17285330The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
Release Date: February 15, 2015
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

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. – Goodreads

Review:

The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a heartbreaking tale about death and how it effects the main character Lex’s life. Lex feels she is fine. It happened, she wants to move on and continue on with life. Of course life is not that easy, it’s never that easy. What Hand did in The Last Time We Say Goodbye was make me feel like I was in the shoes of Lex and I’ve never remotely had the experience that Lex had.

My parents are still happily married. My brother, who I occasionally get along with, is still alive. I am not a math genius, but these are characteristics of Lex’s life that come to life throughout the novel. From the very first page, Lex is known as the girl who’s brother killed himself. Slowly the whole picture unravels and we begin to see why parts of the death haunt Lex more than others.

“You need an outlet,” he said. “You’re keeping everything inside, and it’s not good for you.”–2% eARC

Lex’s parents are worried about her and send her to a therapist. A good therapist, who clearly just wants what is best for her. Lex is too scared to really let him in because what if he finds out she’s crazy? Or the fact that she sees her brother’s ghost? That’s not normal, right? Her therapist is able to see that she is keeping it in, and because of that he gives her a hand2journal and tells her to start writing. He gives her small writing assignments to get something, anything out. And it works. Lex’s scribbles everything in this journal and by the end her journal has me bawling my eyes out.

While Lex works on making her life go forward, she is being treated with “kid” gloves at school because no one knows what to do. Or worse, no one knows what to say. She pulls away from most of her friends, bonds with an old friend, and while she goes to school and she still “tries” she isn’t putting her best and it’s noticeable in her work. She’s fine with this. She’s just trying to get comfortable in her own skin again.

“People move on with their lives. Even if we can’t.”–27% eARC

While Lex understand that live goes on, she doesn’t understand why her brother took his life. She understands that it wasn’t perfect and their father was a douchebag (her words, not mine.) But why? Why did he kill himself was that supposed to make things better? Because it didn’t. Their father is still a douchebag, and now their mother is an alcoholic.

“The woman in front of me now, pouring herself a second (or however many) glass of win, is almost a stranger to me, but I do know one thing about here: she’s fragile.”–36% eARC

To Lex, this is not a better life. What Lex wants most from Tyler, and his ghost is the why. To her the why will answer all of her questions, won’t it? But his ghost never gives her that why, he gives her, in my opinion, something better. In a heartbreaking, beautiful novel from Cynthia Hand we learn not everything works out how we thought it would, but it can still work out okay, even if we don’t know it at the time.