How I Spent My Last Night on Earth

How I Spent My Last Night on Earth

4.7 4
by Todd Strasser

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Something strange is happening in the parking lot of Time Zone High: The established cliques aren’t in their usual gathering places. Instead, everyone has joined in one large, frantically interacting mass.

Why? Maybe it’s because the world may end tomorrow.

Allegra Hanover is Time Zone High’s over-achieving valedictorian, so


Something strange is happening in the parking lot of Time Zone High: The established cliques aren’t in their usual gathering places. Instead, everyone has joined in one large, frantically interacting mass.

Why? Maybe it’s because the world may end tomorrow.

Allegra Hanover is Time Zone High’s over-achieving valedictorian, so motorcycle-driving surfer bum Andros Bliss seems like the last person she would date. But when an asteroid is rumored to be hurtling toward Earth, the normal high school rules start to fade.

Students and teachers are ditching class, and the lines between high school cliques are breaking down. Is the end of the world enough to make Allegra finally go for her secret crush?

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Cynthia L. Blinn
In this tragicomedy, Allegra "Legs" Hanover, a senior at Time Zone High, academic success, and general observer of people, muddles through the absurdities of life when human existence is threatened by a giant asteroid heading for Earth, due to hit the next morning. After receiving this news from gorgeous surfer-dude Andros Bliss in the student parking lot of the affluent suburban coastal high school one morning, Legs absorbs its implications over the ensuing twenty-four hours. Although she has been dating the incredibly safe Derman Bloom, once she starts pondering the three important Rules of Virginity with her best friend Angie Sunberg, and considering the finality of the end of the world, not following Andros to the beach to wait for "the big one" seems incomprehensible. Short sentences, Legs's stream-of-consciousness style, and frequent paragraph breaks move the engaging story along rapidly. Lighthearted in presentation, the narrative nonetheless tackles important issues of friendship, loyalty, right versus wrong, and--of course--consequences. Once it is available in paperback, I expect my eighth graders will form a wait-list for this book. Its presentation and humor will appeal to Francesca Lia Block's Weetzie Bat (Harper, 1989/VOYA October 1989) fans, its intimacy will engage Anne M. Martin's California Diaries series readers, and its tame content will enable even stodgy adults to enjoy the tale. Strasser's newest title from Time Zone High is an excellent pick for reluctant readers, male or female. VOYA Codes: 3Q 4P M J S (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12).
To quote KLIATT's Jan. 1999 review of the hardcover edition: Brainy high school senior Allegra (Legs) has finally met the gorgeous, totally inappropriate guy of her dreams, laid-back surfer Andros Bliss. He's come up to her in the high school parking lot—to tell her that the world may be about to come to an end. According to a rumor on the Internet, a giant asteroid is on a collision course with the Earth. "Talk about bad timing," as Legs says. She narrates this romantic romp in a breezy, chatty voice, telling us about her platonic boyfriend Derman, her sexy girlfriend Angie, and her growing relationship with Andros, as they stay up all night on a California beach awaiting the asteroid, making out and pondering the future. Prolific YA author Strasser adds in some philosophical discussions and some thought-provoking quotes (and jokes), without taking away from the lighthearted tone. This quick, funny read should please a variety of readers, though I found the writing, with its many one-sentence paragraphs, rather choppy. This is part of a series about Time Zone High that includes How I Changed My Life and Girl Gives Birth to Own Prom Date. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 1998, Simon & Schuster/Aladdin, 186p, 18cm, 97-43473, $4.99. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick; September 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 5)
Children's Literature - Kathleen Kelly
Strasser's third book, set at Timothy Zonin High School (better known as Time Zone High), focuses on Allegra "Legs" Hanover, a brilliant senior who has always thought of high school as "potty training for life"-in other words, she is always thinking about the future, mainly college. Her shatterproof, protected world is blown apart when rumors flood the Internet that a huge asteroid (ironically named "Eros") is hurtling towards Earth with a high probability of impact. At the same time, aloof surfer Andros Bliss (whom Legs has always secretly adored) begins to seem mighty interested in our heroine. Aside from battling her own fears about Andros, Legs must also contend with betrayal by her two best friends. Legs' first-person narration is sharp and witty (fans of TV's "Dawson's Creek" will take the multisyllabic psychobabble in stride). Strasser has once again managed to capture the feel of high school beautifully. Legs herself is an extremely appealing character, smart, funny, and just self-deprecating enough to be a believable teenager.
The ALAN Review - June Harris
Legs Hanover arrives at Timothy Zonin High School (better known to its students as Time Zone High) to find her fellow students in turmoil. The Internet has announced that an asteroid is heading for Earth, and if it hits-splat! That's the bad news. The good news is that her informant is Andros Bliss, the Totally Inappropriate Guy about whom Legs has fantasized for ages. Well, she thinks, if it's my last night on earth, it might as well be a memorable one. Forsaking her usual devotion to her studies and her GPA, she (with most of her classmates) heads for the beach with Andros to face the possibilities. The book is one of several Strasser has set in Time Zone High. It's fast-paced, hilarious, and wickedly irreverent.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Strasser chronicles the musings of high school student Allegra ("Legs") Hanover when she learns that the world is about to end. The rumor on the Internet is that a giant asteroid is heading straight for Earth. Against that backdrop, Legs ponders such diverse topics as chaos theory, the meaning of life and death, and the mating habits of Alaskan walruses. She is fascinated by random facts and even an imminent disaster cannot dissuade her from offering tidbits of information. Allegra, however, lacks one important thing in her life: True Love. She does have a quirky, but platonic "not-quite-boyfriend," Derman Bloom. His latest claim to fame is the ability to think things into being-like imagining that an asteroid would hit the Earth so he wouldn't have to take a test in Chinese class. So, is he to blame for the rapidly approaching asteroid? While Legs struggles to figure out life and love, Derman and her best friend are already figuring out love together. So, exactly what does one do on Earth's last night of existence? Go to the beach, of course. And on that starry night, Allegra finally pairs up with the boy of her dreams and learns to live with a little less intellect and a little more emotion. The asteroid, as it turns out, is a near miss. This boy-meets-girl story is creative and offbeat, and Legs's voice is entertaining and intelligent. However, readers preferring linear stories with fewer side trips down other roads will get lost around the curves in this book.-Roxanne Burg, Thousand Oaks Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
It's not enough that brilliant and beautiful Allegra "Legs" Hanover is infatuated with handsome, elusive, and seemingly unattainable oddball classmate and surfer Andros Bliss, but her long-time admirer and would-be boyfriend, nerdy Derman Bloom, has just slept with Legs's best friend, Angie. Or has he? No one is really sure, and Time Zone High's legendary Rules of Virginity aren't much help. Slightly worse than her unrequited love and this recent betrayal is pending global calamity: A huge asteroid is hurtling toward Earth, expected to hit and destroy the world within hours. Legs wants to make the best of whatever time she has left, but Andros, enigmatic as ever and a surfer to the bone, is more interested in the last big wave the collision will cause. Strasser (who last visited this setting in Girl Gives Birth to Own Prom Date, 1996, etc.) has taken a serious notionþhow to function in the face of disasterþand fashioned a riotously funny tale. In the face of recent end-of-the-world films, this novel looks almost masterful, with some weird and wonderful characters, side-splitting dialogue, suspense, and way more attitude than any old asteroid can diminish. (Fiction. 12-14)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
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File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Todd Strasser has written many critically acclaimed novels for adults, teenagers, and children, including the award-winning Can’t Get There from Here, Give a Boy a Gun, Boot Camp, If I Grow Up, Famous, and How I Created My Perfect Prom Date, which became the Fox feature film Drive Me Crazy. Todd lives in a suburb of New York and speaks frequently at schools. Visit him at

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How I Spent My Last Night on Earth 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book in about 2 hours - it was pretty good, but you know how it's gonna it kinda ruins the entire book, but it was good. I haven't read any books by him before but I'm going to read some more...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I like this book because I am a big fan of teen love stories. (Not the stupid mushy ones, like 'Oh Baby') I like realistic ones. This was a cool book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book I got it after I read Girl Gives Birth To Own Prom Date.This one is about the same school,but it was about completely different things.It was really fun to read and I read it in 2 days (which is a record for me).But I don't recomend it if you don't like love stories.