Famous Last Words
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Famous Last Words

Jennifer Salvato Doktorski, Christine Barcellona

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 (A.K.A. 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 newsroom and the real world, she starts to make some momentous realizations about politics, ethics, her family, romance, and most important - herself.


This extremely enjoyable story introduces us to 16-year-old Sam’s summer internship at the local newspaper. Her chief duty is compiling and writing obituaries and even though she anticipated more glamorous tasks she learns that writing about dead people is actually more about living and life stories than she realised. At this old school newspaper headed by crusty journalists who are a dying (no pun intended!) breed, Sam has to find her way, learn to fit in and also make her mark.

She is a very likeable girl who is mostly comfortable in her own skin even if at times she questions herself and her friends. Sam’s coming of age summer sees her dazzled by the handsome cad at work while nearly oblivious to a possible romance right under her nose. Smart and funny, warm and engaging, Famous Last Words is realistically written YA fiction for ages 12 and up.

Alexa Dretzke is a Children’s & YA Book Specialist at Readings Hawthorn.

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