Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Review: The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

The Last Time We Say Goodbye 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.


My Review:

This book was a heartbreaking and beautiful look at grief.  It was so sad, which made it not an easy read.  The sadness displayed in the pages was palpable.  The story was gripping and kept me turning the pages.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD

At the start of the book, Lex has lost her younger brother, Ty, to suicide.  The idea of losing a younger sibling in that way is horrible to even think about, so I can only imagine the sadness and heartbreak that she and the rest of her family would feel at that.  Lex's life is well portrayed in this book.  You feel a deep sense of her grief, as well as the guilt she feels at thinking that she should have known how Ty felt and been able to stop this from happening.

Ty, despite being dead at the start of the book, is a fully realized and developed character.  He is shown in many flashbacks, and you get to know him through them.  Through the flashbacks, I came to love his character, and to have a sense that he really was a genuinely good guy.  It was sad to think that his life had been cut so short and by his own hand.  It was sad to think of how he had all these people who cared about him, yet he wasn't able to share the darkness in his life with them.  He had a girlfriend who cared about him, yet that relationship ended.  

I liked how Steven was a good guy who genuinely cared about Lex.  Clearly something had gone wrong in their relationship, but it seemed like he still cared about her and really wanted to fix things. I got the sense that he really had hope that they could have a relationship again in the future.  He was sweet and just a genuinely nice guy.

I thought that Lex had good friends who were there for her.  Beaker and El both clearly cared about her, though she was pushing them away often because she didn't really know how to be the same around them as before.  Beaker, whose real name is Jill, seemed to be especially hurt by how Lex was pushing her away, and how Lex wouldn't tell her things that happened in her life.  Sadie was an old friend of Lex's from when they were kids, who started befriending her again after Ty's suicide.  She understood Lex in a way that her other friends couldn't, since she too had experienced the loss of a family member, though not to suicide.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book. 

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