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The Last to Let Go

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,927 ratings  ·  311 reviews
A twisted tragedy leaves Brooke and her siblings on their own in this provocative new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Way I Used To Be.

How do you let go of something you’ve never had?

Junior year for Brooke Winters is supposed to be about change. She’s transferring schools, starting fresh, and making plans for college so she can finally leave her hom
Hardcover, 369 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Amber Smith Hey Liz, thanks for your question! Yes, The Last to Let Go is a #ownvoices book--it features a queer protagonist named Brooke, who is dealing with som…moreHey Liz, thanks for your question! Yes, The Last to Let Go is a #ownvoices book--it features a queer protagonist named Brooke, who is dealing with some really hard stuff in her family(less)
Amber Smith Great question--thanks! Domestic violence is an issue I hold close to my heart, and it’s one that has impacted people who are very close to me. It’s s…moreGreat question--thanks! Domestic violence is an issue I hold close to my heart, and it’s one that has impacted people who are very close to me. It’s such a widespread problem, yet I feel like there’s still so much silence, stigma, shame, and misunderstanding surrounding this kind of abuse. So one of the things I really wanted to explore in this book is how the cycle of abuse happens in the first place. (less)

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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  1,927 ratings  ·  311 reviews

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Emma Giordano
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
I really enjoyed this read! Personally, I did not enjoy it as much as Amber Smith’s debut, but I’m still extremely glad I experienced this story! Once again, emotionally jarring and awe-inspiring. Consider me a huge fan of what Amber Smith can do with YA fiction.

CW: spousal abuse, death/murder

One of my favorite parts of this novel is the excellent examination of a very specific teen experience. The Last To Let Go is a fabulous emotional tale of children who are forced to grow up too early due to
Elle (ellexamines)
“Brooke,” she says more firmly. “We can ask ourselves what if all day long, every day, for the rest of our lives, but I couldn’t help her because she couldn’t deal with the fact that she needed help. I’ve managed to stop blaming myself over the years. I hope you will too.”

3 1/2 stars. The Last To Let Go is a book about letting go of an idea of a perfect life, letting go of the idea that somehow everything will be okay, and learning to make the life you have better, to make it yours.

This is also
Camila Roy ••RoyIsReading••
RATING: 4.5/5

I loved Amber Smith's first book The Way I Used To Be , so when I found out about this one I just had to read it. Before starting this I was in a reading slump but somehow I made it through effortlessly.

Amber Smith has definitely improved her writing skills. I felt more attached to these characters than I did in The Way I Used To Be. The writing felt real, like I was moving along with the story and the events weren't fictional. Maybe it's because these types of things happen in real
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
i wasnt a fan of the way i used to be, so i was surprised to find myself picking this up. luckily, i didnt hate this one as much as smiths debut, but it still left me feeling a little bit disappointed. i just dont think her books are for me, unfortunately.

2.5 stars
I LOVED this.

THE LAST TO LET GO is my first Amber Smith novel so I wasn't sure what to expect. With any new author, I tend to lower my expectations, but this impressed me from page one. I've read plenty of trauma related novels, but not so many aftermath ones. This book didn't focus so much on the abuse itself as what happens after. I feel that there aren't enough domestic violence YA novels out there, so this was a nice change of pace. I could relate to Brooke so much- her sense of duty to tak
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
“Well, I think there’s a difference between giving up and letting go. What would happen if you let go?”

This review was really difficult to write. This book left me in a puddle of self-reflection and I can’t seem to get out of it. Amber Smith is a master with heartbreaking plots.

However, I wish I liked The Last To Let Go as much as I liked the author’s debut. And I wish I’d waited to read this when I was actually in the mood for contemporary, not fantasy. I’m sure I would have liked this more
book: emotionally destroys me to a point where i can actually feel the character’s grief inside myself
me: 5 Stars!

so i don't know where to begin. i don't know if i ever will be able to fully describe how much this means to me. i connected with brooke so deeply - i feel like she embodies me, in so many ways, but how could that be? she doesn't exist. but i just found myself in her, i guess. i feel like i am stuck between these forces that are my parents - and it's constraining most of the time, an

The Last To let Go is obviously an important story. It captures abuse and how it affects each family member, not just the ones being abused (in this case, the father was abusing the mother). However, the story was very lacking to me. I felt like I couldn’t get into this story. I expected so much more, especially more abuse to be featured. I really was hoping for a story that helped me continue dealing with mine…it didn’t. That would
Kathleen Glasgow
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amber Smith is so good at covering difficult topics (if you haven't read The Way I Used to Be, please do so soon!). She's got an empathetic touch, wonderful writing, and a great way of writing thorny characters and situations. Loved this book. ...more
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was ok

The Last To Let Go is Amber Smith's sophmore novel that begins with Brooke coming home from school to discover her mother has killed her abusive father. All members of the family process this differently, and express their grief in realistic and individual ways. This is a slow paced story about family, hurt and letting go

" You are born alone. You die alone. The value of the space in between is trust and love."

✔ L I K E S

✔ LQBTI+ rep!
This was a huge surprise to me but I was so hap
Samantha (WLABB)
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia, contemporary, ya, arcs
This book was a Can't-Wait Wednesday pick for me, and my initial thoughts based on the synopsis were that there would be a lot of suffering and loss. I can confirm, that the main character and her siblings suffered a great deal in this story, but they also pushed forward, and as the title states, they let go.

•Pro: Considering this was a book about domestic abuse, there was a strong sense of family woven into the story. After their loss, family and family-like members reached out to help Brooke a
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
"sometimes all I want in the world is to be left alone. Other people make things so complicated. But then I'm finally alone and all I want is other people around."

Amber Smith is back with her second novel and brings us on another emotional journey. The Last to Let Go follows Broke Winters, who has grown up in an abusive household.

" Their love was like the sun, warm at first, comforting, peaceful. Perhaps they thought they could bask in each other forever, but they burned too hot, too fast, too
Amber Smith
Jan 09, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm NOT going to rate my own book, but...I do want to share some of the early reviews The Last to Let Go has been getting!

* “Smith’s deeply felt sophomore effort (following The Way I Used to Be, 2016) explores the rippling effects of domestic violence and its ability to carry through generations . . . Vivid characterizations of the extended family Brooke gets to know, along with others who people her first year on her own, bring the story to life.”

* “Smith illustr
Jun 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
Actual Rating: 2.5



Amber Smith. You good? The Way I Used To Be is one of my favorite novels, what the hee haw heck happened here.

I was so mind-numbingly bored I had the nerve to skim the last few chapters. SKIM. Who am I? I don't participate in the devil's work.

I did not give a flying rainbow shit about these characters. I don't even remember the protagonist's name and I finished this about 15 minutes ago. That's how little I cared.

Wat tha fack?


Idk what to tell y'all. I'm not going
Jen Ryland
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rape-culture
Really good - Amber Smith writes another issue-driven comtemporary, this one about domestic violence.


Read more of my reviews on! Check out my Bookstagram! Or check out my Jen In Ten reviews on Youtube - get the lowdown on current books in 10-30 seconds!

I received a free advance copy of this book from the publisher for possible review.
May 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
amber smith left me disappointed with this one :/ i really enjoyed her debut novel the way i used to be and i was really excited for this one when i heard about it. sadly it didn’t live up to my expectations.
Cory Marie
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Okay, Amber Smith, I see you. You’ve now got yourself a reader for life.
Laurie Flynn
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's no secret that I was a huge fan of Amber Smith's debut, THE WAY I USED TO BE. When I got a chance to read her sophomore novel early, I had extremely high expectations. Amber has such a gorgeous writing style that's packed with emotion and nuance, and THE LAST TO LET GO builds on the all of the qualities prevalent in her debut. It's a story that demands your attention in the first chapter and never lets go (no pun intended)! Brooke Winters, the main character, returns home to sirens and chao ...more
Erica Chapman
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amber Smith just knows how to write emotion. It's a gift. This is the heart-wrenching, emotional journey of Brooke, a teen who has lost everything she knows and is desperately trying to get it back. There were times I was screaming at her and times I wanted her to make different decisions but through it all I understood why. There are so many great lines in this. The analogy of the water throughout the story highlights just how delicate and fragile life can be.

Emotional, heart-breaking, and rea
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just finished an ARC of THE LAST TO LET GO and WOW!!!
This book is both devastating and beautiful!!!
It’s about courage and strength and the spirit of the human heart to get through almost anything. Amber Smith captured so much emotion in this book that I found myself feeling crushed at times only to feel redeemed pages later.

This sophomore novel does not disappoint and Amber Smith has proved herself to be a powerhouse—writing novels that tear you apart then build you back up.
I am wrecked by t
Gaby (lookingatbooks)
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is utterly beautiful. You can feel the passion Amber Smith has poured into it.

I’m going to write a longer review in the morning because right now it’s 2:30 am and I have barely any coherent thoughts. This book has just left me a puddle of mush.
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019, 2-stars, e-book
This wasn’t a bad book. It just was very hard for me to read (maybe because of the domestic violence that this book has) and I feel like I never got really into it. At some points I enjoyed this but at some points I was really struggling. I don’t know I guess the domestic violence made me very anxious so these kind of books might not be best for me.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"Well, think about rivers. Every river leads to the ocean-that's their whole purpose, trying to find a way back to the ocean. They cut through rock, move moutains to do it, but they always carve out a path (...) to reach that other body of water out there.
Funny thing is, (...) people do that too, don't they? But then again, look at what we're made of."

So apparently, 2018 is the year I read more contemporary books and actually end up loving them. Ah, and also the year I tear up at everything.
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was so well written and so painful. It felt very realistic and I really recommend this if you love character driven books with painful/heavy topics.
Sera Indelicato
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5/3.75. a pretty solid read. not my typical genre though which is why i think i didn’t enjoy it as much as i could have
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Trigger warning: Book deals with domestic violence

I read "The Way I Used to Be" a couple years ago and was so completely moved by the book. Amber Smith made me an instant fan with that one, so when I saw that I had an opportunity to read her new book, I jumped at the chance.

Overall, I really liked this book. Just like "The Way I Used to Be", it tackles a really difficult subject. Brooke's father is an abuser. The book opens as Brooke finishes her last day of school and comes home to find that he
Stephanie Elliot
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Last to Let Go is a realistic portrayal of domestic violence and how it affects the WHOLE family, not just the two people involved -- no one comes away unscathed. Amber Smith does a terrific job of creating a family that comes apart at its very core and tells the story of a girl trying to let go of her past and move ahead in a new direction. Brooke Winters is a brave heroine, one who has a lot on her plate going into Junior year -- and this story is not sugar-coated to give the happy ending. ...more
Apr 20, 2019 rated it did not like it
Underwhelming and poorly structured. Brooke was a selfish jerk who did stupid things and didn't care at all about her family. The book started with a bang, and I thought I was going to like it. But then it got so boring and full of Brooke's drama. I wanted to see her get through the murder of her father and all that, but she never really did. I skimmed through the last few chapters. ...more
Sue Holmes
*Review copy via the publisher.

The Last to Let Go started off well but I found the story lost momentum about halfway through.
I just didn't feel the characters and wish they had been fleshed out a bit more.
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Čteme anglicky: The Last to Let Go (březen 2018) 1 14 Feb 27, 2018 01:26PM  
Is this another queer coming of age story? 2 19 Feb 18, 2018 08:38AM  

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Amber Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult novels The Way I Used to Be, The Last to Let Go, and Something Like Gravity. An advocate for increased awareness of gendered violence, as well as LGBTQ equality, she writes in the hope that her books can help to foster change and spark dialogue surrounding these issues. She grew up in Buffalo, New York, and now lives in Charlo ...more

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