Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Last Time We Say Goodbye

By: Cynthia Hand
Location: FIC HAN
Genre: Youth Fiction- Suicide, Depression

There's death all around us.
We just don't pay attention.
Until we do.

So heartbreaking. Be prepared to cry. And cry. And then cry some more

The Last Time We Say Goodbye is not about the phone call, not about the terrible shock, not about the funeral. It’s about the months after, when everyone else seems to move on with their lives but you can’t. It’s about the little things that remind you of that person, about the gaping hole in your chest that starts to unravel more every day. It’s not about “moving on”, but it is about learning to live with it.

Lexie's brother, Ty, committed suicide at age 16. A popular, basketball star, with tons of friends and yet decided to end it in only his junior year of high school. And she feels horrible guilt. Why did he do it? And why didn't she see the signs? Why didn't she talk to him? Why couldn't she help him? Should she blame her dad for leaving them? His ex-girlfriend? Life doesn't have simple answers though.

Lexie pushes her friends away. Like you would expect she is having a really hard time dealing with her grief. Her therapist told her to write a journal so there is a mixture of journal entries and her recalling her past with her brother. Lexie also tries to figure out if there was a specific reason why he decided to end his life that day. She connects with his old friends and girlfriend. 

Dealing with a death in the family affects everyone differently. There is no right way to help a friend or daughter or girlfriend out of it. Some of her thoughts and reactions are definitely ones I was familiar with and other ones were not. Lexie reconnected with a neighbor that helped her through it but then it was sad because her best friend was trying so hard to help. But sometimes you just need the unexpected.
At the end the author shares that her own brother committed suicide at age 17 while she was age 20. The book is fiction but I definitely think those real feelings of loss came through in her writing and made this a really touching, realistic, important, and worthy read. 
Thanks to for this combo of reviews.

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