Monday, March 9, 2015

Review: The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

Title: The Last Time We Say Goodbye
Author: Cynthia Hand
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

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.
Review by Nara

What a beautiful, beautiful book.
While The Last Time We Say Goodbye hasn't put Cynthia Hand in my auto-buy author list (yet), it's certainly put her in my list of authors to watch for. With heartbreakingly relatable characters, a plot that thankfully isn't "all fixed" by a romance and all the feels, it's a book that I seriously recommend to everyone.

Okay, awkwardly personal section alert. I had a relatively close friend who may or may not have committed suicide three years ago. I say this because her family is quite religious, and didn't really want the cause of death to be widely known- but most people have assumed that it's because it was a suicide. When I think back to her death, I remember thinking why didn't I notice? Because I didn't. She seemed completely fine, and the next thing I know, she's gone. I didn't even have the warning that Lex does in this book, because Ty had had a previous attempt. One minute I was saying bye to my friend after uni; after the weekend, she's dead. And here I am three years later, still with no answers. I feel like that's one of the reasons I could really empathise with Lex- the unexpectedness of the suicide, the guilt that we should have noticed, the sadness of not being able to see them again, the slight resentment of why.

I was hit by a lot of feels throughout the book, but I never felt like I was going to cry until the last maybe 30 or so pages. There were two things I freaking knew were going to destroy me: first, the text, and second, the letter. I'm not going to say anything about the letter here, except that yes, it made me cry. The text is something you're told about in the blurb (not that I knew, with my whole not reading blurbs thing), but it's introduced pretty early in the book, and you absolutely know that it's going to be something gut wrenchingly heartbreaking. I was preparing myself for the worst, and you know what? I STILL GOT A FEELSPLOSION. Which puts The Last Time We Say Goodbye as the twelfth book that has made me cry. Ever.

If that's not enough to convince you to get your hands on a copy of this book, I don't know what is.
Maybe a virtual cookie?
Okay, if you read this book, I'll send you a virtual cookie?
(You've been locked in)
(You have to do it now haha)


Overall: 9/10
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 4/5

This post is a part of Contemporary Conversations, hosted by The Thousand Lives and Talking Bookworm.
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