The Last Time We Say Goodbye

By Cynthia Hand

4 out of 5 stars

The feels! I am still feeling them this morning after reading until 12:30 last night.

Lex is a very smart teenager with big plans for MIT and being in love and all those wonderful teenage things. But then….her dad leaves her mom for his secretary and the family changes. But then….her younger brother Tyler kills himself in the garage. If only they knew. If only.

Lex breaks up with her boyfriend. She retreats within herself. Her mother starts drinking a bit and taking pills. They co-exist and don’t really let anyone else in. Her mother starts having Lex see someone. Dave tells her to write things down, whatever they may be. She balks at first but she starts writing slowly but surely. She starts seeing Ty in the house. She dreams of him dying in different ways every night. There is something she hasn’t told anyone. There is something she blames herself and her boyfriend for.

There is such honesty in the grieving process in this book. It’s not all neat and tidy. Lex is a tough nut to crack. She is not used to dealing with feelings on the usual level. She’s so smart that she’s almost clinical at times. It was so interesting to watch her go through letting go and letting people in. I loved when she reconnected with an old friend. All her friends were great characters. And the tears. I shed many. I also laughed. These characters had a wicked sense of humor. I believe that we must find laughter even in the face of loss.

This is a beautifully written book about family, heartbreak, love and death. I would recommend it to teens, for sure, and all us teens at heart.

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