Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

The Last Time We Say GoodbyeThe Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Last Time We Said Goodbye is beautifully told story that combines the effects of 13 Reasons and If I Stay. It's a girl and all her what if's; a young woman, insistent on being OK and wanting things to be better but unsure about how to get there. Because while she'd rather not have things unravel, unravel they do- father, mother, friends, and self. Bit by bit the distance between them widens... all the while they're still grappling with what to do to make things right- some more obvious, where the protagonist insistent on being anything but.

At the same time, she's seeing things as they are and calling them out as such, yet it's sad, too... because her truth is colored by her emotion; the impact of what's happened is felt and she's not up to dealing as yet. Sadder still- witnessing her see others deal as they do--- because they aren't.

Best yet is the sensitivity in how Hand deals with the subject- not once mawkish nor excessive as it isn't just about her brother's done and his why; but also about the ripples the first has. Then while those ripples are felt, time progresses, choices are made. So the cracks first barely noted, become bigger and more evident fractures- as when the child starts the mothering,  the romances that begin unravelling, and frendships that are reconsidered. And in all that, there are glimpses of humor and moments intelligence, truth as the lead sifts through the goings- on. Yes, loss is felt, pain is allowed... except not just because of what one assumes.

Thank you, Edelweiss!

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