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The Last Words We Said
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The Last Words We Said
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A Sydney Taylor Young Adult Honor Book All the Bright Places meets If I Stay in this heart-wrenching, romantic novel about a tight-knit group of teen girls coping with a devastating loss and what...
A Sydney Taylor Young Adult Honor Book All the Bright Places meets If I Stay in this heart-wrenching, romantic novel about a tight-knit group of teen girls coping with a devastating loss and what...
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  • A Sydney Taylor Young Adult Honor Book

    All the Bright Places meets If I Stay in this heart-wrenching, romantic novel about a tight-knit group of teen girls coping with a devastating loss and what happens when your best friend is also your first love...and your first heartbreak.
    Nine months ago, Danny disappeared. His closest friends, Ellie, Rae, and Deenie, are all dealing with the loss differently. Rae's pouring herself into rage-baking. Deenie's deepening her commitment to Orthodox Judaism. And Ellie—who was Danny's girlfriend and closest friend—is the only one who doesn't believe he's dead.

    Because she still sees him.

    In chapters that alternate between past and present, the story of Ellie and Danny unspools—from their serendipitous meeting to Danny's effortless absorption into the girls' friend group to Danny and Ellie falling for each other. In the past, they were the perfect couple...until it all went wrong. In the present, Ellie's looking for answers.

    She, Rae, and Deenie all have secrets, and they each hold a clue about the night Danny disappeared. Can the friends come together to uncover the truth about Danny? Or will tragedy drive them apart for good?

About the Author-

  • Leah Scheier was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. As a child, she was inspired by her favorite authors—Arthur Conan Doyle, Lloyd Alexander, and C.S. Lewis—to dream up tales of adventure and romance. Now grown up with three daughters of her own, Leah works as a pediatrician and continues to create new stories.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    In this coming-of-age drama, three close friends struggle to understand faith, grief, and one another against the backdrop of their Orthodox Jewish community in the suburbs of Atlanta. When Danny disappears, his best friends all process the loss in their own ways. Deenie shrouds herself in religion, Rae armors herself with rage, and Ellie, his first love and closest confidant, insists that he isn't gone at all--indeed, she still sees him every day. Skillfully combining past and present timelines, Scheier tells a story about the occasionally contradictory natures of objective reality and emotional truth. Grief is shown in all its facets, and the girls, each weighed down by her own secrets, mourn individually as the topography of their friendship changes forever. As varied as its depictions of grief are the novel's explorations of Jewish Orthodoxy. Each of the three main characters relates to her religious upbringing differently, and their parents, too, reflect a diversity of approaches to Jewish adulthood: Rae's parents are largely tolerant of her unconventional choices, Deenie's father is a beloved rabbi whom the youth of the community rely on for empathy and advice, and Ellie's parents do their best to juggle their daughter's desires against their own expectations for observance. Most characters are cued as White. A compassionate and insightful exploration of the mysteries of imagination and the deeply personal nature of belief. (glossary) (Fiction. 13-17)

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. (Online Review)

  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2021

    Gr 9 Up-Danny died on January 1. At least, that's what most people believe. Ellie does not. She believes he will return. Her best friends, Rae and Deenie, disagree but go along with Ellie even when she claims she still sees and talks to him. Readers learn, through chapters alternating between present and past, that Ellie blames herself for whatever might have happened to Danny. She has not shared this with her friends, though. They and everyone else, including Ellie's therapist, believe Ellie is deluding herself. What Ellie doesn't know is that her best friends have secrets, too. Secrets involving Danny. This is a difficult book to read, since the reality that Danny is not alive is apparent. It's hard to experience Ellie's self-delusion and the pain it causes the people who are close to her. Upon finally reaching the conclusion of the book, however, readers may feel that the whole story is pointless. None of the main characters are honest with themselves or others, which may elicit a sense of distaste for readers. VERDICT Not recommended.-Marlyn Beebe, Long Beach P.L., CA

    Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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