guilt of what she did all the while Ribbit is scheming. Again, I can't stress enough that there are some gross and difficult moments in this book, so I may only recommend it to older teen audiences. But it is a wild, engaging horror/mystery that I could not put down. Many thanks to #NetGalley and the publishers for this advanced copy.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Krys

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I got to listen to this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. *** The Last Laugh by Mindy McGinnis finishes concludes what was started in The Initial Insult. This book is an ode to Edgar Allan Poe and a story about secrets and the lengths some will go to, to unravel them and others will go to keep them hidden. Picking up not long or far from where book one ended Tress was badly injured from the panther and the longer she takes to seek medical attention th Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I got to listen to this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. *** The Last Laugh by Mindy McGinnis finishes concludes what was started in The Initial Insult. This book is an ode to Edgar Allan Poe and a story about secrets and the lengths some will go to, to unravel them and others will go to keep them hidden. Picking up not long or far from where book one ended Tress was badly injured from the panther and the longer she takes to seek medical attention the more Tress slips. What is this beating she keeps hearing? (Me screaming inside about the details and love of Edgar Allan Poe’s works Mindy McGinnis used inside this story.) With Felicity out of the picture you now have Ribbit Usher stepping up for the dual narrative and man, let me tell you. I was not prepared for how hard hitting this story was going to get. Like I was on the edge of my seat and horrified throughout book one but I straight up almost threw my headphones into the wall several points in this book. There are some incredibly violent, awful things that happen in this book and I was both completely traumatized and in awe with it all. There isn’t much that can be said that won’t give anything away but honestly, I enjoyed this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    julia ☆ [owls reads]

    McGinnis sure did have the last laugh. I thought the first book was a trip, but this sequel is just... there aren't words. The Last Laugh picked up where The Initial Insult left off and, with the substitution of Felicity's perspective for Ribbit's, kind of went off the rails in a really good and messy way. The writing was still very easy to get into to the point I was able to read this in one sitting without getting bored. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book with the way the other one ended McGinnis sure did have the last laugh. I thought the first book was a trip, but this sequel is just... there aren't words. The Last Laugh picked up where The Initial Insult left off and, with the substitution of Felicity's perspective for Ribbit's, kind of went off the rails in a really good and messy way. The writing was still very easy to get into to the point I was able to read this in one sitting without getting bored. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book with the way the other one ended and... even if I did have expectations? I think this book would have blown them all away. The plot here was a mess and not at all grounded in reality, but McGinnis executed that in a way that was so engrossing and intriguing that I had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen. There were quite a few twists along the way: some of which I expected and others that were so dramatic and utterly nuts that they caught me by total surprise. It was like every chapter had something to add more tension and more craziness to the plot and that made this a great reading experience! Still didn't care one bit about the animal perspective chapters. The ending was a little bit of what I had in mind for this story and I really really enjoyed it. I think it fit really well with the overall tone of the duology without taking away from the characters' flaws and their abrasive personalities. Overall, this was pretty fun!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jenni

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was a great conclusion to the duology. If you haven't read The Initial Insult, you'll want to read that book first. These books have so many parts of Edgar Allan Poe's stories. The first book played on the ideas found in The Cask of Amontillado (tricking someone for revenge and then leaving them to be bricked into a wall). This one is heavy on The Tell-Tale Heart and Fall of the House of Usher. Even the character names are familiar from Poe's different stories and poems. Annabelle, Lenore, a This was a great conclusion to the duology. If you haven't read The Initial Insult, you'll want to read that book first. These books have so many parts of Edgar Allan Poe's stories. The first book played on the ideas found in The Cask of Amontillado (tricking someone for revenge and then leaving them to be bricked into a wall). This one is heavy on The Tell-Tale Heart and Fall of the House of Usher. Even the character names are familiar from Poe's different stories and poems. Annabelle, Lenore, and even Felicity Turnado (who name is based on the character Fortunado from Poe's The Cask of Amontillado). It's fun for Poe fans to recognize these subtle hints in the story. This book takes place right after the end The Initial Insult (Book 1). The entire town is looking for Felicity Turnado, who has been missing since the party. Tress knows where Felicity is, but she doesn't want to admit it to anyone because she doesn't want to be labeled a murderer. And, what if they find her before Felicity actually dies? Instead, Tress helps in the search parties for Felicity, knowing that they're not going to find her. The panther from Tress's grandfather's roadside animal attraction is still on the loose and she knows she can't report this fact without causing a lot of trouble at home (the panther had escaped its enclosure prior to the party in the last book). The panther took a swipe at her arm, which is now starting to get infected. Tress knows she can't go to a doctor for treatment without folks asking too many questions. It's just one big mess. A great book that will keep you reading until the very end. .

  26. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Schultz

    This is my second Mindy McGinnis. I guess I just was not in the right mood for this one ~ as this didn’t work for me. 🤔 Want to thank NetGalley and Harper Audio for this Voice Galley ~ a voice galley is one in which the voice has been synthesized and therefore not the final voice in the audiobook. This file has been made available to me before publication in an early form for an honest professional review. Publishing Release Date scheduled for March 22, 2022 This is my second Mindy McGinnis. I guess I just was not in the right mood for this one ~ as this didn’t work for me. 🤔 Want to thank NetGalley and Harper Audio for this Voice Galley ~ a voice galley is one in which the voice has been synthesized and therefore not the final voice in the audiobook. This file has been made available to me before publication in an early form for an honest professional review. Publishing Release Date scheduled for March 22, 2022

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shay H.

    Just as good if not better than the first! I love, love, love this book! I couldn't put it down when I had the time to read it. The first book was amazing but this was amazing as well. I love the two books, McGinnis kills it with the retelling of one my favorite Poe stories. It is so readable and so hard to put down. She definitely took a page out Poe's book and made it her own wonderful addicting story. If you are a fan of Poe, these two books are a must read!!! Just as good if not better than the first! I love, love, love this book! I couldn't put it down when I had the time to read it. The first book was amazing but this was amazing as well. I love the two books, McGinnis kills it with the retelling of one my favorite Poe stories. It is so readable and so hard to put down. She definitely took a page out Poe's book and made it her own wonderful addicting story. If you are a fan of Poe, these two books are a must read!!!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline

    It pains me to give this book anything less than 4 stars, because quite honestly, it was one of my most anticipated sequels of the year. The Initial Insult left a really huge impact on me, and I found myself thinking about it a ton over the past few months. This book, however, was just a mess. I think the problem is... we already know too much from the first book? There wasn't a ton left to discover in this finale, and I felt a gaping hole where the Panther's perspective used to be (this is a se It pains me to give this book anything less than 4 stars, because quite honestly, it was one of my most anticipated sequels of the year. The Initial Insult left a really huge impact on me, and I found myself thinking about it a ton over the past few months. This book, however, was just a mess. I think the problem is... we already know too much from the first book? There wasn't a ton left to discover in this finale, and I felt a gaping hole where the Panther's perspective used to be (this is a sentence I never thought I would say). I still appreciate how dark McGinnis is willing to go with her books, and how they border on being TOO weird without actually being too weird for me, but I don't recommend this. I recommend the first book, and I genuinely believe it should have been a standalone novel.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Larissa

    More like 3.5 stars. I liked the first book more and think it would have been more impactful as a standalone. Still, this was a solid ending to the duology and wow McGinnis really can do weird/creepy/gory like no other. Her writing is, as usual, gritty and visceral. McGinnis is truly one of my auto-buy authors, and I hope she branches into adult fiction. The Last Laugh was good but not as amazing as I've come to expect from McGinnis. The Female of the Species remains my favourite book of hers an More like 3.5 stars. I liked the first book more and think it would have been more impactful as a standalone. Still, this was a solid ending to the duology and wow McGinnis really can do weird/creepy/gory like no other. Her writing is, as usual, gritty and visceral. McGinnis is truly one of my auto-buy authors, and I hope she branches into adult fiction. The Last Laugh was good but not as amazing as I've come to expect from McGinnis. The Female of the Species remains my favourite book of hers and I hope that her next project reaches that level for me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gina Adams

    Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an early copy of one of my most anticipated books of 2022!! Brothers.... what the shit was this book and this duology!!!! I've been telling people this recently but The Initial Insult is the kind of story that I eat up (but gotta do it on an empty stomach or I'll vom) and am obsessed with but would likely not actively RECOMMEND to anyone just because it is so extremely fucked up...... and I mean, yes, The Initial Insult still holds that place because Tress Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an early copy of one of my most anticipated books of 2022!! Brothers.... what the shit was this book and this duology!!!! I've been telling people this recently but The Initial Insult is the kind of story that I eat up (but gotta do it on an empty stomach or I'll vom) and am obsessed with but would likely not actively RECOMMEND to anyone just because it is so extremely fucked up...... and I mean, yes, The Initial Insult still holds that place because Tress literally acts on her plan to torture her ex-best friend into a confession by paving her into a furnace brick by brick. Like my girl is mentally CRACKED from basically the get-go and it's CRAZYYYY. But The Last Laugh????? Honey... let's just say maggots end up inside of someone's body part and that's nowhere NEAR the worst part of this story. I had a perpetual stomachache throughout this whole book. I guess if I were to weigh everything out, The Initial Insult has more shock value, but trying to see Tress and her cousin Ribbit recover from the events of that story in The Last Laugh is just pretty gobsmacking. They behave like no teenagers I've EVER seen before... It's like Riverdale but rated R, or whatever rating is even beyond that. Tress is literally hanging on by threads, Ribbit is descending into madness, and I can't even tell you why either of those things are happening without giving away the ending of the first book. If you are a fan of character-driven stories, I'd say give this duology a try, but only if you are not sensitive to basically anything at all, but especially body horror. These characters are literally deranged but Mindy McGinnis has done such a good job of laying their motives out for us to see and potentially pity... or hate them in spite of knowing why they do what they do. There's deep family secrets that come to light in this book, taking me off guard completely. You don't really know who you're rooting for, or what you're rooting for to happen. When you find out certain peoples' fates, you don't know whether to be happy or sad. It's so realistically human even though it's so outlandish, and it's just a white trash soap opera but way more violent. The theme of class division isn't as strong in this story, and instead it focuses a little more on remorse, or the lack of, and just plain survival, whether that means learning to adapt to the way people treat you, or becoming above the treatment of other people entirely. The ending of this book was nowhere near what I expected from an author like this and in a story like this, but I thought it was really good. The last lines, especially. I often say authors can't end series well, but I think duologies are excluded from that. Probably because this was initially just one long book at one point lol. I just loved this duology, although love totally feels like the wrong word... I couldn't look away from book 1 like a car crash, and I needed book 2 to let me know what happened after the wreckage got cleared away. Mindy McGinnis KEEPS dropping bangers and I can't wait to see what's next from her. I think this would do AMAZING as a mini-series on TV or something, too.

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