Amanda's Adventures · Everything & Anything

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

Summary:
There’s death all around us. We just don’t pay attention. Until we do.
Since her brother, Tyler, committed suicide, Lex has been trying to keep her grief locked away. But memories of Tyler haunt her every step, and 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.
Review:
Cynthia Hand is an author I’d heard of in passing but didn’t actually pick up any of her books until The Lady Janies series that she writes with Jodi Meadows and Brodi Ashton. So when I found some of Cynthia Hand’s book on BookOutlet I bought them. I’m glad I picked this one up because it was a beautiful story. Though, I listened to this on audio from my library.
We follow Lex as she tries to deal with the fact that her brother killed himself. This was such a powerful story about grief and what comes after losing someone. I really cannot imagine what it is like to be the surviving sibling. I have three brothers and two sisters and I really cannot even fathom what it would be like to lose a single one of them, let along for one of them to take their own life. So that was hard for me. It was tough to think about, but it makes Lex relatable because she’s sad and essentially stopped doing anything and everything that she loves. She is forever changed. We start off following Lex as she is in therapy. I thought that was really interesting because it’s basically saying that it’s okay to get help and that sometimes you need to talk to someone. I think that Lex developed beautifully. She was realistic with her grief, but also let herself slowly take steps forward to moving on with her life. Part of her wanted to live in her grief and misery, but she knew she shouldn’t and did her best to make those small steps forward.
There were a handful of supporting characters that made the story just that much better. So many people care about Lex and do what they can despite her pushing them away. I liked her friends because they just kept trying, while also knowing when to give her space.
The other thing I really enjoyed about this book is the flashbacks. Throughout the story Lex is writing letters about “the last times.” So, while she’s writing these letters, she is essentially telling us about these times in the past in a way that transported the reader there. I really love stories that do this, the time traveling in stories is one of my favorite things. I just love getting to see into the past, while still being in the story if that makes sense.
The Last Time We Say Goodbye was an insightful and thoughtful book about what happens to those that are left behind when someone kills themselves. This book got me thinking, and kept it that way. I think it was wonderfully written. I also really loved the ending. I think the ending was absolutely perfect.
I mentioned that I listened to the audiobook. I think the narrator was absolutely incredible. She kept me interested. She gave distinctly different voices to all the characters. I really loved listening to this story. I wish it was one that was talked about more often.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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