The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

Rating: (4.5 / 5)

Genre: YA Contemporary

Content: Teen suicide

Synopsis: Since her brother committed suicide, Lex has been trying to close herself off to everyone around her and keep her grief in check. But memories of her brother follow her around and Lex has yet to tell anyone about her secret – a text her brother sent that could have changed the course of her life, and his.

** First thing I would like to say about this book is that it can be very triggering from some people so please be advised, only read it if you’re in a good mindset. **

Overall, I loved this book. It seriously gave me all the feels. Lex is such a relatable character – just a nerdy girl trying to get into MIT and is a bit of a nobody in high school. The way she navigates through life after her brother’s untimely death is something that I think anyone who has lost someone can sympathize with. She goes through the usual steps of grief, including lots of anger. She struggles with not wanting to feel anything, and brushes off her emotions on a regular basis. She likes to go through the motions of her life after her brother’s suicide. The author is able to accurately depict how Lex would be feeling during this difficult time, as the author actually did lose her brother to suicide in 1999. I really enjoyed the way the author formulated thoughts and feelings throughout the novel and it made me feel like I understood how the character was feeling, even though I have not gone through quite the same tragedy. It still felt relatable to me, which I think is really important in a book.

The writing style was really great and it was an easy read, without being too simple. I think the way the author articulates Lex’s thoughts is really fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it (even though I cried many times). You get to know and love the other characters throughout the book and really relate to a lot of them in different aspects. The book made me also feel a lot more self aware – she goes over how people react to others who have gone through these tragedies and I am guilty of all of the cliches. “Time heals all wounds”, “I know how hard this must be for you”, etc. etc.

Lastly, it really opened my eyes to how my death would impact those around me. As we all know by now, I have issues with suicidal thoughts/ideations. I have never really cared to think what my death would mean to the people that love me. This book really showed me how significant an event that would be for my loved ones, and I really appreciate that. Sometimes we really do feel like it would be for the best and we would be ridding people of a burden, but that’s not the case. You don’t think of the bad times when someone passes away; the annoyances they’ve caused, the fights you’ve had.. You think of all the amazing memories you shared together and it feels like there’s quite literally a hole in your chest. And I would hate to put anybody through that pain. So thank you, Cynthia Hand, for writing this novel. I think myself and many others needed to hear this refreshing viewpoint.

Highly recommend this book.

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