The Last One

The Last One Survival Is The Name Of The Game As The Line Blurs Between Reality TV And Reality Itself In Alexandra Oliva S Fast Paced Novel Of SuspenseShe Wanted An Adventure She Never Imagined It Would Go This FarIt Begins With A Reality TV Show Twelve Contestants Are Sent Into The Woods To Face Challenges That Will Test The Limits Of Their Endurance While They Are Out There, Something Terrible Happens But How Widespread Is The Destruction, And Has It Occurred Naturally Or Is It Human Made Cut Off From Society, The Contestants Know Nothing Of It When One Of Them A Young Woman The Show S Producers Call Zoo Stumbles Across The Devastation, She Can Imagine Only That It Is Part Of The GameAlone And Disoriented, Zoo Is Heavy With Doubt Regarding The Life And Husband She Left Behind, But She Refuses To Quit Staggering Countless Miles Across Unfamiliar Territory, Zoo Must Summon All Her Survival Skills And Learn New Ones As She GoesBut As Her Emotional And Physical Reserves Dwindle, She Grasps That The Real World Might Have Been Altered In Terrifying Ways And Her Ability To Parse The Charade Will Be Either Her Triumph Or Her UndoingSophisticated And Provocative, The Last One Is A Novel That Forces Us To Confront The Role That Media Plays In Our Perception Of What Is Real How Readily We Cast Our Judgments, How Easily We Are Manipulated

Alexandra Oliva grew up in a small town deep in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York A graduate of Yale University, she also earned an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School University and undertook intensive wilderness survival training while researching The Last One She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their brindled pup, Codex The Last One is her first novel.T

[PDF / Epub] ✓ The Last One ★ Alexandra Oliva –
  • Kindle Edition
  • 304 pages
  • The Last One
  • Alexandra Oliva
  • 13 September 2018

10 thoughts on “The Last One

  1. says:

    2 1 2 stars Here s the problem this is a good book, but I just didn t really like it that much.Comparisons between The Last One and Station Eleven are spot on, in my opinion So if you liked the latter, there s a good chance this book will suit your tastes It s another dense, wordy, literary post apocalyptic novel It s clever, and yet I found it emotionally distant.Oliva presents us with a great premise a reality TV show turned nightmare Twelve contestants are sent into the woods with zero knowledge of what to expect The show is about survival and is meant to test their limits, this they know, but no one knows just how far the producers are willing to go So when corpses and devastation show up, it s kind of assumed that this is just a twisted, staged part of the game.Yeah, it isn t.Unbeknownst to the contestants, a pandemic has broken out and shit has gotten really bad Communications have broken down and there s nobody out there to pull them from the game So this survival game turns into something very real Interspersed with Reddit like forums, The Last One is a book about the media, reality TV culture and the way our obsession with both impacts us in the modern and post modern worlds It s a fantastic idea.I also can t argue that Oliva spends a lot of time on her characters, especially Zoo They get description and development and oh so many words, but as with Station Eleven, I was never convinced that the main character s were worth reading about I appreciated the book in a kind of abstract way, but never engaged with it or cared where it was leading.For the most part, it s a very slow and dry survival story It alternates between the present where Zoo is experiencing a dying world and doesn t know it, and the start of the competition where the contestants are referred to by nicknames like Banker and Cheerleader Boy This way of treating the contestants as things and not people was interesting, but also didn t help me warm to them With only a few rare exceptions, I m just not the type of person to enjoy a story without caring for the characters I don t have to like them, but I have to be interested Oh, the world ended But what does it really matter if there s no one in this world I find interesting A smart book, with a lot of thought obviously gone into it Probably interesting to study than it is enjoyable to read.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube Store

  2. says:

    congratulations semifinalist in goodreads best science fiction category 2016 It s all just part of the game As long as I keep that in mind, I ll be fine, no matter how twisted things get.famous last words, man this book was so, so fun, and i had such a great time reading it, but the fact that some people i usually agree with did not means i gotta write one of those probably only interesting to me reviews to work out what i loved about it without giving too much away because spoiler police.the premise is shivery good twelve individuals are selected to be contestants on the premiere season of a survival themed reality series shrouded in secrecy, with a feature film sized budget, and a near simultaneous film to broadcast time, three episodes a week many of the specifics and details are withheld from the contestants, including the true name of the show itself they know only that it will require woodsy survival skills, strategy, endurance, and, it soon becomes clear, there will be an element of theatricality three weeks into filming, with episodes already airing, and while the remaining contestants are scattered apart from each other into individual challenges, there is a global pandemic and while the world doesn t end, shit is really, really bad, communications are compromised, and one of the contestants, nicknamed zoo, is on her own, off course and unreachable and making her way through an increasingly ruined wasteland she believes to be part of the show encountering corpses she assumes are props, following what she perceives to be clues, but in reality, she s just witnessing what the world looks like when it dies believing she is still being monitored by hidden cameras and drones, zoo doesn t comprehend the gravity of her situation she assumes she still has a safety net an out if she needs one that the crew won t let her die or get into any real danger, despite the very real and very dangerous situations in which she keeps finding herself not that she s planning on taking advantage of that safety net Nothing can be worse than what they ve already put me through I d never choose this, not again But I m here and I m a woman of my word and I promised myself I wouldn t s a fascinating situation, psychologically, considering the tricksy mindgames reality television plays even when there s not an apocalypse going on, where viewers are complicit in their own manipulation for entertainment required to accept a semblance of reality with the tacit understanding that the reality is largely fabricated, as one character observes before all the real bad begins Though he will not admit as much, the cameraman s presence gave him the courage to head off into the woods alone It s only pretend alone, he thinks.and as zoo herself acknowledges unfortunately and unknowingly after the real bad begins The world in which I now move is a deliberate human perversion of nature s beauty I cannot forget this I must accept this I have accepted s a premise so rich with opportunities for psychological exploration and social commentary, and oliva does an excellent job taking advantage of these opportunities the narrative switches back and forth in time between the show before the event setting up characters and challenges and motivations, and to zoo on her own, afterwards, in the changed world, maintaining her persona, adapting her behavior for the viewer who is no longer there, trusting her life to a set of rules no longer in place.that is some scary shit, man.quick personal fact that may or may not be interesting or relevant i have never watched survivor or any of those shows i have seen commercials for where people are tossed naked into the woods or made to eat unusual things or dropped from high buildings for cash prizes so, how well this book reflects or references those shows is lost on me but even though i ve never personally witnessed this kind of situation on the teevee, i understand the psychological strain inherent in this arrangement how the presence of the camera and the unseen audience affects behavior, constructs personas as armor, and how the editing of raw footage influences and manipulates people into caricatures of themselves within the book, characters are referenced by nicknames, reduced to roles based on their professions or skills banker, asian chick who later gets upgraded to carpenter chick , cheerleader boy, etc., which annoyed some readers, but i kind of liked it since with the reality game shows i do watch, like project runway and top chef, this is exactly what i do when there s too many of them to keep track of at first and you gotta differentiate them by their salient characteristics affected or not here, it drives the point home that these people theeeeese peeeeeople have been reduced to stereotypes, pigeonholed into roles to fulfill an audience s expectations and whatever doesn t fit into this role is edited away as though it never happened the contestant s real names are occasionally used when they form bonds, or in the outside world as fans of the show friends of the contestants gather in a chat room to dish, and it s a little confusing, but it s also kind of a fun game, being exposed to the personalities of these contestants in their day lives and contrasting them with their show lives it s a very strong debut there are a couple of weak parts and a bit of a three quarter mark slump, but it held my interest and there are some terrifically intense scenes that will stick with me.the quibbles are minor, and not uncommon authorial choices made to maximize dramatic impact that come across as improbable including my own personal bugbear involving communication, aka if this one character says this one wicked important thing they don t really have reason not to say and which is only not being said in order to prolong a dramatic situation syndrome although to be fair, i think it is handled better here than is typical there are some extenuating circumstances but still just say that thing, son there are some additional plausibility issues, where you re desperate for zoo s penny to drop and see what s really going on around her, particularly in the blue cabin, but it s also perfectly reasonable that she simply wouldn t be able to process the truth of what she s seeing considering the completely dissociative state brought on by the strain of hunger and dehydration and view spoiler her glasses breaking so everything is hazy hide spoiler

  3. says:

    3.5 stars Alexandra Oliva s debut novel deserves all the hype it s been getting The premise alone had me hooked A story where contestants are on a Survivor esque reality show cut off from society when something of catastrophic proportions affects the rest of the world causing even blurrier lines between what is real and what is reality tv.Sound interesting, original, or exciting It fits all of these descriptions And even leaves room for social commentary on reality TV much in the same way that the TV show Unreal does with the behind the scenes look at one of the biggest parts of current pop culture We get glimpses of the way editing can change the way a contestant is portrayed, the way an event plays out, or it can leave out the moments producers had to push someone to do something We see how producers create a character and give that character a storyline off what the cameras shoot and piece together what fits There s often an end game What these producers can t plan for is just what occurs when the world is seemingly ending and they can t reach all the contestants still out there.The show our contestants are on is In the Dark Basically the winner gets a million dollars It s about survival and is a new show with a ginormous budget It s to air three episodes a week A lot of details are kept under wraps from the contestants, but they are told there could be times they are on their own for long periods of time They say they are always watching..even from afar So as you can see..even when everything gets real bad, it s still pretty logical to not piece everything together.The story alternates between present day from the perspective of Zoo and about three weeks earlier from the reality show perspective meaning what the production team is piecing together from the footage The contestants all have clever nicknames such as Zoo, Banker, Tracker, Waitress, Black Doctor, Exorcist, etc Well maybe not so clever, but that is how the characters were referred to throughout In Zoo s chapters she would refer to people by their actual names leading to confusion in who was who for a while I put some of it together, though I still probably couldn t match up all the names to their nickname Some of the chapters also feature a blog post about the show with comments from viewers allowing for additional viewpoints on the whole situation.I love how Zoo s chapters became a sort of psychological examination with all the trauma she was experiencing both mentally and physically and her strong belief in knowing she was on a reality show leading her to refuse to believe what she was seeing and experiencing The way the line between reality tv and real life was so fuzzy, it was even unclear to the reader at times There is a lot to be appreciated about this one I think it had it s slow moments, and confusing ones, but it than made up for that One thing is clear. Alexandra Oliva has talent I am very excited to see what she writes next

  4. says:

    I usually overlook some things in an arc copy of a book that bugs me but I m really hoping that this one gets cleaned up just a bit because it s a full five star book if it does A reality TV show that will test the contestants than ever before They have to sign a disclaimer that basically the producers don t owe them nothing and that last one in the game wins Twelve contestants enter and the only way out is to say Ad tenebras dedi To the night I surrender Now for me, the beginning of this book is sort of confusing The contestants are described by race and that kinda made my teeth go on edge After the game starts they all develop slang nicknames.You have Tracker a survival expert Waitress the standard hot girl who was just recruited for the game for her looksRancher pretty much his name describes himAir Force military guy who omits the fact that he isn t the pilot the show thought him to be, he was delivering care packagesBlack Doctor a calm radiologistZoo a married animal lover who is on this quest before she and her husband attempt to have their first childCheerleader Boy in college and was really just looking for a way to spend the summer and hopefully pick up the prize moneyBiology teaches seventh grade scienceEngineer wants to learn spontaneity Banker feels like he is the guy that everyone wants their kid to grow up to be but secretly hates because of his jobConstruction girl Asian girl Shows that she knows how to do than anyone expectsand Exorcist nutjob who thinks he can perform exorcisms.I m hoping that the finished version has a short little bio of each character so that the reader can make sense of the story sooner than it happened for me Because this was some good stuff.You do have some gruesome stuff with having to feed themselves in the wilderness And some tension between the contestants The explanation most viewers will jump to is as common an assumption as maternal instinct female jealousy Waitress is younger, skinnier, and prettier, after all But Zoo doesn t care that Waitress is pretty, or skinny, or young All she cares about is that she s delaying their team She would be equally annoyed at a man doing the same.Once the game starts you realize that in the outside world something is going on People are getting sick and dying The contestants have no clue and after facing a few team challenges they are told that they are now on their own for a solo challenge.It s told from a retro look back at the game and real time with one contestant Zoo as she faces the challenge of being own her own and thinking that nothing is wrong and all the stuff she runs into is part of the game..with all it s props She does know not to trust anyone named the Governor cackles One of the problems does arise here for me also, Zoo uses the contestants real names They aren t mentioned in explanation of which character is which and I never did figure out some of them It still kept me turning pages as fast as my fingers would go though To gain viewers, because I have to admit, if I weren t here, if I weren t a contestant, I d watch this show I d soak in their vision of mangled familiarity, and I d love it.All in s a dang good book It gives you a glimpse of how the media can distort the public s empathy also For a debut book, this sucker is so worth reading Booksource Netgalley in exchange for review The only one of my friends that have tried this book is TL..she didn t like it and she picks out some good books There may be a chance that I totally read this one wrong I ve done that before.

  5. says:

    Well, that escalated quickly seems to be the theme of this book I had a blast reading this one it was disturbing in an in your face type of manner with no concern for the reader s feelings just as I like it I will say that I agree with most of the other reviews before mine if this had been cleaned up just a bit, it would have been a 5 star read for me, no questions asked This wasn t your typical YA dystopian novel there are relationships but in reality no romance is portrayed The content is adult than your typical teen story which made this a highly anticipated read for me The Last One felt like the love child of Survivor and The Walking Dead minus the zombies No one knows for sure what happened, small scale or large No one knows precisely what went wrong But before he dies, the producer will know this much Something went wrong After mulling this one over a bit, I think my favorite thing about this book is the way it is written Each chapter flips back and forth between the beginning of filming the reality show and present time The latter is narrated by a cast member named Zoo the former reads almost as though you are privy to a production script and schedule It has a really nice flow to it the style kept me on my toes and had my interest piqued through the entire story I truly did not want to put this one down The pacing was immaculate and the author revealed just enough at a time to make me want to read just one chapter.It took me awhile to get the characters straight, as there are a good number of them, and they go by their TV nickname and their given name alternately It was fun trying to pair up those names along the way as its not clear right off the bat who is who Even though there s not much of a mystery here as to the who and what, the idea I felt behind this story was the why We don t get many answers until halfway through the book, but at that point things start ramping up rather fast and we find out most of the clues to the puzzle from then on I don t want to delve into further plot details because duh spoilers, but trust me, you won t regret picking this one up if you re looking for an intense, severely entertaining survival story I could have read this in one sitting if life and adulting weren t a thing Many thanks to Alexandra Oliva, Ballantine Books, and NetGalley for providing my copy in exchange for an honest review I ll definitely be looking out for the author s next book Write quickly please

  6. says:

    ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.First of all, I want to give all the props in the world to Alexandra Oliva, because this is one of the best debut author novels I ve ever read I was so impressed by her fresh take on a survivor pandemic story in this heavily saturated market That s how they do it they blur the line between reality and nightmare They give me bad dreams, and then they make them come true The Last One is about a TV survival reality show that is airing right before a global pandemic happens The contestants are unaware, still thinking they are participating in the show in hopes of winning the one million dollar prize.The cast is made up of 12 people, with different color bandanas, that are reduced to mere stereotypes 1 Zoo, sky blue bandana female, main protagonist, loves animals, white, blonde, glasses.2 Tracker, red bandana male, survival expert, has a sick mother.3 Waitress, violet bandana female, very good looking, viewed as dumb.4 Rancher, black yellow bandana cowboy.5 Air Force, navy blue bandana male, military pilot.6 Black Doctor, mustard yellow bandana male, radiologist, calm 7 Cheerleader Boy, pink bandana college student, viewed as weak.8 Biology, orange bandana lesbian, 7th grade science teacher.9 Engineer, maroon brown bandana male, young, Chinese American, wants to learn.10 Asian Girl, neon yellow bandana very skilled in carpentry.11 Exorcist, lime green bandana male, red hair, performs exorcisms, viewed as crazy.12 Banker, black white bandana male, filler, Jewish, super nice.You do, eventually, find out their names in a very tricky way that is lightly laced throughout the book This ended up being one of my favorite parts of the story, and every time I would come across a name I would get giddy and have to write it in my notes so I could figure out all twelve upon completion view spoiler 1 Zoo Sam2 Tracker Cooper3 Waitress Heather4 Rancher Julio5 Air Force Ethan6 Black Doctor Tyler7 Cheerleader Boy Josh8 Biology Sofia9 Engineer Albert10 Asian Girl Amy Thank you so much, Stacy 11 Exorcist Randy12 Banker Elliot hide spoiler

  7. says:

    3.5 stars This book will be popular not just because of marketing but because it will appeal to different types of people You get a little bit of a lot of different things and not too much of any one thing It s an interesting commentary on everything from how the media shapes public perception to psychological unraveling in the face of severe trauma to subtle messages about choosing to eat organic food.What I wished there would have been of the dystopian apocalyptic factor It is pretty much in the background until the end The main focus was on how the first week of the reality show unfolded, t0ld in flashbacks Even if you haven t seen a survival type reality show, you pretty much already know exactly how it goes Alliances, team challenges, bickering, etc.I didn t really feel anything for any of the characters, unfortunately The crazy Exorcist dude was kind of funny, but an ass I kind of liked Tracker and Air Force guy and Engineer Biology and Carpenter Chick were okay, I guess, but we don t really get to know anyone I didn t really like Zoo I felt like she was in denial for way too long I know there were reasons to explain it, but still I felt frustrated and her actions didn t really evoke any feelings of sympathy from me I felt like a lot of boxes were checked off her atheist, modern woman, didn t want kids although she did angst about it enough so we are not sure what she really wants , didn t change her last name when she married it s the end of the world and she is in a grocery store and what does she seek out Quinoa and Kashi cereal She makes sure to only put a tiny bit of maple syrup on her food because extra calories sugar facepalm Maybe it was intentional to portray her that way The ending was unsatisfying Very I am still not sure how much time was supposed to go by during the whole thing It seemed like she was out in the woods for less than a month, but yet she had basically lost her mind Was she already a little mental before it all started I just wasn t sure.I did really like the young teen, Brennan I would like to see of the world after the epidemic I m rating up because I have to admit I was very interested despite feeling somewhat unsatisfied and it was a quick, easy read I may add later Not sure Overall, I would recommend it, and I think it will be very popular Original post I just won this in a GRs giveaway Yay However, the Station Eleven and The Passage references worry me since I DNF d both those books HAHA How did I miss that I must have entered before DNFing those Didn t I When did this contest start I don t even remember P P.s I didn t think this was anything like Station Eleven, to be honest But then again, I DNF d that one.

  8. says:

    I liked the premise but the book was just okay

  9. says:

    This was rough and definitely the biggest disappointment of my reading year I was really looking forward to this book I love the premise and was excited by the comparisons to Station Eleven, a book I loved immensely, but man did this ever fall flat for me The story is told from two perspectives, before and after The unnamed protagonist was a contestant in a reality tv show when a plague hit and is left alone but thinking that this is still all part of the show I have watched an awful lot of reality tv and the parts about the show were really enjoyable I like how the author plays with the tropes of the genre and how real that felt My problem was with the second story line following the protagonist who just does not realize that the show has ended and that the plague really really really is real The reader knows this from the beginning and my patience with her wore thin a long time before she caught up While there was some sort of explanation given for her idiocy sorry that still didn t work for me at all We spend so much time in her head that at around the 30% mark I just wanted to shake her and that wish never left me Everytime she sees something that should give away that the show has indeed ended, she just thinks wow, they really are spending an awful lot of money on special effects, but they cannot fool me I only finished the book because I wanted to know what happens to the child she finds on the way a child she treats so horribly because she thinks he s a camera man meant to stir up drama for the rating that I lost all remaining sympathy I had for the character Her self loathing tendencies only led to me nodding and agreeing and I am fairly sure that was not the reaction that was supposed to come.I think part of the reason is that I listened to the book on audio, so it took me a lot longer than if I had read it Also, it really drives home the fact that the protagonist is so much in her head there is a scene in the middle where she contemplates what to cook, in excrutiating detail, and then thinking back on memories the spices bring and her relationship with her husband, and and and while the hungry child is looking at her And I am fairly sure that wasn t meant to feel like forever So, yes I am disappointed, because I LOVE the premise and parts were really interesting I wish the story had been told broader and the other contestants would have been fleshed out because there is real potential for a story I would love.

  10. says:

    I haven t had a great read from Netgalley in months I m glad that I saw this on the most requested section and decided to give it a try One of the best decisions I ve made this 2016.If you re planning on reading this novel then you should avoid spoilers at all cost I read the short summary provided by the author on Goodreads and immediately read the novel It s only 304 pages, and I was really happy about this fact Unfortunately, after reading the whole novel, I m actually asking for I normally avoid lengthy novels because I m a busy with college, but you ll understand why I m asking for This novel is amazing.When I got to around 50%, I was already projecting my rating for the novel I always do this when I read, and I normally project ratings in random parts of the novel In this case, I was ready to give this novel 2 3 stars at most, 50% in The reason is that I didn t see anything special about it The plot is engaging, but it lacked the wow factor Fortunately the last 1 3 of the novel completely made up for the lack of wow factor I was looking for The characters are proficiently written, and I really liked the main character early on in the novel The supporting characters are diverse and fun to read about The novel consists of alternating chapters between early on the event, and the latter part I m not going to spoil anything, because it would surely ruin the whole novel Even a hint of spoilers would mess this novel up for you You need to read this with as little information as possible I liked how everything progressed It didn t seem like it was going to wrap up nicely, but the author managed to do it At one point you re probably assuming that this is going to happen, or this is not going to happen, but the author throws in a completely different situation and you ll be knocked off your seat The twists and turns in the novel The ending is both great and confusing at the same time The ending is very crucial when it comes to my final rating of any novel I don t care if the novel is 5 star material 99% in If the ending ruins the whole thing, a 5 star rating can go down to a 1 star rating It s great that the ending of this novel helped give it a boost from 3.5 to 4 stars I m still hoping for a sequel or a side story to be honest, but that might ruin the first book You ll understand everything if you ve read this amazing novel.4 5 stars Clearly not a perfect novel, but it s really entertaining and worth your time It s relatively short but it s going to make you ask for , even though there s never going to be another book because it s a standalone novel Thank you Netgalley for giving me an advance reader s copy in exchange for an honest review

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