Title: The Last Thing You Said
Author: Sara Biren
Release Date: April 4th 2017
Format: E Arc
Publisher: Amulet Books
Page Count : 320
Genre : Young Adult , Contemporary ,Romance, grief
Reviewer : Taylor
Synopsis Via Goodreads
Last summer, Lucy’s and Ben’s lives changed in an instant. One moment, they were shyly flirting on a lake raft, finally about to admit their feelings to each other after years of yearning. In the next, Trixie—Lucy’s best friend and Ben’s sister—was gone, her heart giving out during a routine swim. And just like that, the idyllic world they knew turned upside down, and the would-be couple drifted apart, swallowed up by their grief. Now it’s a year later in their small lake town, and as the anniversary of Trixie’s death looms, Lucy and Ben’s undeniable connection pulls them back together. They can’t change what happened the day they lost Trixie, but the summer might finally bring them closer to healing—and to each other.
I struggled a little with my rating here. BUT I think I figured it all out! I tore through this book in one day! I was super invested in the story and the characters. Losing friends young is very hard. I lost family and friends young. One of my long time friends when I was just a senior in high school. So this book called to me right away.
We are dealing with two people at different stages in their grief. Lucy lost Trixie her best friend as if that isn’t painful enough she loses Ben as well. The love of her life and Trixies brother. He is alive but is unable to be around her now. Lucy is at the point where she is sad and missing her best friend every day but she knows that she needs to get moving. That living is what Trixie would have wanted. She meets a boy Simon and that’s really where everything changes for her.
Ben goes bat shit crazy in the wake of his sister’s death. He is harboring guilt because he thinks if he had been paying attention to his sister and not Lucy she would be alive. He hates the world and everything in it. He attacks Lucy with that hate every chance he gets. Bens grief is the kind I understand. I loved that he was angry and reckless. I loved that he cursed like a sailor and acted out sexually. It felt very real to me. Don’t get me wrong I was yelling at the book, begging him to get his shit together! That is the point though he invoked a real feeling within me.
Lucy was also a beautiful character. She has made a new friend named Hannah who is trying to help her deal with the grief. I loved their friendship so much. I loved that Hannah wanted to know Trixie. That she treated her with respect even though she was gone. I loved all the female friendships in this book!
” Be really brave. BRB – our code.”
That sums up how amazing Trixie and these relationships are.
Now on to my issues. Simon the boy Lucy begins dating to try and move on from Ben. He seems extremely sweet and it’s so clear at times he loves her in a way. I also felt some off things about him. Maybe he capitalized on grief a little. I don’t know if that was intentional because it wasn’t addressed. He also throws something very personal in Bens face and that sat very very wrong with me. Simon at the end also faces a grief of his own and I didn’t think that was needed. SPOLIERISH? I hated the kind of stress that added to Lucy. Simon and all his flaws was there for her during her grief and she just left him. It did not sit well with me. BUT my conflicting feelings on Simon the ones that think he was using her grief make me think that is why she left him in his time of need. (I don’t mean she should have stayed with him by any means. Just been a friend)
SO this was my only issue with the story. If you can even call it that.
I really liked this book. I think everyone should read! It dealt with grief in ways we don’t often see in the YA world. It also gave us different manifestations of grief helping show that not everyone grieves the same. It was wonderful. FOUR STAR.