Book Review–His First, Her Last: The Incredible True Story of an American Lost in the Philippines by Jonathan Sturak


This is the 93rd book from my 200 Book Reading Challenge.

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His First, Her Last: The Incredible True Story of an American
Lost in the Philippines by Jonathan Sturak
Published September 3rd, 2013


Engaged couple Jason and Hazel travel across the world to meet her family in this true story of love and adventure. The moment Jason steps off the plane in the Philippines, an exotic island caught between the East and the West, the past and the present, grabs hold of this naive American and seduces him with its beauty, its places, and its people. Temptation looms as the best friend of Hazel tests their relationship and touches their souls.

A deeply personal account of the conflict of culture between American excess and Philippine poverty, His First, Her Last explores the ability of love to transcend two worlds apart. But after an accident spills blood on the streets of a remote village, the lives of this couple flash before their eyes. Will he escape? Will she survive? Will his first trip be her last?


I won a copy of this book from the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway program. Many thanks to the publisher/author for giving me the chance to read and review this book from the Goodreads First Reads program.

This was a really hard book for me to get into. It ended up being a slow, kind of painful read. Maybe the writing style just doesn’t appeal to me. I liked that the story was so in-depth, but it also tended to drag at times.

I’m never been to the Philippines, nor do I know much about it, but the author did a good job with the details and descriptions. It almost made me feel like I was there. However, even though I believe it’s great to be saved, the constant checking of the hand sanitizer got a little annoying.

This is marketed as a romance as well as a true story, but I didn’t really get the romance vibe. At least not until near the end, and somewhat in the beginning. The rest of the book has the main character thinking about other women, and that made me like the book even less. I’m not a man, but it didn’t seem right for the main character to come to the Philippines with his fiancee’ and then think about her female family and friends–or buying them “secret” presents.

It ended much differently than I expected, but I didn’t really care enough about anyone to feel too sad, though I am sorry for the real tragedy that the author experienced. (view spoiler)

This book just wasn’t for me. Not bad, but I’d never pick this one up again. Maybe I can find someone to give it to who will appreciate it more than I currently do.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.




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