The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren is a tender story about a girl who lost her best friend. About a friendship that no matter what will never end, and how grieving someone you lost is different for everybody involved.
The Last Thing You Said is a beautiful look at the enduring power of first love and how two teens must reach through the murky waters of grief to reconnect. The whole story is peppered with beautiful quotes and my favorite will stay with me for a long time: “It’s a good day to have a good day.” I loved how Biren portrayed love as a brave act—because it is such a brave act—and how she explored the courage it takes to trust in romantic love after losing a beloved friend. This is a brave debut, a brave look at the raw, messy, confusing bits of young love.
At thw beginning of the book the reader learns pieces of information about Trixie’s death; such as, the way things were before her death, and why things are the way they are now between Ben and Lucy. There are little stories interspersed throughout the book gives this book depth and substance to the backstory.
This book has a lot of drama. Simon the renter who moves in next door to Lucy for the summer and with whom Lucy sparks a summer romance. Ben struggles with guilt, grief, and disgust with himself about his choices and mistakes. Ben’s family and the way they are handling their grief. Lucy and her family’s struggle to understand Lucy’s grief and stay financially afloat. There is so much wonderful, glorious, messy love in this book- sibling, familial, romantic, and friendship love. And the characters are flawed and make mistakes, many that had me cringing and crying out, ‘no, don’t do that, don’t make it worse.’ But the characters and the story are all the richer for mess that offsets the beauty in this moving book.
I received this book from ABRAMS Kids and Amulet Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.