Parents' Guide to

The Last Time We Say Goodbye

By Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Teen's heartrending journey after brother's suicide.

The Last Time We Say Goodbye Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (9 ):

THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE is a well-written and heartrending story. Lexie Riggs is a mature and responsible teen and a relatable protagonist. When her younger brother, Tyler, commits suicide, her world is completely changed forever. People don't know how to talk to her, and she feels like an outcast, when in reality she's casting herself out. She mistakes dealing with her grief alone for being strong. She doesn't want anyone to see her cry, but her efforts to avoid dealing with her grief start to have terrible effects on her emotionally and physically.

In many books, it can be frustrating to see characters shut themselves off, but Lexie's character is well-fleshed-out, so we understand why she tries a rational approach to an emotional problem. The depth of her mother's sorrow is raw, real, and heartbreaking. And even though Lexie feels she should be strong enough to help her family heal, she's a kid harboring her own guilt at not being home to stop her brother from killing himself. Her grief puts a strain on all her relationships: her friends, her boyfriend, and her parents. Author Cynthia Hand creates very realistic scenarios for Lexie and her family, which make for a compelling, moving story. The chapters alternate between Lexie's present, past, dreams, and journal her therapist asks her to write. As the book progresses, the reader gets a deeper glimpse into the family and personal dynamics at play in Tyler's suicide and the aftermath.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate