A stack of magazines that are open with covers folded at certain pages sit on a chair

Book Review: The Last Word

Every time I come across the enemies-to-lovers trope I’m on board to read the book. My husband would tell you it’s probably because I show my love through teasing, so I come by it honestly…but this isn’t about me. I read The Wedding Season by Katy Birchall exactly a year ago today and I thought it was so much fun, so I was excited to dive into another one of her stories—especially featuring a magazine editor and an office romance.

Harper Jenkins is at the top of her game. A brilliant, determined journalist with a well-known knack for getting tight-lipped Hollywood stars to open up to her, Harper loves her job as Celebrity Editor at a newspaper’s glossy weekend magazine and has the best contacts in the business.

But when her awful boss hires talented reporter Ryan to be the new Features Editor, Harper is furious. Because the two have met before: a decade ago, they were interns at the same publication, where they fell into a whirlwind romance…until Ryan betrayed Harper, and they never spoke again.

Thrown together in a busy newsroom, their dynamic is a disaster from the start. They can’t agree on anything and bicker constantly—Ryan can’t bear how chaotic and messy Harper is; Harper finds Ryan’s condescending nature infuriating. They clash over who’s writing what article and fight over who’s going to which event.

Yet as they’re forced to spend more and more time together, Harper realizes she may have misjudged Ryan and can’t help but feel a spark growing between them. Long-buried feelings start to resurface and, when they’re thrown together on a romantic press trip abroad, their chemistry comes to a head.

But all is fair in love and magazines, and with the news that layoffs across the department are imminent, Harper is left to wonder: who will get the last word?

What didn’t work for me

The classification of romance: This is me being nitpicky at this point because I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but it was said to be a romance and though there is obviously a love story, it’s not very steamy and a bit of a slow burn. I wish it were spicier, though there were definitely some sexy parts.

What I liked

Enemies to lover trope: Yup, as always, I’m totally on board for this. In this case, it was even more realistic than normal as to why they didn’t get along, and they didn’t fight their feelings for far longer than was necessary. It was a slow burn, as I mentioned above, but everything seemed balanced.

The humour and the banter: Though Harper was a little bit too much for me (we’re just very different people), she was funny and I laughed out loud a few times at some of the things that she said or thought. And then her banter with Ryan was amazing. I didn’t click that the title of the book was about how they each liked to get the last word in an argument until much later (duh!), but the dynamic between them was super entertaining. I love it when smart people can fight about smart things.

The celebrity stuff: I have never interviewed a celebrity before, but I have friends who have and I love that Birchall shows just how normal it can be—they are regular people after all. Things go off the rails in some cases for entertainment purposes, sure, but how Harper handles herself in these situations was a win for journalists everywhere. Plus, I love celeb gossip—real or not.

Fans of The Hating Game or Book Lovers will enjoy this for sure.


An illustration of a woman handing her prurse to a man. They're both looking cool and in sunglasses.

“Even though we fight all the time, even though he pisses me off to no end, even though we’re so different, I’m drawn to him.” —Katy Birchall, The Last Word

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Griffin for the advanced copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


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