One Last Word

Avon. Apr. 2024. 288p. ISBN 9780063216099. pap. $18.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Tired of her thankless career in mid-level management, Sara Chae makes an epic exit and quits her old tech firm to build her own company and make her app, One Last Word, which delivers messages to family, friends, and frenemies upon death and is intended to be validating and empowering. Sara enters a competition to get funding and mentorship for her app. She’s selected for the program, but things become complicated when a test of One Last Word sends out romantic lyrics to Sara’s old high school crush and now venture capital mentor, Harry Shim, alongside emotional letters to her nagging parents and her ex–best friend. Sara is an engaging and realistic protagonist, and readers will be as invested as she is in her app’s success, especially as Harry guides and encourages her. Their romance sweetens as they reminisce on their high school bond, although the novel’s romantic conflict relies on tense surprise revelations and bad timing.
VERDICT Witty lines, touching reconciliation moments, and compelling career and romantic breakthroughs make Park’s (The Do-Over) latest novel a satisfying read. Fans of her previous books will enjoy the well-paced plot and the various personalities in the cast, as well as Sara and Harry’s strong compatibility and chemistry.
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