Review: Since We Last Spoke

Title: Since We Last Spoke
Author: Brenda Rufener
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

When true love is shattered by tragedy—how much would you risk to save it all?

When Aggi Frank and Max Granger finally admitted their feelings for each other last December, it felt like love was beautiful and endless… until it wasn’t.

A fatal car accident involving their older siblings throws their lives into sudden chaos. And with a restraining order now in place between the two bitter households, Aggi and Max’s love runs cold. Being together again seems like a distant fantasy, even though they share the same driveway.

Still, Plum Lake is a small town, and staying apart can’t last forever. Aggi and Max eventually reunite at a lake-house party hosted by a mutual friend and break the ice after a year of silence. But just as they begin to rebuild their relationship, the unthinkable happens when Aggi’s little sister, Grace, flees from home after their father spirals into a fit of rage. With a support system of friends close by, Aggi and Max must confront each other and their families in the hopes of mending all the broken pieces.

Perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven and Nicola Yoon, Brenda Rufener’s (Where I Live) second heartbreaking and uplifting novel captures the ups and downs of star-crossed lovers in the face of unimaginable grief, the fragile balance of their family relations, and the rocky journey to healing, peace, and forgiveness. 


I loved this story!

This story was very emotional. The two main characters both lost their older siblings in a car accident. Max’s brother was killed in the accident, in which Aggi’s sister was driving. Aggi’s sister couldn’t live with the guilt of killing her boyfriend, so she killed herself. That was bad enough, but the two families, which had always been close neighbours, had a huge feud. Aggi’s dad sued Max’s dad, causing a lot of paranoia and driving a wedge between Max and Aggi. There was a lot of tension whenever the two families came face to face.

This story deals with a lot of serious issues, including suicide and abuse. Aggi’s sister commits suicide, because she was being blamed for a car crash, which was just an accident. Max’s friend, Henry, was abused by his father and brothers. Aggi’s dad abused her mother and sister as a way to show his pain. All of these things were difficult to read, but they are real parts of life that happen sometimes. There are hotlines listed at the end of the book for anyone who needs to talk about these problems.

The only thing I would change about this book is to make the two narratives more distinct. The narrative switches between Aggi’s and Max’s perspectives. Sometimes I was confused as to who was talking, because they sounded the same. This was especially confusing when they were together and the narrative switched quickly between both of them to create more tension. It would have been a much smoother read if their voices were more distinct.

I really enjoyed this story. It was a quick, but emotional, read.

What to read next:

Where I Live by Brenda Rufener

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Have you read Since We Last Spoke? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

5 thoughts on “Review: Since We Last Spoke”

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