Famous Last Words


Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

When sixteen year old Samantha “Sam” D’Angelo lands a paid summer internship at her hometown newspaper, she fully expects to be writing front page stories. But Sam’s expectations are far from her reality.

Reality is: Sam is an obituary writer.

While it isn’t the most glamorous position, it sure beats party hopping with best friend Shelby. And Sam hopes that if she proves herself she’ll be bumped up to staff writer.

And she thinks that she’ll get that chance to prove herself when she stumbles upon a front page story just waiting to be written. But will her budding office crush Tony, steal her thunder?

Famous Last Words, written by author Jennifer Salvato Doktorski, is a contemporary read about firsts: first job, first office crush, first front page story!

Doktorski’s writing is simply strong. There’s an ease to her words, one that allows the readers to completely be absorbed into her book from the start. 

Main character Samantha is a solid character, and even though she’s often wise beyond her years, she’s a typical teenager who flounders in awkward situations, who does silly things to get the guys attention, and who makes mistakes. All of these characteristics do not make her a bad character, they make her a realistic one. That’s why she’s so easy to relate to, so easy to sympathize for, and so easy to cheer on! As an adult reader, I personally saw a lot of sixteen year old Nicole within Samantha, and I think any reader of any age who picks this book up will see themselves within this strong female lead!

But Samantha isn’t the only stand out character. I found all of Doktorski’s characters to be, not only charming and relatable, but fleshed out and honest. I especially loved AJ. He brought heart and humor not only to Sam’s dull summer as an intern but to the book in general.

I enjoyed Famous Last Words for a number of reasons. But two aspects that captured my attention (and heart) immediately was that this book featured two of my favorite things: journalism (I was a journalism major in college) and New Jersey (my home state). Because of these two things I would have loved this book no matter what. 

Another aspect of the book that I personally enjoyed was the fact that I felt as if I was there, in the midst of the hustling newsroom alongside Sam. This fact helped me, not only connect with the overall story, but made me remember why I love writing and journalism so much. 

Doktorski’s Famous Last Words was a book I expected to like, but I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. It’s smart, funny, and has the subtlest hints of a budding romance. There’s a little something for almost everyone. If you have the chance to read it, I suggest you do!