The Last to Let Go (Paperback)

The Last to Let Go By Amber Smith Cover Image
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“Heartwrenching.” —VOYA (starred review) * “Beautiful, captivating prose.” —RT Book Reviews * “I can’t recommend this book highly enough.” —Kathleen Glasgow, bestselling author of Girl in Pieces

A twisted tragedy leaves Brooke and her siblings on their own in this provocative 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 hometown, her family, and her past behind.

But all of her dreams are shattered one hot summer afternoon when her mother is arrested for killing Brooke’s abusive father. No one really knows what happened that day, if it was premeditated or self-defense, whether it was right or wrong. And now Brooke and her siblings are on their own.

In a year of firsts—the first year without parents, first love, first heartbreak, and her first taste of freedom—Brooke must confront the shadow of her family’s violence and dysfunction, as she struggles to embrace her identity, finds her true place in the world, and learns how to let go.

About the Author

Amber Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult novels The Way I Used to Be, The Last to Let GoSomething Like Gravity, and The Way I Am Now. 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 Charlotte, North Carolina, with her wife and their ever-growing family of rescued dogs and cats. You can find her online at

Praise For…

* “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.”
— 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
Product Details
ISBN: 9781481480741
ISBN-10: 148148074X
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: January 29th, 2019
Pages: 400
Language: English