The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
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.
Publishes in US: February 10th 2015 by Harper Teen
Genre: ya contemp suicide
Source: Harperteen via edelweiss
Buy it: Amazon
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I wanted to read The Last Time We Say Goodbye because the subject of mental illness and the fall out of suicide is personal to me. I could relate with Lex because I feel the guilt of a family member who's lost their life and questioning everything. Could I have done something differently? What if this and what if that.
The romance in the flash backs was sweet. Lex is a smart girl and self professed nerd. We know from the beginning in present that her and Steven didn't work out but I still enjoyed looking at their history and seeing the awkward interactions and the sweet exploration.
The family dynamic in this book was dysfunctional even before the suicide. After even more so. Their parents went through a divorce and their time with their dad is stilted. Her mom after is obviously depressed and not living in the present for lex. She sleeps all the time and doesn't really talk to lex about what happened.
I totally get what lex was going through emotionally. She didn't cry, and that is something that I struggle with feeling almost robotic in that way because even though mourning, the tears Digby back up on the outside what I feel inside. She also deals with anxiety and panic and it can be so debilitating and hard to understand and deal with.
Lex's struggles and working towards goals to make things even a little better is realistic. None of the revelations. realizations, or healing came over night. She had to work for it. She used journals and counceling, and talking with friends trying to heal. She also has her mom who feels that her life is over having lost Tyler, and she wants to be a support for her and as she learns that it will hurt, there are other people that want to help.
The ending was hopeful, but still shows that only time will heal (cliches are cliches for a reason). It shows the importance of family (no matter how dysfunctional), friends (even when you feel like you have nothing in common anymore.) That everyone has issues and knows pain and loss on some level, and that they really don't care how hurt, they just want you to let you in. It wrapped things up well and left me feeling emotionally beaten and then a slow heal for me too.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you believe in ghosts?