The last time we say goodbye

Cynthia Hand, 1978-

Book - 2015

After her younger brother, Tyler, commits suicide, Lex struggles to work through her grief in the face of a family that has fallen apart, the sudden distance between her and her friends, and memories of Tyler that still feel all too real.

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YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Hand, Cynthia
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Subjects
Published
New York, NY : HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2015]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
390 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780062318473
0062318470
Main Author
Cynthia Hand, 1978- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* In the wake of her younger brother Tyler's suicide, Lex feels utterly alone. Her friends look at her in a way she can't stand, her mother has withdrawn, her dad and his new wife are distant, and she has pushed her decent, kind, and perfectly matched boyfriend (now ex) as far away as possible. She needs to make sense of this loss and piece together Tyler's last days and moments, and her struggle to do so becomes almost all consuming. But she still finds connections—with Tyler's friends, with a neighbor girl from whom she had grown distant, and with Tyler, who seems to still linger in their home, leading her to clues. This is a quietly powerful, emotionally complex novel that will echo with readers long after it is finished. Lex's personal journey through grief and into a new life feels achingly real. Her decisions, while not always rational, are infinitely relatable. Even if her actions make her unlikable at times, it's impossible not to sympathize with her. Fans of Hand's paranormal romances may be surprised by the solid realism here, but readers will be eager to see what comes next after this novel, which is both shatteringly painful and bright with life and hope. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Hand's Unearthly series was a best-seller, and though this is a departure from her usual fantasy fare, her many fans will likely be eager to get their hands on this one, too. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Hand (the Unearthly trilogy) shifts to realistic fiction with the story of Lexie, a math star and unashamed nerd whose biggest problems are the aftereffects of her parents' divorce and wondering whether she'll get into MIT. Then her younger brother, Ty, commits suicide. When the book opens, seven weeks after Ty's death, Lexie's grades have slipped, she has broken up with her boyfriend, and she feels like she might be going crazy. During the two-month span over which the novel is set, Lexie sees a therapist (reluctantly), reunites with an old friend, withstands another suicide in her Nebraska high school, and learns more about what Ty was thinking. Hand's writing can be stiff, and Lexie's ex-boyfriend, Steven, is a too-perfect cipher, but she persuasively conveys the aftermath of suicide and the ways those left behind struggle with grief, anger, and guilt. Although Lexie's movement from paralysis to possibility is a little quick, her range of emotions is believable, and Hand is effective at showing how guilt can impede one's ability to move through tragedy. Ages 13–up. Agent: Katherine Fausset, Curtis Brown. (Feb.) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

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 [Page 115]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

After her younger brother, Tyler, commits suicide, Lex struggles to work through her grief in the face of a family that has fallen apart, the sudden distance between her and her friends, and memories of Tyler that still feel all too real.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

After her brother, Tyler, commits suicide, Lex struggles to work through her grief in the face of a family that has fallen apart, the sudden distance between her and her friends, and memories of Tyler that still feel all too real.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Forced to confront locked-away feelings about her brother's suicide after estranging herself from her friends and family, Lex faces unexpected challenges in her efforts to heal and move on. By the best-selling author of the Unearthly trilogy. Simultaneous eBook. 100,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

In the tradition of Thirteen Reasons Why and All the Bright Places, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a deeply affecting novel that will change the way you look at life and death.From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand comes a stunning, heart-wrenching novel of love and loss, which ALA Booklist called "both shatteringly painful and bright with life and hope" in a starred review.Since her brother, Tyler, committed suicide, Lex has been trying to keep her grief locked away, and to forget about what happened that night. But as she starts putting her life, her family, and her friendships back together, Lex is haunted by a secret she hasn't told anyone—a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

In the tradition of Thirteen Reasons Why and All the Bright Places, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a deeply affecting novel that will change the way you look at life and death.From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand comes a stunning, heart-wrenching novel of love and loss, which ALA Booklist called "both shatteringly painful and bright with life and hope" in a starred review.Since her brother, Tyler, committed suicide, Lex has been trying to keep her grief locked away, and to forget about what happened that night. But as she starts putting her life, her family, and her friendships back together, Lex is haunted by a secret she hasn't told anyone'a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.