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The Last Time We Say Goodbye Paperback – February 9, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—For Lex, since her brother committed suicide, questions about their last goodbye have haunted her. Filled with regret, she ponders their last words and not being able to show him how much she loved him while he was still alive. The narrative unravels in perfect pacing, drawing readers into this emotional story. With a rocky home life in a small town in Nebraska, Lex begins pulling away from her friends, breaks up with her boyfriend, and struggles with life in general. When her therapist, Dave, assigns her the task of writing down her thoughts in a journal, flashbacks of the siblings' relationship and the protagonist's interactions with their parents fill in the gaps. Readers will be drawn in by the even pacing, the heavy moments never overwhelming the teen's story. Raw, emotional, and gripping, this book is Hand's first realistic fiction title, and fans of her popular "Unearthly" series (HarperCollins) will follow her genre change willingly. Libraries should jump at having this book, not only because of the author's previous work, but because it is an excellent and thoughtful exploration of grief.—Stephanie Charlefour, Wixom Public Library, MI --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A quietly powerful, emotionally complex novel that will echo with readers long after it is finished. Both shatteringly painful and bright with life and hope.” (Booklist (starred review))
“Reading The Last Time We Say Goodbye feels like exploring a forest after it’s been decimated by wildfire. You will see new shoots sprouting where you least expect them.” (New York Times Book Review)
“Evocative and insightful.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Raw, emotional, and gripping. An excellent and thoughtful exploration of grief.” (School Library Journal)
“Dealing with teen suicide is tough, and this novel tackles it well, with dignity, sensitivity, and poignant regard. Irresistibly engaging.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
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Top Customer Reviews
The book references how a teen girl deals with the suicide of her younger brother. It's not even slightly maudlin about it. The author describes the girls feelings so well, you feel them with her, all the while hoping things "get better" with time.
I read every word, quickly, anticipating....the ending was perfect. I cried.
(My husband of one year killed himself years ago. I miss him every day.)
The Last Time We Say Goodbye is the emotional story of Lex, a girl that is consumed with guilt after her younger brother commits suicide. Seem before Tyler killed himself things were good for Lex. She was happy and had a family she loved, and boyfriend that was her perfect match. She was at the top of her class and had everything going for her. She had friends and a life. And just like that her brother was gone and so was everything in Lex’s life that was important. After Tyler she is nothing but the girl that could have saved her brother…if only she answered his text on the night he killed himself, the text no one knows about.
This book punched me in the gut. It ripped my heart out and tossed it into a blender and made me cry no less than 4 times. It destroyed me. And yet it was one of the best reading experiences that I have had in a long time because it was real. Lex KILLED me. She was so broken and wracked with guilt and no one was there for her. She was barely holding on and yet she was looking out for her mother, dealing with her father whom she had never forgiven from breaking up their family, hiding from her friends and being suffocated by guilt over the fact that she believed she could have saved Tyler. My heart was crushed for Lex and I felt like I was the only one. Yes, I felt like I was the only one that hurt for the main character because I felt like part of the book.
I guess when you get to the heart of the story it isn’t really about Tyler’s suicide or Lex’s parents or even the text message. The story is about Lex figuring out that her brother was depressed and she couldn’t have saved him if he didn’t want to be saved. It was about her seeing that it was okay for her to be in love and be happy. That it was okay to be mad at her father and to tell him she was mad. That it was okay for her to dream and live out those dreams even though Tyler didn’t get to live out his. That it was okay for her to be mad at him but to also forgive him That was what really killed my soul because Lex didn’t know all of this things and she was just flat out scared of living her life. GUTTED. ME.
I can’t tell you enough to read The Last Time We Say Goodbye. Even though I was demolished by feelings I wanted to read it again after finishing it (I actually got the audio the next day) and I still want to read it again. It is a book about real life and dealing with death and how it is okay when you are the one left behind. It’s a book you must pick up and read. You won’t be sorry even through your tears.
What strikes me the most about this beautifully written story is how it is not so much about death as it is about forgiveness. Yes, the book centers on the suicide, but it also revolves around Lex’s need to forgive those around her. Not just her brother, but her mother, friends, and herself as well. The story is very dark, but it doesn’t shy away from the grief that Lex experiences.
This book is an extremely well written, character-driven story of grief and forgiveness. I highly recommend it.
The one thing that I loved about this book is that it wasn't actually about the person who committed suicide. It was about the aftermath and what happens to the people left behind. This was an interesting path to take, and I think Ms. Hand raised awareness to the fact that suicide effects everyone. The Last Time We Say Goodbye is wonderful in its simplicity, and serves as a tribute to those who are left behind. While it is a heartbreaking read, at the same time, it reminds everyone reading the importance of paying attention and remembering that you never know when the last time you see or speak to someone will be. Put simply, this novel makes you think. And that is where the true beauty lies.
Lex, our main character, is extremely strong, even if she doesn't think so. She must find a way to deal with her brother's suicide and find a way to move on. And this is exactly what she does. This isn't a love story, where Lex meets a guy that shows her there's more to life than dwelling on the event that happened 3 months ago. This is the story about a girl who finds herself, and gets through this incredibly difficult situation on her own. Along the way she realizes that she isn't alone, and that getting to that place where everything she is feeling is a bit more manageable takes time.
This is a deep novel that is full of heartfelt and touching moments. While it won't be the easiest novel to read as it is a tearjerker, it is worth it in every single way. This is an absolute must-read, so don't put this one off!
Happy reading :)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author choice vary interesting topic but after reading 200 pages i was expecting much more after that and guess...Read more