Thursday, March 19, 2015

Review: The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

The Last Time We Say Goodbye
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Hardcover, 400 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Contemporary

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.

My Review

Why don't you just break my heart into millions of tiny little pieces, Cynthia?! That would have been so much easier!

After reading, and loving, Cynthia's Unearthly trilogy, I knew I had to pick this book up. I wasn't totally sure about it though. She was so good at the paranormal that I was afraid her contemporary wouldn't be as great. And, while I didn't love it as much as I loved Unearthly, The Last Time We Say Goodbye was very good. I don't think I went 50 pages without shedding a tear. (FYI, I hid in my room to read this, just so my roommate wouldn't see me crying on the couch. I was a mess.)

Because this whole story revolves around Lex's brother, there has to be some sort of sibling relationship. And this is what Cynthia excels at. Her brother-sister bonds are soooo realistic. (I've never had a brother myself, but she can always make me feel like I do.) Unearthly's bro-sis relationship was touching and lovely, but Lex and Tyler's relationship had my heart squishing itself into a puddle of goop. Or maybe it just burst from emotion-overload. I'm not quite sure which.
Most of the relationships in this book were delicate, fragile, and realistic. Lex and Tyler's relationship with their parents, with their significant others, and even with their friends, were normal relationships—they weren't overdone to make the plot entertaining (although it was). My only issue with the characters in this book was that I did want to see a little bit more interaction between Lex and her ex.
While this book did have me crying my heart out, I did get tired of wiping my eyes. What do I mean by that? Well, I felt that I was just crying to cry. Some of the scenes, and Lex's inner dialogue, got a little repetitive at times. It wasn't often enough ruin the story, but it did happen often enough for me to notice it. Also, what happened between Lex and her ex was a tad predictable. I had figured out their issues in the beginning of the book, so I was just waiting for Lex to spit it out.
Another issue I had with this book, which can never really be solved, is why Tyler did it. I know that this is really impossible to answer for any victim of suicide, but it hurt me, just like it hurt Lex and her family, to not know.
All in all, this book will make you cry, so prepare for all the feels. But honestly, I knew this book was going to wrench my heart out and I still wasn't prepared.

*Note: I borrowed a copy of this book from my library. This in no way altered my opinion/review.

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