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 Ages: 13+
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. Ages: 13+
Hand (the Unearthly trilogy) shifts to realistic fiction with the story of Lexie, a math star and unashamed nerd whose biggest problems are the aftereffects of her parents' divorce and wondering whether she'll get into MIT. Then her younger brother, Ty, commits suicide. When the book opens, seven weeks after Ty's death, Lexie's grades have slipped, she has broken up with her boyfriend, and she feels like she might be going crazy. During the two-month span over which the novel is set, Lexie sees a therapist (reluctantly), reunites with an old friend, withstands another suicide in her Nebraska high school, and learns more about what Ty was thinking. Hand's writing can be stiff, and Lexie's ex-boyfriend, Steven, is a too-perfect cipher, but she persuasively conveys the aftermath of suicide and the ways those left behind struggle with grief, anger, and guilt. Although Lexie's movement from paralysis to possibility is a little quick, her range of emotions is believable, and Hand is effective at showing how guilt can impede one's ability to move through tragedy. Ages 13 up.