I wanted to share my thoughts on a recent one that I just finished called, The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand. I bought this book from Audible.com.
This was the fourth book that I’ve read by this author. I absolutely loved her “Unearthly” series and was very much looking forward to reading a new story from her. She did not disappoint.
“The Last Time We Say Goodbye” is a heartbreaking story about a girl named Lex who is trying to move on with her life after her brother commits suicide. Her parents are divorced, she has a strained relationship with her father, and a mom who is struggling with her grief. Lex feels like she is labeled as “that girl whose brother committed suicide” and that people don’t really see beyond it. She is doing her best to get through the rest of her senior year, with hopes to get away from her home town by going to a far away college.
There is a love interest in the story for Lex, but the way it is presented is not typical and it is not the main plot in the story. I found this to be refreshing. Many problems with the relationship are alluded to, but we don’t get the full explanation of why until the end, and when it’s revealed, it’s very moving.
Cynthia Hand did a lovely job portraying the ugliness of grief. The emotions that the characters go through are believable, and there were moments in the story that brought me to tears.
In addition to a great story, the audio book narration by Julia Whelan was excellent too. Each character had a distinct voice, and the feeling and mindset of that character was delivered flawlessly.
5 stars for both the book and the performance in the audiobook. I really liked this one.