Book Review: The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

Posted March 5, 2015 by Lori in Books, Reviews / 2 Comments Tags: ,

TheLastTimeWeSayGoodbyebyCynthiaHand

I received this book for free from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia HandThe Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
Published by Harper Collins on 2015-02-10
Genres: Death & Dying, Family, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss
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five-stars

There's death all around us.
We just don't pay attention.
Until we do.

The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she's just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that's all she'll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on.

From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and letting go.

This book was so good. I should probably start with something much more profound than that considering the subject matter of this book and how beautifully written it was, but that’s what you need to know. This book is just really good.

The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a story about Lex and how she’s dealing with life after her younger brother commits suicide. She’s dealing with a lot of guilt, the long-lasting effects of her parents divorce, her crappy dad, a break-up with her boyfriend, and not knowing how to grieve. She’s seeing a therapist that she doesn’t exactly like and friends that she doesn’t know how to let comfort her. She doesn’t know how to live or feel anything anymore. But with the help of a new old friend who sort of understands what she’s going through and a journal her therapist says will help her unlock her feelings by putting them on paper, she starts to see the truth of what really happened with her brother. And starts to see that maybe she can, and should, move on.

After reading the book, what has stuck with me the most is the emotions. I felt the pain and guilt that Lex felt the night her brother died and the things she felt she could have changed. I felt the hopelessness her mother felt after losing her child and feeling her life was over too. I felt the anger that Lex felt at her father for not being what they had needed him to be. I felt how conflicted she was over moving on and living her life and being happy with her friends when her brother wasn’t there. And I felt how angry she was at him for not being there like she wanted him to be. This book is full of emotions. Every page holds something new. Sometimes you know they’re coming and sometimes they just slap you in the face. And it may seem weird to say that I loved it, but I really did.

I also absolutely loved the characters in this book. They were troubled and flawed and most definitely not perfect but I loved how real they felt and how much their stories have stuck with me since I’ve read them. I want to hug them all and know how they’re doing after the book ended. I loved how much they changed over the course of the book. This book is painful and sad and emotional but the characters leave us with hope and it was a perfect way to end this book. It felt like such a realistic and raw look at life after suicide but the hope in the ending doesn’t overshadow the events of the book or wrap up everything in a nice little package. The characters know the journey will be long but we’re given just a little glimpse of hope at the end and it was perfect. No nice little bow to make everything great in the end because that isn’t how it works in real life.

This book was so beautiful but also so painful. It was a very honest look at life after suicide and the feelings the survivors are left with. The writing and emotions and characters will stay with you long after you’ve read the book. I really hope you guys will pick up this book and give it a try. I know it’s hard to read and it covers a very difficult subject. But it’s one of the best books I’ve read on the topic of teen suicide and gives the more unique point of view of those who are left after suicide. It’s similar to Thirteen Reasons Why, though not quite as gritty and dark as that one. It’s just brilliant and I recommend it for everyone.

 

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