Posted in Reading Challenge, Reviews

Review: The Last Time We Say Goodbye

Good afternoon everone, I hope you’ve all have a wonderful day so far. Today, I am back with another book review! This book was the second book I have read for #TheReadingQuest, and it fulfilled the prompt of reading a book with a verb in the title.
Completing this book gives me another 10XP to my existing 20XP, meaning I am now at a total of 30XP!
This book was 390 pages long, earning me 39HP to my existing 45HP, putting me at a total of 84HP!

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary
Pages: 390
Publication Date: February 2015
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Read August 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:
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.

I had this book on my TBR for quite a while, and in December, I found it on Book Outlet for an excellent price and decided to purchase myself a copy. It sat on my shelf for about eight months before I finally had the time to read it, but I am so, so, so glad that I finally did!
I heard really great things about this book, and everyone who read it seemed to be very pleased, so I had pretty high expectations. I am delighted to say that this book absolutely met my expectations!

I was amazed by the character development in the story! Every single character, even the super minor ones, were excellently developed.
My favourite character was probably Seth, even though he didn’t play a very large role in the story. What we did see was funny, charming, and sweet, and I really wish we got to see more of him! I will admit that when we were first introduced to him when he told Lex and Sadie that ghost story, it is that gave me the idea that I thought that he would become the love interest. I’m clueless as to what gave me that idea, but I just had this feeling and I was super excited! They could bond over his father’s death and Ty’s suicide. They would be each others’ shoulder to cry on – it would have been beautiful! As much as I did like Steven, I feel like Seth would have been great with Alexis (even though I am basing this on the couple of very brief scenes that he was in, but hey, I take what I can get).

The theme of suicide has seemingly become very popular in YA over the last few years, but this book was really different from all of the other ones that I’ve read or heard about. It’s difficult to put my finger on exactly what it is that makes it so different, but there’s something about it that makes it stick out from the rest. I just can’t place what it is.

Though I did really like the overall plot, I was left a tiny bit confused about a couple of things.
SPOILER ALERT: If Tyler’s ghost/spirit wasn’t really there, how did the light in the playhouse turn on? I don’t really understand how it could magically do that all by itself, and it was a little too coincidental that it just happened to turn on and lead her to the missing photos. Also, how come the empty picture frames on the wall kept falling? And if the pictures were missing since before Ty committed suicide, why is it that neither Alexis nor her mother noticed the missing photographs until months later? Those things just didn’t add up to me once it was confirmed that there was no ghost or spirit.

I was really pleased with the pacing of the story. I was quickly immersed in the story and never wanted to put the book down! It had a nice flow, and the slight mystery aspect of the plot kept me very interested and entertained.

I also will admit that I was a little disappointed that as heartbreakingly sad as the story was, I didn’t get the big waterfall of tears that it seemed everybody else did. I was sad, but I didn’t shed a single tear. However, I am not normally a book crier, and it normally takes something huge to make me cry (which is bizarre considering I cry about just about everything else under the sun in real life) so my lack of tears wasn’t exactly a surprise. I just would have liked to have gotten a little more emotion evoked from me.

SPOILER ALERT: Finding out that the author’s own brother committed suicide at the end of the book made this story even more heartbreaking. Knowing that the book was, in a way, inspired by her own life puts so much more meaning into everything, and I’m really glad that I didn’t know that until I finished the entire book, which is why I made this a spoiler (even though it isn’t).

When I looked at the cover prior to reading the book, it was kind of just “meh”. Not bad, but nothing special either, a little boring maybe. However, after reading the book, I see the cover in an entirely different light and I have fallen in love with it. It’s haunting and beautiful and fits the story brilliantly! Strange how much your perspective change, isn’t it?

I am very much looking forward to reading more of Cynthia Hand’s work in the future! I have heard nothing but wonderful things about her other books and I can’t wait to read them for myself.

Have you read The Last Time We Say Goodbye? Did it have the waterworks effect on you? Which character was your favourite?
Have you read any of Cynthia Hand’s other novels? Which one should I start with?
Let me know in the comments down below!

As always, thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a fantastic night!
Find me on Goodreads here.


3 thoughts on “Review: The Last Time We Say Goodbye

  1. I remember hearing about this one when it first came out, and I was really interested. I’m a huge book crier, so I feel like there will be waterworks while reading it. And I’m interested to see a different take. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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