Friday, February 6, 2015

Around The World ARC Tours Presents The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

About The Book:

There's death all around us.
We just don't pay attention.
Until we do.

The last time Lex was happy, it 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 just 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 a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on.

From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and letting go.



Okay I am going to say this first...... Lord you need a box of tissues because you are going to cry and cry and cry some more. This book deals with suicide and the after math of the suicide. This is such a serious issue that is in the news right now that I just want everyone to know that life is worth living and no matter what the problem is it is not worth taking your own life. Reach out to someone anyone and talk out your problems. 

Lexie's life is turned upside down when her brother Tyler commits suicide. Lex goes through an array of emotions and blocks everyone out of her life so she can grieve. She keeps going back to see if she could have stopped him or if she could have helped him out. But all she keeps coming up with is nothing. As she isolates herself from her friends, family and boyfriend she finds help and comfort in the least likely person.

Ty was a popular Junior in high school. He loved sports and had friends and a girlfriend but that was not enough for him to live. He decided to take his life and when he did not only did he take his life but everyone around him that loved him. As Lex grieves and tries to move on she keeps coming up with the questions Could she have helped him? Could she have saved him?

This quote in the synopsis says it all for me.

There’s death all around us.

We just don’t pay attention.

Until we do.

This is a must read book about grief and overcoming a sudden death.

About The Author:

Official BioCynthia Hand is the New York Times bestselling author of the Unearthly trilogy. A native of southeast Idaho, she has graduate degrees in creative writing from Boise State University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. For the past seven years she has taught writing at Pepperdine University in Southern California. She and her family have recently moved back to Idaho where they are enjoying the fresh air.


I grew up in southeast Idaho, just outside the town of Idaho Falls. From as far back as I can remember, I loved books and reading, and wrote my first short story (about a fairy being born in a tulip) when I was around six years old—pretty much as soon as I could write. My second grade teacher, Mrs. Widdison, told me that I'd be an author some day, and I believed her. I kept writing stories all through grade school, most of them wildly fantastical musings on supernatural beings or creatures, none of which ever won the annual short story competition where the writer got to meet Kenneth Thomasma, the author of one of my very favorite books, Naya Nuki. I learned early on that if you wanted to win the writing contest, you should write stories about that time your parents got their car stuck in the snow on the side of a mountain just before dark. You should not write about a group of unicorns fighting to take over an island from an alien invasion. I kept writing about unicorns anyway.

SchoolingIn middle school and high school, my friends and I formed a writing group that wrote fan fiction about our favorite novels and movies. Each person in the group invented a new character in the decided-upon world (we wrote about Elfquest, Vampire Hunter D, X-Men, Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series, Anne McCafferty's Pern series, Star Wars, and SeaQuest—anyone remember SeaQuest?) and wrote exclusively from that character's point of view, sharing our writing as we went, collectively shaping what happened to these characters. Early on I was appointed the "editor" of our work, meaning that I collected it all, typed it, and edited it. I loved and possibly abused my power with the red pen. 

In middle school and high school I also, on top of all the fan-fic writing, took piano lessons, danced tap and ballet, raced on the Kelly Canyon ski team, acted or teched in every school play and several plays for the community theater, sang in the school choir, took AP classes, and somehow managed to find time to eat and sleep enough to stay alive. There was a period during my junior year when I arrived at school at 5:30 a.m. and didn't get home until around 10 p.m., five days a week. I took the words insanely busy to a whole new level. 

College SchoolingI went to college at the College of Idaho, where I majored in English (because I still loved to read, dangit) with a pre-law emphasis. I kept writing, as a hobby, I told everybody (especially my dad, who wanted me to have a solid, well-paying job) but focused on classes in constitutional law and international politics. I kept this up until the beginning of my senior year, when one day, neck deep in the law section of the library, I had this thought: I don't want to be a lawyer. I want to be a writer. So I broke the news to my parents and my advisers, who were all dismayed but tried to be understanding (especially my dad), and started to work on applying to M.F.A. programs in creative writing. I was lucky enough to get into Boise State University.

Even more schooling:

At Boise State, I was determined to become a "serious writer," to the point where I cut out pictures of my favorite literary authors (Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Alice Walker, Jane Smiley, Harper Lee, Tobias Wolff, Andre Dubus, Rick Bass, Joyce Carol Oates and many others) and taped them to the edges of my computer screen, so that I'd be reminded of greatness every time I sat down to write. No pressure or anything. It was in Boise that I fell head over heels in love with literary fiction, which I wrote exclusively for the next nine years, and where I became crazy about teaching. Just when I thought I was finally figuring out how to be a writer, I got kicked out (okay, not kicked out, I graduated with an M.F.A. in fiction writing). I wanted to keep studying, so I applied for Ph.D.s around the country, settling eventually on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In Nebraska, three hugely important things happened: I met my future husband, the writer and poet John Struloeff, I published my first short story, which I submitted to try to impress John Struloeff, and I connected with my agent, the lovely Katherine Fausset (for more on how that came about, click here).

Real lifeFast forward five years. John and I have married, graduated with our Ph.D.s, and had a son named Will. John landed a fantastic job as the director of the Creative Writing department at Pepperdine University, where I have the pleasure of teaching one or two classes a semester. I'd settled into "real life," but something is missing: writing. I was just not feeling it. This went on for a couple years until one fateful night, which I write about in my blog here, the night that Unearthly first started stirring in my mind. 

It's been a wild ride since then.

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