Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

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
Series? no

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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. 

Bottom Line: Realistic journey of Lex trying to make sense of and heal from the suicide of her brother.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you believe in ghosts?


  1. Great review! I am looking forward to reading that one. It sounds great!

  2. I have a love/hate relationship with this one. I related to the story way too much, and what Lex went through, I went through, but at the same time, I couldn't connect to her, does that make sense? It was weird, I wanted to, but just didn't. :(
    Uhm, I don't believe in ghosts exactly, more like a spiritual energy type thing.

  3. This sounds like an intense but wonderful / worthwhile story. Glad the author managed to portray this journey realistically.

    Great review!

  4. I'm glad this one help a realistic depiction of the situation and feelings that the main character was experiencing. I enjoy books that feel real. I might have to read this one!

    Lovely review!

  5. I thought this book was AMAZING and I am so glad you loved it, too!

  6. I've heard only good things about this one Brandi and i'm so thrilled you enjoyed this one! I can't wait to read it myself :)

  7. I reviewed this one today as well and I thought it was beautiful, emotional and like you realistic. It was a tough read but I am glad I read it.

  8. I have a copy of this and have been putting off reading it because I know it's going to make me super emotional. Glad you felt a slow heal by the end. Lovely review!

  9. I'm going to have to read this one but I think I'll wait until I'm ready for another super emotional read. I'm glad that you found it to be really good though.

  10. I just saw this one on another blog and though of you :)

  11. This seems like a very emotional read and like Lex goes through a lot of character development and internal thought. It does sound like a difficult situation to be in. I have recently read a book about a dysfunctional family so I think I would like this one too. It is an interesting subject.

  12. Cool beans! I loved Unearthly and was curious about this one. Loooks like she wrote another hit

  13. This book is next up on my tbr pile Brandi, so I'm thrilled to see a praising review from you, Hand has never failed me with her previous books, so I'm really looking forward to this one! Fab review! :)

  14. Wonderful review Brandi, everyone seems to be touched by this one. I love how sweet the romab=nce was and how realistic the plot was

  15. Wow Brandi. This sounds like a real life altering read. Lex seems like she goes on an incredible journey to get on track again. Awesome review.

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  16. I think this is the second good review I have read for this one. I think it might be a tad too emotional for me though. And I don't think I believe in ghosts,but so many people do, so who am I to say that they don't exist to them.

  17. I really liked this one too. I'm not sure if I believe in ghosts, but I do believe that when you lose someone you love, they stay with you in some way....

  18. I really liked Cynthia Hand's YA series, but I'm probably not going to read this (even though you did an excellent good of making it sound very good). I'm not much for super emotional reads either. *shrugs*

  19. I've read good things about The Last Time We Say Goodbye, Brandi. I'm glad you enjoyed it. This is such a difficult topic to write about (and read about) so it's good to know Hand did it well.

  20. I haven't read any of this author's books! I hope you enjoy this book if/when you read it!

    Thanks for visiting my blog! Have a fabulous week :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  21. It is a balance of handling sensitively

  22. I feel ya. You either love, handle occasionally or don't read these types

  23. Such a beautiful though. I like to believe that we carry in heart

  24. I know, I always say I don't but there are so many unexplained things

  25. It is an emotional journey and felt with her

  26. Oh yes, helped that the sweet romance was there to balance

  27. So different, but still great writing

  28. Yes, the family issues added to the serious tone, but it packs an emotional punch

  29. Yes, you def have to be in an emotional mood for this one

  30. Yes, certainly must be in the right mood for this one

  31. I know, it really is an important topic

  32. Yes-- loved the realistic aspect of this one

  33. Aw, sorry that you didn't fully connect even though you related

  34. I have to read this. I'm not sure how I didn't know about it... Beautiful review, Brandi.


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