The Last Time We Say Goodbye

Cynthia Hand

The Last Time We Say Goodbye
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The Last Time We Say Goodbye

Cynthia Hand

The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a poignant, layered and compelling novel about a teenage girl grappling with the suicide of her younger brother.

The last time Lex was happy 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 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 the past doesn’t have to define the present.

From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand comes a story of love, loss and learning how to let go.


Lex is a self-confessed maths geek with a dream to go to MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) where she can pursue her love of everything mathematics. But when her brother, Taylor, commits suicide in their garage, Lex suddenly has a lot to deal with. She has to cope with not only her own grief and anger, but her mother’s constant crying and inability to properly function, and a father who is mostly absent and whom Lex still resents due to an affair that saw him leave his family.

But while so many things could have contributed to Taylor’s suicide, Lex blames herself. A therapist’s suggestion of writing a diary is at first met with indifference, but as Lex slowly writes she realises it may be the only way she can open up about what really happened.

While I felt that, for the most part, Cynthia Hand has written a touching and captivating story that tackles the situation of suicide with dignity, I did find a couple of the storylines unnecessary. That said, this is a sensitive novel for teens who are interested in true-to-life stories. Ages 14 and up.

Katherine Dretzke is from Readings Carlton.

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