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Last Words 

 Author: Leanne Baugh  : 2020

Sixteen-year-old Claire is walking across Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver when a young man approaches. He’s laughing and talking on his cellphone. Then, when they get close, he reaches out, hands her his phone, says, “I’m sorry,” — then climbs over the railing and jumps. This is the shockingly vivid first scene of Leanne Baugh’s young adult novel, Last Words, a moment that profoundly changes Claire’s life as she searches for an explanation to this mysterious suicide. In the end, Claire’s investigation becomes an assertion of life, rather than a mourning over death. Pivotal to the story is Claire meeting with Kiki, a young cancer patient whose determined passion for life inspires her to embrace the everyday. Then there’s Claire’s sister Belle, who has Down’s syndrome and is a steady reminder that life is messy but full of possibilities. This profound novel is rich in diverse characters that illustrate what it is to live fully in this world.

YA Library

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