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Willa is a 17-year-old girl who just moved to Los Angeles because her mother married Jonathan’s wealthy film director.
They moved to Jonathan’s mansion, previously owned by a famous actress, Diana Delmar.
On Willa’s first day at the mansion, she tried summoning her father through a technique she learned from a book she found in the library. She had already attempted invoking her father multiple times, but she just couldn’t reach him. She wanted to talk to him because she still blames herself for his death. Before Paul (Willa’s father) died, they had an argument about her boyfriend. They were swimming in the pool, and Willa walked out on him. When she comes back, Paul is already dead. She blamed herself because she thought that she had caused the heart attack.
She couldn’t summon her father, but creepy things happened in the mansion. She thought she was going mad. She started having white flashes, where she heard voices. She believes the seconds she’s getting could be from the victims of the Hollywood Killer.
There is a serial killer in Los Angeles. They call him the Hollywood Killer because there is a pattern to his killings: he murders actresses, and the death scene is staged to be similar in the movies.
In school, Willa met Marnie. So far, she’s the only friend she has made. She has a lab partner named Wyeth Shepherd, but he wasn’t friendly. Marnie already warned her to stay away from him as he is weird. Willa thinks so too – Wyeth doesn’t have many friends, and he is obsessed with the Hollywood Killer. Willa and Wyeth were lab partners, but they didn’t talk much. He is too busy investigating the killings.
Willa didn’t intend to steal anything, but she accidentally included Wyeth’s notebook in her backpack. She just noticed it at home. The notebook contains info about the killings. Willa thinks it is strange that Wyeth has information that only the police could know – she wondered if he could be the killer. Willa planned on returning the notebook, but Wyeth has not been friendly at all – so she kept the notebook in the meantime until Wyeth came to their house asking her if she had seen it. She lied. She told him she didn’t have it. Wyeth said she’s lying about the notebook, and she lies about almost everything – and that got Willa thinking. The next day, Willa returned the notebook, and she also told Wyeth about the flashes she was seeing and her creepy experiences in the mansion.
That creepy experience includes: She heard dripping, so she followed the sound, and it led her to the bathroom in Jonathan’s office. The bathtub was packed, and when she bent over the tub, she briefly saw a face that wasn’t hers. In time, Jonathan and her mother came into the office, they checked the bathtub, and suddenly, it was all dry.
Another experience, she was swimming alone in the pool one night, and somebody tried to drown her. She saw a body floating in the pool, but it vanished when she was able to keep herself from drowning. Jonathan and her mother came because they saw her almost drowning. She just told them that her necklace got caught in the filter.
There was also another instance when she was in the pool. Nothing tried to drown her that time, but when she looked around, she saw footsteps, and it led to the guestroom. She got up and tried to follow in the footsteps, but Jonathan came and told her that the guestroom was off-limits.
Willa and Wyeth went to Lydia, a psychic. Willa wanted help making the flashes and the ghost sightings stop, but Lydia wasn’t much help. She just told Willa to bury the ring and the book she got from the library (the one she used to summon her Dad.) Lydia said to her that the book was recalled by the author because it’s harmful – Willa ended up opening a portal by following the instructions in the book, and that’s what caused her headaches. Before Willa left, Lydia told her that she saw Paul on the day he died. Lydia assured Willa that Paul’s death wasn’t her fault and that she could no longer summon Paul because he had already moved on.
Willa got angry with Wyeth once. When Wyeth told her that it wasn’t her fault that Paul was dead since Wyeth himself did some research. Willa thought Wyeth had gone too far, that this was too personal. Even though she was angry, Willa managed to call Paul’s doctor later on, and she confirmed that it wasn’t her fault that he died – he suffered from something genetic. It turns out Wyeth was right. She also discovered some truths – she realized that Marnie was lying to her, but Wyeth wasn’t. Marnie claimed that she and Wyeth were only very close friends, but he assumed something was going on between them. Willa checked online and saw that Marnie wasn’t telling the truth – she and Wyeth was obviously a couple.
Marnie and Willa fell out from their brief friendship. Aside from lying regarding Wyeth, Willa also didn’t like the idea of pretending to be someone else for the sake of having fun. Once, Willa and Marnie went to an event where they pretended to be celebrities – it worked, and they had fun. Still, Willa got some scolding from her mother and Jonathan and admitted to herself that she wasn’t comfortable about it in the first place. Since Willa stopped hanging out with Marnie, she is now having lunch with Wyeth. The two of them talk about the murders and Willa’s visions.
Willa’s mother and Jonathan will be going on a honeymoon, and they asked her to spend the night at Marnie’s because it would be safer for her than to be alone in the house. She didn’t tell them that she fell out with Marnie, so she just pretended that she’d be with Marnie, but she’d really just be staying at home. While she was home alone, she finally had the chance to dig and bury the ring and the book. She dug a hole but then Reed came over. Reed is Jonathan’s assistant. Willa and Reed have shared a kiss before. Reed told her that he saw his photo where she pretended to be a celebrity, and Reed said she looked like a movie star.
Willa also discovered from a call from Marnie’s mother that she had gone missing. She’s no longer friends with Marnie, but she is still worried about her.
On that day, Willa discovered a few things. She found that the ghost in the mansion was not Diana Delmar but Paige. She is also a victim of the Hollywood Killer. It turns out Reed was the Hollywood killer. She discovered this when she noticed how Reed was not surprised that she was home. She also looked into the laptop and found details regarding the murder. At first, Willa thought it was Jonathan, but she realized that it was really Reed.
Willa and Reed are alone in the mansion. He locked the door, disconnected the landline, and her phone’s battery was empty. Willa has run out of any strategy to escape. She ran towards the guest’s room, guided by a ghost. The closet opened, and it revealed a passage to a media room where it showed Diana Delmar’s movie. Reed has previously mentioned the film as his favorite. There was this line that Willa had already dreamt of before: “This is the kind of dream you don’t wake up from, Henry.”
Reed was still able to get hold of Willa. He made her inhale something that made her dizzy, and when she woke up, she was already entirely made up. They are about to play Diana’s movie. They practiced the scenes, and Willa was so afraid, but she had no choice but to please Reed, so she practiced along with them. Reed told her details about how Paige died. Paige’s death was not linked to the Hollywood killer, as it was known that she committed suicide. The truth was, she was one of Reed’s victims, but she was killed a different way. It was not a beautiful/memorable death for her because she fought back. He drowned her in the pool and staged her death to be suicide.
In the middle of Reed and Willa’s practice on the scenes, Jonathan arrived to get his laptop. Reed hid, but Willa managed to ask Jonathan to call the police. When Willa mentioned that they are practicing is from a movie, Jonathan realized that this is related to the Hollywood killings. However, before he could call the police, Reed hit him in the head. When he got unconscious, he dragged him into the tub.
Meanwhile, Willa was losing hope. She thought she was going to die, but a petal fell in front of her, and it gave her hope that Paige would be helping her. When Reed came back, she, later on, had a chance to fight back. Reed was strong, but Paige’s ghost was helping her – in the end, Reed fell down the stairs. When Reed was unconscious, she helped Jonathan and then called for help.
Marnie is still alive and was rescued. She was captured by Reed. After surviving the Hollywood Killer, she just enjoyed the fame she’s currently in, but she and Willa didn’t reconcile. As for Wyeth was previously arrested for accessing police files, but his father asked for some favors, so currently, he is just grounded. As for Reed, he is already in police custody.
Willa and her family sold the mansion immediately. Willa and Wyeth started dating.
The End of Famous Last Words by Katie Alender.
List of Characters:
- Willa – the main character, the girl who sees ghosts
- Jonathan – Willa’s stepfather
- Diana Delmar – the lead actress, the previous owner of the house Will currently lives in
- Paul – Willa’s dead father
- Marnie – Willa’s friend from school
- Wyeth – Willa’s friend who’s interested in the Hollywood killings
- Lydia – psychic
- Read – Jonathan’s assistant, the Hollywood Koller
- Paige – ghost/victim
Purchase Famous Last Words by Katie Alender via Amazon: https://amzn.to/3m8EERS