Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE LAST PRESENT by Wendy Mass

THE LAST PRESENT

From the Willow Falls series, volume 4

By Wendy Mass

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-545-31016-1
Publisher: Scholastic

The latest volume in the Willow Falls series finds Amanda and Leo trying to save a young girl through a series of eventful time-traveling adventures.

Magical, mysterious Angelina D’Angelo has set out quite the task for best friends Amanda and Leo. For 10 years, Angelina has been thwarted as she attempted to place a benediction on a young girl named Grace, who now languishes in a coma. Amanda and Leo must time travel to Grace’s prior birthday parties to ensure that the benediction successfully occurs, and they must get it right not once, but three times, to save her. Or so Angelina says. The friends discover that the story is more complicated and that it is wrapped up with Angelina’s own closely guarded secrets. Character development and closure are key here. Amanda and Leo do a lot of growing up as they negotiate complicated ethical terrain as well as a relationship evolving from friendship into romance. Further, Mass successfully weaves together the stories of familiar characters from previous volumes and finally reveals a full picture of Angelina, the powerful, flawed puppet master of the previous episodes.

While the tale has general appeal, it is most suited for devoted series fans, who will most appreciate the tying up of loose ends and revelation of long-held secrets. (Fantasy. 8-12)