Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Cynthia Hand
Lex used to be happy. But that was before her brother, Tyler, killed himself. Now Lex just feels empty and isn’t sure she can ever be happy again. Therapy doesn’t seem to be helping, her mother is not coping well, and while her friends want to be there for her they just don’t understand. Ty sent her a text the night he died and if she had responded, Lex feels she could have saved him. She can’t help all the “maybes” and “what ifs” that run through her mind. No matter how hard Lex tries to pull her life back together it keeps unraveling. As Lex learns more about Ty’s death, and the events leading to it, she slowly begins to forgive herself and those around her until she’s finally able to say goodbye to her brother.
The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a masterfully told story of grief, pain, and healing. However, it is not recommended for anyone to read this book without careful consideration. Told from Lex’s perspective, every page is filled with very real and deep emotion. The pain and she feels over losing her brother is almost palpable. The difficult topics discussed in the book (particularly suicide and divorce) make it an emotionally challenging read which could suffocate less mature readers. If a reader is mature enough to handle the content, however, they will come away with a greater understanding and empathy for those who have lost someone close to them. This book also provides an opportunity for parents to have a discussion about suicide with their children: what to do if they or a friend is feeling suicidal and who they can talk to.
*Contains infrequent but severe language.