The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
The Last Time We Say Goodbye is the most gripping, eye opening and heart-breaking novel I have ever read.
Written by Cynthia Hand, this novel revolves around senior (Year 13) student Alexis who suffering from depression after losing her brother, Ty, to suicide. She holds resentment against her father who divorced her mother, she feels like Ty chose to end his life due to his father. However, Alexis has a secret. A text, though seemingly simple, could have prevented Ty's death. Eaten up by guilt, she begins to have morbid dreams of her brother dying over and over and even begins to see ghosts or images of her brother everywhere.
Though it sounds like a fantasy or science fiction novel, it is definitely not. It is a book that tugs on your heartstrings, makes you cry and most of all: makes you think. It's books like these that are so enthralling that you never want to put it down.
Although the theme of the book isn't exactly happy, it is definitely one of my favourite books. I think it's because you're reading it in the point of view of somebody who is not exactly the main character. Ty's sister, Alexis, is not suicidal. She doesn't feel Ty's pain. Yet the sadness and regret she feels is so raw in the book, you feel like you were there with her. And it's just so so rare to come across books like these. Beautifully tragic. It's not often you come across books like these with emotions described so vividly.
As an end note, however, I have to recommend this book to people age 11 and above. There's not much language in the book, but there are some mature themes (eg. drug usage, suicide etc) that is not suitable for children below age 11. Not only because they won't understand it, it might also influence their actions.
Overall, this book is definitely a 10/10, and a must read for (suitable) readers.