Books | The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

“Brave isn't something you are. It's something you do.” - Cynthia Hand

Rating || 5/5

Can you consider suicide as a sub-genre of young adult books? If so, then The Last Time We Say Goodbye is the apotheosis. 

This book has been passed around my friends. All commending it. It is a tidal wave of emotional turmoil, beautiful aggravation and haunting realism. They were right. It crashes into you, pulling you into its misery and pain until it leaves you curled into a ball covered in pink bed sheets, crying.

The Last Time We Say Goodbye follows Lex, an overachiever left behind, after her brother's suicide. She's trying to move on. She's moving on. She thinks she has moved on. Lex deals with the pain, the guilt, the blame. This book is not about the struggles of suicide. It is about the aftermath.

Perhaps why the book is so magnificent is due to its main character. Lex embodies the sarcastic intellect that Anatomy of A Misfit's Anika failed to be, and the guilt-ridden sister Love Letters To The Dead's Laurel should have been.  Her contemptuous flaws were realistic, her thoughts valid and emotions true. She was enigmatic, cryptic, human.



The other characters aren't as three-dimensional apart from Ty and her parents. Yet Hand uses this to her advantage. With heavy focus on Lex's emotional stability, The Last Time We Say Goodbye becomes something many books should be. This book is not a romance.

YES! It gets my point just by avoiding the girl-meets-boy-gets-over-problems cliché. I exhaled a sigh of relief, knowing Lex's romantic dalliances was not a central part of the novel. While it's present and plays a role, the book is ultimately about Lex and her brother.

The theme of suicide and its aftermath is explored beautifully. I don't have many words to describe it, because it's left me wordless. Hand writes with raw, unadulterated emotion that bleeds into the mind and heart of her readers. It's been a some time since I've read a young adult book this good.

So have you read The Last Time We Say Goodbye? And what's your opinion on the growing trend of suicide in books?

94 comments

  1. Oh, it sounds amazing! I've read a number of young adult novels exploring themes of suicide and hope, but none that has done the fragile issue justice. You've always been very thoughtful with your reviews, so I might just give this a go!

    May x • THE MAYDENbloglovin'

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  2. Oooh! I'm going to a bookstore later today and will definitely give this a look! Thanks for the recommendation! It sounds like such a deep and intimate read!

    be the plebeian

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  3. This sounds like a really powerful read. Thanks for reviewing, lady!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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    Replies
    1. I love how promising the book cover looks like! Makes me wanna read it immediately! Gotta check it at our library! Thank you for this reading tip, Bash!

      xoxo Ira
      JOURNAL OF STYLE / BLOGLOVIN

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  4. I've not read this but sounds like it is very touching and with a powerful message. May need to add to my reading list.

    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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  5. This sounds like a great book, definitely on my list now. I hadn't really noticed the suicide trend but you're right. I don't really know what I think of it but I do a little morbid when I get excited about a new book about it.
    xx, Pia

    http://www.gymbagsandjetlags.com/

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  6. This looks great, gotta check it out! Great post hun!
    Jenan
    http://lavieenmauve-jj.blogspot.ca/

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  7. This was an amazing book review-- I could learn from your amazing writing!
    I enjoy reading books about crime, this isn't quite the same but it sounds very interesting and much better than the cliche girl meets boy and falls in love.

    Thanks!

    www.thethingislemons.wordpress.com

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  8. thank u for commenting on my blog!
    u are such a sweetheart <3
    the top and skirt is perfect!
    f4f?
    Have a nice day darling!
    Isidora
    http://highheelpoodl.blogspot.com

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  9. This sounds so moving and like an intense read. I bet it would make me cry. Have a good week :)

    xo, Bry

    Drissella.Naughty&Nice

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  10. This sounds so moving and like an intense read. I bet it would make me cry. Have a good week :)

    xo, Bry

    Drissella.Naughty&Nice

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  11. This sounds so moving and like an intense read. I bet it would make me cry. Have a good week :)

    xo, Bry

    Drissella.Naughty&Nice

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  12. This sounds amazing! I love a really touching book that helps you feel how the character feels!
    It's now on my reading list!

    fixmeinfortyfivex.blogspot.co.uk - A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog
    xx

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  13. I am soon gonna read this! Thanks for the recommendation Bash <3

    willowtea.blogspot.co.uk

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  14. I wasn't aware that suicide is a trend in books. You wrote a brilliant review which makes me want to read this book--you have incredible writing skills!! xo

    P.S. I've given you a special thanks and shout out on my June 19 blogiversary! Thank you so much for your blog friendship and support!!

    Kisses,

    (='.'=)
    -Lauren
    adorn la femme

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  15. that sounds interesting- and I'm always on the lookout for new reads. Currently I'm re-reading the hobbit!

    www.jessandtonic.com

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  16. Hi Bash, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Here → http://www.mystictales.co/2015/06/the-versatile-blogger-award.html

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  17. I need to read it
    lovely post
    kiss
    new post http://sarameirelesthesnowwhite.blogspot.pt/2015/06/if-not-now-then-when.html

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  18. It looks interesting.
    I didn't know this book.
    xoxo

    Blog Pam Lepletier

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  19. Great question on the growing trend of suicide in books. I think authors have done well to talk about the topic and bring it to the forefront of mainstream media without glamorizing it because it still affects so many teens today.

    I really enjoyed your book review! Glad I stumbled upon your blog :] I haven't read this book yet but I will be sure to add it to my reading list.

    - Lizz
    http://www.lizzvisions.com/2015/06/i-back-50-facts-about-me-for-2015.html

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  20. Sounds like a great read, thanks for letting us know! xo

    Sarah Louise Porter Blog

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  21. Really love your post ! xo
    Can we follow eachother ? Let me know on my blog and I will follow back immediately xo

    BLOG | GorisHelena

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  22. Sounds like a great book! I might have to read it now!

    http://industrialbarbie.blogspot.com/

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  23. Wow, I'm impressed on your review, I feel like I have to read this book ASAP, it sounds very moving and emotional, but personally I love books such like this one

    http://crafty-zone.blogspot.com/

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  24. Really like that the romance isn't the central point - makes it so realistic for real teens! Great review.

    Erin | Erin and Katherine Talk Beauty

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  25. This book sounds really interesting and heavy to read but those are the books I think we learn the most from and give us a sense of understanding and compassion.

    http://rainbow-roseblossom.blogspot.co.nz/

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  26. this book looks like interesting ! happy reading

    www.sabrinamaida.blogspot.com

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  27. This sounds like such a good book! I've never heard of it before, though ♥
    Amy xx

    Little Moon Dragon

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  28. This sounds like a great read
    xo
    www.laurajaneatelier.com

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  29. I really like books in this genre that cover this topic and I kind of never thought of it as a "sub genre". I must read this!

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  30. I've heard so many great things about this book. It's definitely going on my to-read list.

    Connie | Sponsored by Coffee | Etsy

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  31. Wow, this sounds like a great book. Perfect, since I'm looking for a new book to pick up! :D Thanks for sharing Bash!


    www.jhanzey.net

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  32. great post

    http://carrieslifestyle.wordpress.com
    Posts online about St. Anton, Beijing, Tahiti...

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  33. thanks lovely. i think your photos are really cool! nice nice ;)

    Follow me for a follow back.


    My Blog | Facebook | Bloglovin | Lookbook
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  34. Wow seems like a very touchy subject would be a nice read. Thanks for sharing with us .
    My blog: RumelaTheShopaholic

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  35. Aw this book looks so interesting and inspirational! Thanks for sharing Bash! Have a nice day!
    xx
    cvetybaby.com

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  36. I'm not quite the reader but based on this post the book seems to have quite a story and seems very interesting..I might just go ahead and buy it:-)
    sophieatieno.blogspot.com

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  37. It sounds interesting, I don't usually go for sad books but I like the sound of this one!
    Have a great day :)
    Rosanna x
    Rose’s Rooftop

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  38. I love how this book explores a different subject !
    Thanks for sharing (:

    <3,
    RG @ rgmendoza.blogspot.com

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  39. This sounds like a book I really need to pick up. I'm currently wading through some of the 'classics' but I want to get some new books for going on holiday. Can't say I've read many books (read: I can't think of any right now) with suicide as a theme as such, but I have read several books focusing on self-harm (not that I've been particularly blown away by them so far), so I think this will make an interesting read for me.

    Amanda Jayne / beauty, style + everything else

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  40. Oh now this sounds like a book i'd like! I get so tiresome of romantic "girl meets boy" genres! This sounds really interesting, I'm looking for a new book as well!xx

    Honeypot Blogs

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  41. Sounds like such a good, deep book! I like the quote you put at the beginning, I think it rings so true to most of us! Sometimes people tell me I'm brave coz of this or that, but I don't think I am at all, for example, it's more about having to be!

    Love,
    Whit

    http://www.whitneyswonderland.com

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  42. Such a well-written and thoughtful review. I've not read this book before and honestly, I'm not sure about the trend of "suicide books"... especially if it's for Young Adults. It can be very triggering for impressionable teens but on the other hand, if the topic is broached right, it may save a life or two... so yeah, I'm not too sure about this.

    Shaqinah || Shoes and Roses

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  43. I'm always looking for books to read, thanks for writing about this! It sounds well written and touching

    Leftbankgirl.blogspot.com

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  44. I haven't read that book, yet, sounds very touching and powerful. Thx for the synopsis.
    xox
    Lenya
    FashionDreams&Lifestyle

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  45. I haven't read it until now, but this sounds really emotional and great to read. xo

    http://lovelyattitude.com

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  46. I haven't read this book but I'm definitely planning, too now!
    I think it's important that we talk about suicide and other mental illnesses but especially in the case of suicide it is so important since most suicidal people often completely blind out the impact their actions might have on their loved ones. This is probably one of the best book reviews I've ever read by the way.

    Micky♡
    http://princessfromjupiter.blogspot.com

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  47. Sounds like a great read! Xx
    Http://www.flauntandcenter.com

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  48. This sounds really good! Maybe a little too intense for me but I'm still adding to my to-read list!

    COOCOO FOR COCO

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  49. I haven't read this book before, but surely sounds good. I haven't read a full book in a long time which is really bad. I bi working all the time and in my free time, I blog. I have to change this though. :)

    missymayification.blogspot.co.uk

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  50. so nice :) kisses :)

    http://www.itsmetijana.blogspot.com/

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  51. Will be sure to add this to my reading list!! ;)
    LNew post on GIRL ABOUT TOWN BLOG
    FACEBOOK || BLOGLOVIN || INSTAGRAM || G +

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  52. Wow, super cute!
    Enjoy the day, sweetie.

    >> Check my cool Madonna Green lenses! <<

    ♥‿♥

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  53. I didn't jnow this book, but it seems good !

    http://clothespaper.com/

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  54. Sounds like an intense book! I can never decide if I like heightened emotional books or not, but the way you write about them makes me more inclined to give them another try
    Dresses & Denim

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  55. This sounds really interesting. I'm always open for new books and am so glad that you shared this.

    ♘ www.sugarpopfashion.com ♘

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  56. I haven't read this but I think maybe I should. It's been a while since I read a book that really gripped me and it sounds like this could be that sort of book. It sound like I may have to have a super happy book to hand for afterwards though.

    Samio
    www.samio.co.uk

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  57. I haven't heard of this book, but it sounds like a great read! Will put it on my list. :)

    <3 Trou
    The Peculiar Trouth

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  58. Hi my dear, great review, but I am not really happy about that suicide trend in books.
    Glamoury Armory Blog

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  59. I love YA books an this sounds right up my alley. Love that it's not typical girl meets boy theme and definitely worth a read.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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  60. I've never read it but I definitely need a traveling book. And I most definitely will check this out at the store. I just love learning about a new book so thanks for posting this.

    Kia / The House of KTS
    www.houseofkts.com

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  61. You have a beautiful way with words Bash, this captivating review proves so! The book sounds like a really interesting, moving concept. I like how you described Lex, she sounds like a really unique soul <3

    Sophie | soinspo xo

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  62. looks like a great book! :)

    Visit my blog? xx Miss Beatrix (http://missbeatrix.blogspot.com)

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  63. I haven't read a book about suicide before but this sounds so interesting, deep and powerful. May have to pick this up!

    Tina
    www.justatinabit.com

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  64. This sounds like a great book.I love the fact that it`s not centered around a love story..while that appeals to teens, I think that sometimes it sends a wrong message, the damsel in distress who needs love to save her.

    http://www.beautynerd.co.uk

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  65. Im quite interested in this book because i love subtle romance <3

    sarahrizaga.blogspot.com

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  66. This is a great read! This book explored great issues. Glad you've shared your review.

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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  67. That definitely sounds like something I would love to read, I'm gonna add it to my goodreads to read shelf, thank you for the recommendation !

    xx, Charlie
    http://charlieleschroniques.blogspot.com/

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  68. I'll definitely be checking this out! I don't really read young adult books anymore (I'm more of a Vladimir Nabokov type of person) but your review really sounds interesting! <3

    http://www.thestylishbipolar.com

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  69. It sounds interesting and amazing. Thanks for the review! Xo

    http://www.sweetsimpleday.com

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  70. Interesting review, this book sounds really good! I always love reading book reviews like this.

    http://www.theaisleofstyle.com/

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  71. I think I need to read that. It sounds like something that would truly resonate with me. And I agree with you- books shouldn't all be romance novels.

    nolongergrey.com

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  72. Hello beauty! I love your blog, it's very inspiring!
    Would you like us to follow eachother on GFC so we can keep in touch and keep supporting eachother?
    xo from italy,
    Sonia Verardo
    http://www.trenchcollection.com/

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  73. Love your blog, keep up the good work :)

    Check out my tips for a great minimalist style on www.quitealooker.com

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  74. Love it!

    Please click on my post's link
    http://helderschicplace.blogspot.com/2015/06/pieces-with-romwe.html

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  75. It sounds like a great book! Thanks for sharing!
    Paola ♡
    PollywoodbyPaolaFratus

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  76. Really love this post ! xo
    Can we follow eachother ? Let me know on my blog and I will follow back immediately xo

    BLOG | GorisHelena

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  77. I absolutely love how you described the main character in this book! I love me some romance, but sometimes I want to read about a kick-ass girl without her romantic life as the central focus. Thanks for the beautiful review!

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  78. Wonderful book. ^^
    Have a nice Friday...

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  79. I must admit, I've read stacks of murder mystery books but I don't think I've read any with a suicide theme. Maybe I'll give it a read. I love books that leave you a bit shattered and bewildered, and this certainly sounds like it might do just that :) awesome review, Bash! x

    ♥.•*¨ Amanda Says ¨*•.♥

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  80. This sounds like a really good read with a deep message! The suicide theme is definitely relevant to our society and I think it's interesting to explore the aftermath...thanks for sharing!

    Prudence
    www.prudencepetitestyle.com

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  81. I haven't read it but I am definitely thinking about it after reading your review! I think if it spreads awareness and helps people cope with suicide then it is a good thing.

    xo,
    Jessica
    www.fortheloveofbubbly.com

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  82. This book sounds amazing! I'm definitely going to read it!

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  83. Have a great day, Bash :)

    http://crafty-zone.blogspot.com/

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  84. Wow, it seems like such a good book! YA book around suicide are becoming more popular and I think it is due to the fact that unfortunately many people lose loved ones this way.

    Pop over to my blog!

    Sarah
    https://everydayconcepts.wordpress.com

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