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Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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The Murder Subplot Didn't Work

The Last Time I Was Me - Cathy Lamb

Yeah, I know you are like well this looks like a good book, well it was except for a whole murder subplot that put it in a different category in my mind. It also at times didn't feel realistic with what I would imagine would happen in real life with regards to Jeanne's trial for assault of her ex boyfriend. I think I was highly amused by certain parts of the book and at times thought that Lamb had some bad messaging in here. 


"The Last Time I Was Me" follows Jeanne Stewart who packs up her life in Chicago. She has just blown up her career by giving a talk telling the audience that their lives are meaningless she travels west towards the ocean. She has it in her head maybe she is ready to end things, but she stops in at The Opera Man's Cafe in Weltana, Oregon and ends up staying there for days drinking and eating pancakes. 

Lamb rolls out Stewart's story slowly. I liked Jeanne a lot, though at times I found her selfish. You read about the fact that she had something horrible happen to her which turned off any thoughts of marriage or children. That her mother was the one light in her life and when she died, things got dimmer. But, I didn't like how Jeanne avoided her brother, his family for years due to her loss. I can't imagine doing that. We also see Jeanne dealing with the ramifications of assaulting her ex-boyfriend (Slick Dick as she calls him) and the realization that he was never the love of her life, but she kept seeing him because it was a way to pass the time.


What was intriguing in this book is that Jeanne is going to anger management training for assaulting her ex and through that she meets a lot of other misfits. And we even get a love story in this one with Jeanne opening herself up to something new. 


Jeanne deciding that Weltana is a good place to stay and buying a home that she plans to fix up brings her into contact with some migrant workers that live in the area who are being taken advantage of by the local slumlord who has the workers living in really bad conditions and abuses them in other ways. I don't know how realistic it really is that no one would have reported the guy or that so many in the town would have just watched from afar as it all went on. 


The other characters all had quirks. If you have read a Lamb novel before it's a given. So I just rolled with it. I thought Jeanne's romance with the Governor was realistic, but wanted more of it though. It seemed at times that it wasn't that developed. 


The writing was good though at times I had a hard time with it. For example, we find out early on there's a murder that Jeanne is involved in and even though I disliked the character and what they did, the whole thing didn't sit well with me. Lamb writing it though that you should be okay with it and trying to make it funny felt a bit off. And the civil trial that Jeanne had to deal with I thought was funny, but once again was highly unrealistic on how a jury would find things in the end. The flow was good though at one point I was wondering how many things were going to get thrown at Jeanne in this one. 

The ending I thought was pretty sweet. Jeanne gets a HEA and she even steps up to be more involved in her brother's life.