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The Last to Let Go Paperback – January 29, 2019
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Frequently bought together
― Booklist, starred review
* "Heartwrenching." ― VOYA, starred review
“A well-crafted and honest look at family issues and a good pick for fans of Sara Zarr and Laurie Halse Anderson. Highly recommended.”
― School Library Journal
"Complex and nuanced." ― BN Teen Blog
“The Last to Let Go is a deeply touching, heart-rending look at lives caught in the trap of domestic violence. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.” -Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces
“This emotionally charged story is a pitch-perfect portrait of complicated families.”
― The Children's Book Review
“Smith will take readers’ breaths away with every vivid sentence… [she] boldly explores this very serious, very real topic through beautiful, captivating prose.”
― RT Book Reviews
"The ups and downs [Brooke] faces are one hundred percent relatable and demonstrate that, even in the face of pain and anger, hope is the one thing that cannot be taken from us." ― The Mary Sue
“A fantastic read.” ― Culturess
"The hopeful story of a brave young girl’s journey to self-acceptance.” ― Hypable
About the Author
- Publisher : Margaret K. McElderry Books; Reprint edition (January 29, 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 148148074X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1481480741
- Reading age : 14 years and up
- Lexile measure : HL760L
- Grade level : 9 - 12
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #256,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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We're introduced to another cast of characters that are dealing with love, loss and the aftermath of tragedy. Led through the voice of the main character Brooke we are able to see what it's like to deal with a life that you want to escape from and what happens when everything you've known is turned upside down. How difficult is it really to forgive and move on or will you be confined by circumstances and hold on to what was, never able to move forward and grow.
Along the way Brooke meets others who are dealing with their own challenges and difficulties, reminding us that we're not alone in what we feel. As one character struggles to be seen by her parents, we're able to also understand why for ourselves as well as the characters in the book it's important not to be swallowed up by regret and anger as we lose out on the possibilities that might be ahead.
Anyone who has ever wanted to belong will be able to see themselves in THE LAST TO LET GO,and realize that we never know what we can do until we try.
This book however, I’m struggling jus to get through it. It’s written nicely, but it almost just seems to drag on. There isn’t enough depth in it for me personally. I feel as though it just grazes them too and never fully dives in. I want to finish it, I’m just having a difficult time. A book I’m into doesn’t take long to get through. This one however has taken me two weeks and I’m not even half way through. I skimmed through it and it seems to drag on a lot.
There are many aspects of The Last to Let Go that I loved; however, I think my favorite aspect was the characters. I love reading books about siblings, especially when they're so vastly different, and that rang true here.
Brooke, the narrator, is the middle child. She's quiet and bookish, spending the majority of her time doing school work rather than making friends and going out. There was something I liked about Brooke from the get-go. She's dealt with a lot of bad in her life - specifically at home - yet there's something still so pure about her. She has a hopeful way of looking at life, and I gave her props for that, but at the same time, she deals with her fair share of struggles, such as her changing relationship with her siblings, the confusion she feels over her mother's actions, her ever-changing relationship with Dani, a girl she meets at school, and the desire she has for a home rather than a house. I couldn't help but root for Brooke, and while sometimes I wanted to yell at her, especially when she pushed away the people who cared the most, I understood her actions. She had fire to her that's for sure, and she's definitely someone I would want fighting on my side. Callie and Aaron, Brooke's siblings, also worked their way into my heart. Callie was the most complex out of the three - it was hard at first to pinpoint her opinion on the accident - but like Brooke, she craves a home as well as normalcy. Aaron, the oldest, was strong. I loved the bond between him and Brooke, and I gave him major props for stepping up for his sisters.
The majority of The Last to Let Go focuses picking up the pieces and moving on from the accident that happened in the first few pages. What happens between Brooke's dad and mom is ripped from the headlines - wife kills abusive police officer husband - and it broke my heart to know that this is something that happens to families like Brooke's in real life. What I appreciated here, though, was the fact that Amber didn't present this as a black-and-white situation. Instead, she showed the grey areas as well. It was especially interesting to see how the siblings reacted to the accident- some sided with the father while others sided with the mother. It was interesting to say the least, because originally I thought it would be a very cut-and-dry situation. The court trial, especially, blew me away - it didn't go at all like I had anticipated. I also enjoyed seeing Brooke experience a series of firsts throughout the book - her first party, her first love, her first meeting with her grandmother. This book may've started with the accident, but the coming-of-age that Brooke experienced is what really stole the show, in my opinion.
Beautifully written as well as deeply moving, The Last to Let Go is a fantastic addition to contemporary YA. I can't wait to read more by Amber Smith.