Review: Cynthia Hand – The Last Time We Say Goodbye

The Last Time We Say Goodbye

Cynthia Hand

Lexi used to be a typical teenager – as typical as a very intelligent proclaimed math nerd can get. Now she’s just the girl who’s brother committed suicide. With a heavy dose of blame, and the beginning of panic attacks, her psychiatrist suggests that she writes a journal to get her thoughts out.

17285330Since I listened to this as an audiobook, I’m not actually sure which parts were the journal, and which parts were actually happening as time went on. It didn’t matter to me though. The audio-reader did a fantastic job of differentiating between the different voices of the characters, and I felt that the author’s intentions underlying her different storytelling techniques were not lost.

At times the novel tried to set me crying. I listened to it while doing some craft-work and I had to stop and put my things down! I listened to it with my partner in some places, and she was just as invested in the story as I was, even though it seemed to be very long!

That damn letter! Arg! The whole middle section of the novel had me wishing she would just open the damn thing already, and damn her morals! She feels so conflicted about everything, and surely simplifying just one or two things would be good. At least then she would know why Ty left.

Lex blames herself for Ty’s death, because she feels that she wasn’t there for him. The ending satisfactorily wraps this up, and gives the reader important points to take away. This, along with all the repercussions of his death, really highlights to the reader that suicide is not a ‘weak’ choice.

The secondary characters seem unimportant for the majority of the novel, but at least some of them gradually develop. Mainly we don’t see any action from them because Lex is too caught up in her own problems and spirit-filled world. Stephen could have had a bit more of a showing, and I would have loved to see inside his head sometimes. But that’s the problem with first-person novels! I’ll never know!

Overall, this novel gets my whole-hearted thumbs up. 5 stars from me – I only wish I had the time to reread it though.

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