The Last Words We Said

S. & S. Aug. 2021. 320p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781534469396.
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.

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