Famous Last Words – Jennifer Salvato Doktorski


In Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski, 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” (aka 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 news room and the real world, she starts to make some momentous realizations about politics, ethics, her family, romance, and most important—herself.


I don’t know what happened between How My Summer Went Up in Flames and this, butFamous Last Words was terrible. Did I miss something? Was this geared toward a younger demographic?

This book was so shallow. So many characters were flat and undeveloped, as if every high schooler fit into some completely predictable archetype. Sam was a completely unlikeable protagonist, who seemed to think she was so ABOVE everyone else. They “bad” people remained bad, and the “good” ones remained good. Sam frequently lamented about how few people actually understood her, which was sickening.

It took a while for me to even understand what the conflict was. I was so uninvested in the whole Sy Goldberg case. And the AJ plot was so contrived and predictable.

I liked how Doktorski handled fluff in the past, but this didn’t deliver at all. Every now and then, I’d read passages that reminded me why I was so excited for Famous Last Words in the first place. But it was definitely too little too late. What a disappointing read.

Related Reading

  • How My Summer Went Up in Flames – Jennifer Salvato Doktorski (much, much better)
  • How I Lost You – Janet Gurtler (A similar YA-fluff read gone wrong… and a book where the protagonist looks down upon her best friend)

Rating: 2/5



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