One Last Class by Karen Mueller Bryson is from the ‘Short on time book’ series, characteriesed by fast paced, fun novels for readers on the go. And that’s exactly what this book is – entertaining, absorbing romantic comedy that keeps you happily busy for an hour or two. Zak, ex-Malibu Boy and TV star, suddenly realises he’s a has-been, now that he’s 32. Should he cling desperately to his previous fame or head off in a new direction? He eventually decides to enrol in school to finish the studies he abandoned to become famous. He plumps for English so he and Elvis, his dog, move into a student flat. Chay, another ex-Malibu boy but without Zak’s angst, moves in too. Enter the love interest in the form of roller-skating free-spirit Nora and slightly prim Amy, the English teacher. But out of the blue Zak gets offered a part in a movie that will ensure a successful comeback for him. What should he do?
This is well written story, told with a skillful, humorous touch but actually includes some pretty deep issues. Facing up to the thought that your best years are over is never easy, especially when you wonder if you spent them that wisely after all. Making a major change in the direction your life is taking is also a huge deal, and we have both these elements in this story. The characters are rounded. Even the initially po-faced Amy proves to be an interesting person. But Chay and Nora are the most engaging couple for me, although Zak develops through the book too. Highly recommended for amusing yet thought-provoking escapism.