[Book Review #27] The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

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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.

Book Specifications:

Author: Cynthia Hand

Format: Hardbound

Part of a Series: No.

Release Date: February 10, 2015

Publisher: HarperCollins

No. of Pages: 400 pages

Price: 649.00Php

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Death, Fiction, Family

Book Review:

The Cover: The cover features a blue, dramatic background, with a side of a mirror found on the middle, with a yellow post-it, which contains the title. If you have read the book, you will discover that this is the same scenario that Ty, the protagonists’s brother, did before he committed suicide. He left a yellow post-it note on the mirror in his bedroom, writing out ” I’m sorry mom, but I was below empty.” With just that to hold on to, I’m giving this a good rating. (5 out of 5 stars)

The Story: The book was all about the life of a Teenager named Lexie who had a brother who committed suicide and is forced to live her life in pity all because everyone else around her seems to feel like she might give in to depression any time soon. That things will just get worse for her, when it really won’t. Lex, being the protagonist of the story and all, was, at first, depressed about what happened to her brother. She felt completely left behind and she needed answers that would bring her closure of what happened. She was strong. She might be one of the strongest characters I have come to read about. Death isn’t easy, and it most certainly isn’t easy for those who are left behind. All through out the story, Lex engaged herself in lots of coping strategies to keep her thoughts pure and strategic. I like that about her. And below are some scenes that stayed in my mind while I was reading this book:

  • I absolutely fell in love with Cynthia Hand’s writing style. Thanks to this, the story became fast paced and the character backgrounds were almost speedy enough to catch up to the present day. The pattern between chapters (Journal entry – Present Day) was totally interesting and it’s what hooked me up.
  • I got sad for Lexie blaming herself for all the problems in the world. When one of Ty’s friends committed suicide, she felt bad and partially blamed herself for not being there for that guy. This is because when Ty committed suicide, she wasn’t there for him when she promised his brother that she will. And ever since, she thought that she should do something, when she can’t. My heart broke for her.
  • I liked how this book tackles the life of those who have siblings or loved ones post-suicide. I mean, usual stories like All The Bright Places, end in (SPOILER) death, while this book actually started out with the issue that Lexie’s brother committed suicide. I liked that about this book, and I certainly loved the fact that it brought in so much more detail and information as to what the loved ones do after the incident.
  • I feel like Ty was not given enough attention and/or emphasis. I mean, he did commit suicide. He was the only man in the family. But other than that, I don’t know anything else. It feels as if he was neglected the whole time. I just wish that there were more chapters dedicated to him to allow readers to get to know him more.

I liked the story of this book. I just didn’t love it as much as I loved the others. Maybe it’s just me. I was hoping that there would be a bigger closure for Lexie, since she was affected greatly by this catastrophe. But, I still liked it! (3 out of 5 stars)

The Ending: *This part is filled with spoilers. I suggest you skip this part if you don’t want to cry later on.*  The ending is a little forgettable. There was no plot twist, no shocking turn of events. It was plain, and a little predictable. Although, thank God, Lexie got her closure, and she made a few friends along the way, but it wasn’t that much a great ending. I was expecting more from it since this book was recommended to me by some of my book friends. But… Meh. (2 out of 5 stars)


The Verdict: I liked how this story started, but as it progressed, it got boring and dragging. Just like We Were Liars, I might give this book another chance when I am ultimately finished with my never ending TBR. But for now, this, to me, is a one-time read. (3.33 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:

“Time passes. That’s the rule. No matter what happens, no matter how much it might feel like everything in your life has been frozen around one particular moment, time marches on.”

“Forgiveness is tricky, Alexis, because in the end it’s more about you than it’s about the person who’s being forgiven”

“It’s such a cliché, the whole ‘time heals all wounds’ thing, but it’s true. Clichés are clichés for a reason,”

“There’s death all around us. Everywhere we look. 1.8 people kill themselves every second. We just don’t pay attention. Until we do.”

“All the best things are like that, though, Lex, the most beautiful things. Part of the beauty comes from the fact that they’re short-lived.”

“This is going to sound trite, I suppose, but you never know when it’s going to be the last time. That you hug someone. That you kiss. That you say goodbye.”

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