The Last Romeo is a kind of straight forward, sort of self discovery book which left me feeling a bit meh at the end to be honest. The thing I found strange is that the book struggles to define itself into a genre. It’s not romance, nor solely self discovery. It’s not a coming of age, but doesn’t develop enough into a journey? It’s difficult to place in my mind.
Justin Myers does well to characterise our protagonist James, but whether that turns into a likeable person or not I’m not entire sure. An LGBTQ+ book, he works stereo-typically at a gossip rag. He inevitably gets a good scoop which he doesn’t take to his boss, etc etc. The plot is actually not too bad, but the main overarching points didn’t sit too well with me. You see, James runs an anonymous dating blog. Judging first dates, and actually being mean throughout, you just don’t root for him to get a happy ending. Most of the characters throughout have phases of shunning James at various points, and you can’t really blame them.
He does redeem himself (somewhat) by the end of the novel, however there’s only about 2 pages of closure to try and tie the book up. In my opinion, I would have liked a good few chapters to explore this further, so we could end the book actively liking him as a person, with the development of his actions throughout the novel into a nice person. Alas, no. “Why wait until I was dead, for someone else to tell my story?” Myers writes, and this kind of sums up James’ character to a tee.
The most entertaining parts of the book are the reviews of the first dates, which makes me feel like a mean person. They almost make me feel like I’m being mean by blogging generally! Maybe I’m being oversensitive haha.
Overall, it’s a well written debut by the author, with a good narrative style. However, I can’t help but think that there’s better sitting up his sleeve ready to publish.
(Apologies for the short review this week – I’m currently reviewing a series of 4 books to be published this week, so keep your eyes out!)