Thursday, March 19, 2015

Audiobook Review: The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

Quick Facts
My Rating: 5 stars

Series: N/A

Date Read: March 3, 2015

Source: Purchased audiobook

Publication Date: February 15, 2015

Publisher: Harper Teen

Genres: Young adult, contemporary

When Lex's brother dies, she loses everything. Her mother is lost in her own grief, and Lex distances herself from her friends and boyfriend. She has a difficult time letting in any kind of support - particularly because she blames herself for what happened. 

This was my first young adult audiobook, and also the first audiobook review on the blog. I couldn't have chosen a better one to start with.

The storytelling was my favorite thing about this. Not only was did the writing flow wonderfully, but the reading for the audio version was spot-on as well. I honestly believed this was Lex talking to me, telling her story. It was easy to get lost in for that reason.

At first the male voices sounded awkward and a bit forced to me, especially when Lex's therapist was talking, but I found myself unbothered by the end. I'm not sure whether I grew used to it, or perhaps the voices became better over time. I do think some of them were done really well (Ty's especially stood out to me) and I really do think it was the case of a few awkward lines, and of one person trying to sound like so many different people.

Speaking of people: the characters were great. Most of them began as usual tropes - the therapist serving as a wise mentor, Ty the perfect guy who nobody believes would commit suicide, etc. But I think this was more due to the way Lex saw the world and people around her, and I think the stereotype problem vanished as soon as we were allowed to see more of the characters. (Although I do wish a few had been fleshed out a bit more, I do understand that not all side characters are going to get that level of character development, and it didn't bother me too much.)

Despite the fact that I had a few small problems, I couldn't give this book less than five stars. I almost did, but 4.5 feels too low. 4.9 sounds ridiculous. So, five it is, and the reason is because I loved the story. Lex's character development was so well done, and her grief was so real. I think anyone who's lost a loved one would be able to relate to her anger, her sadness, and her guilt. It was so well done.

I also loved the parent aspect. They were truly important characters, essential in Lex's life, and the book showed that. They each had their own character arc that I really enjoyed as well.

Lastly, I feel like I have to mention the friendships - there were so many great ones. Lex's friends stuck with her so well, through everything, and it was so nice to see. I also think the relationship between Tyler and his friends was great and wish we had been able to see more of it - but, for obvious reasons, that wasn't possible in the book.

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