The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand



Title: The Last Time We Say Goodbye

Author: Cynthia Hand

Genre: Young-Adult, Contemporary

Publisher: Harper Teen

Date of Publication: February 10th, 2015

ISBN: 9780062318473

Pages: 386


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.

(via goodreads)


The story is a kind of a typical YA novel about a girl whose brother committed suicide and she has to deal with the aftermath of that occurrence. It deals with mental illness and learning to let go of grief. I have to say that I don’t feel like I gained much new insight from this book. There are no new and astounding aspects to the whole cliche story of suicide.

At first I was not a big fan of the cover. However, after I finished the book, I like the idea behind it because it plays a big role in the storyline.

The main character is Lex. I absolutely adored her. She has an affinity for math, which I could relate to on many levels. For a girl who has to deal with her brothers suicide, I think she handled her emotions very well. Obviously there is the guilt and the depression that comes with a family member committing suicide, but I never felt like she was drowned in emotions. Compared to other books, Lex was a very realistic version of someone, who deals with depression. I liked that there were journal entries interspersed throughout the book.
Along with all the other characters I thought that they were done very realistically, but I wish we would have seen more of them.
I loved her mom, she was a great side character that helped get a better glimpse at Lex`life.
The book was pretty predictable in terms of character development. We obviously have this family torn apart by suicide and at the end it is a very typical generic way that a YA book ends and of course there is the romantic subplot that one can find in all YA books. 😉
I really liked Cynthia Hands writing.  It was not the most descriptive or the best thing I have ever read, but it had a very clean and easy style. And I managed to finish the book pretty fast.
I am really happy that the book was not glamorizing suicide. Nowadays there are a lot of YA books where you have to find out why the main character in the book dies and he left something for someone to find and the whole ordeal turns into a scavenger hunt. I feel like there are too many books out there that explore this and it is getting old. This book is not mainly about Tylers suicide and his reasons, but deals more with Lex’ story and her development as a grieving sister.
The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a heartbreaking book about the grief that comes after the suicide of a loved one.
All in all, the writing and main character were amazing, it was an interesting read and it had me compelled to finish it, however I don’t think the story will stick with me for long.

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