Official Review: The Last Day of Regret by Matthew J Diaz

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Cecilia_L
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Official Review: The Last Day of Regret by Matthew J Diaz

Post by Cecilia_L » 13 May 2019, 16:46

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Last Day of Regret" by Matthew J Diaz.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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"I am humbled to admit my failures because they are what make me human. We all mess up in relationships. We need to give more grace to ourselves, to our friends, to our siblings, to our parents, and to our children."

In The Last Day of Regret, Matthew J. Diaz seeks answers to the questions surrounding the untimely death of his twenty-four-year-old sister, Hannah. Did she plan to take her life or was her suicide an accidental overdose? Diaz poignantly chronicles their relationship and Hannah's struggle with suicidal thoughts, addiction, and borderline personality disorder. He discusses the family dynamics and timeline leading up to Hannah's death and openly conveys his guilt and regret regarding his inability to show compassion to his sister in her time of need. Diaz expresses the range of emotions and helplessness that affects the family members of those with mental illness. From his heart, he shares what he learned from his sister's life and his journey from brokenness to healing and redemption.

The loss of a loved one is always painful, and Diaz's account of his sister's unexpected death, although heartbreaking, is a meaningful tribute to her life. He eloquently conveys the complicated dynamics of a blended-family and addresses themes including acceptance, faith, compassion, grace, guilt, regret, forgiveness, and redemption. Diaz's thoughts are supported by scriptural references in a manner which is comforting without being preachy.

I most like Diaz's heartfelt honesty as he shares the painful memories of his own shortcomings in relating to his sister. He is brutally transparent, and at times, his emotions are raw. Anyone who has walked through mental illness or addiction with a loved one will relate to Diaz second-guessing his reactions to his sister. I also appreciate his willingness to share the lessons he learned from Hannah's life and their relationship.

My only dislike is the author's tendency to repeat content. Due to the nature of the book, I understand his need to build upon the events leading to his sister's death to establish the family timeline. However, there are certain circumstances that are repeated, as if they are new to the reader, interrupting the overall flow of the story.

Additionally, there are a few editorial issues which leave me to conclude that the book isn't professionally edited. First, each chapter begins with page one; the duplicate page numbers are confusing and when paired with the repetitive content, add to a lack of cohesiveness. I also noted missing words, typos, and empty spaces designated for photos to illustrate Hannah's grave marker and meaningful tattoos. It may be that the PDF I received is an unedited version which has since been corrected. Nonetheless, as is, I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars; with a bit of polishing, it could easily earn a perfect rating. I recommend it to Christian readers and families who have been affected by mental illness or suicide. On the other hand, readers who dislike reading scriptures may prefer to pass on this one.

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Bianka Walter
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Post by Bianka Walter » 15 May 2019, 12:58

This is such heavy subject matter. The loss of a loved one is the most painful thing to go through, and to read about it must have been just as hard.
This is a great review, thank you!
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Post by Niski » 15 May 2019, 13:13

This must be the most difficult thing. To live with regrets after such a big loss is really tragic.
I hope the author found some catharsis in writing this book.
I loved your review.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 15 May 2019, 13:36

Bianka Walter wrote:
15 May 2019, 12:58
This is such heavy subject matter. The loss of a loved one is the most painful thing to go through, and to read about it must have been just as hard.
This is a great review, thank you!
Thanks for your comment, Bianka.

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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L » 15 May 2019, 13:36

Niski wrote:
15 May 2019, 13:13
This must be the most difficult thing. To live with regrets after such a big loss is really tragic.
I hope the author found some catharsis in writing this book.
I loved your review.
Thank you. I appreciate your comment.

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Post by kandscreeley » 15 May 2019, 15:07

I'm sure the author had a lot of emotions after this happened. I'm glad that he's able to get them out on paper and perhaps help others going through the same or something similar. Thanks for your review.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

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Post by Cecilia_L » 15 May 2019, 18:19

kandscreeley wrote:
15 May 2019, 15:07
I'm sure the author had a lot of emotions after this happened. I'm glad that he's able to get them out on paper and perhaps help others going through the same or something similar. Thanks for your review.
You're welcome. I appreciate your comment.

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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth » 15 May 2019, 20:02

I think this would be a good choice for readers that are directly affected by mental health, whether it be themselves or someone near and dear to them. I admire the author's transparency as it is not easy talking about mental illness.
Wonderful review!

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Post by Jlbaird85 » 15 May 2019, 20:40

Wow, this sounds like a very intense read. The quote at the beginning really captured my attention. It is easy for us to hold ourselves to standards that we cannot achieve which leads many people down destructive paths. Being the family member of someone with mental health or addictions issues is harder than most people realize. I'm glad this author was able to share his sister's story. Thanks for the review!
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts

Shakespeare-As You Like It Act II, Scene VII

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Post by kdstrack » 15 May 2019, 21:07

This is a timely book as the rate of suicide is on the rise. His willingness to share what happened to their family is a loving testimony: to his sister, and to others who need this information. Thanks for your thoughtful comments about this book.

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Post by William1230 » 15 May 2019, 21:20

The Last Day of Regret by Mathhew J Diaz, was a really good book based on our time of depressing moments. I enjoyed how it goes into detail about sad emotional moments in this person's mind. It captured my attention explaining in well detailed manner. It was very well written. I really enjoyed it.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 15 May 2019, 21:48

Stephanie Elizabeth wrote:
15 May 2019, 20:02
I think this would be a good choice for readers that are directly affected by mental health, whether it be themselves or someone near and dear to them. I admire the author's transparency as it is not easy talking about mental illness.
Wonderful review!
I agree. Thank you, Stephanie.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 15 May 2019, 21:49

Jlbaird85 wrote:
15 May 2019, 20:40
Wow, this sounds like a very intense read. The quote at the beginning really captured my attention. It is easy for us to hold ourselves to standards that we cannot achieve which leads many people down destructive paths. Being the family member of someone with mental health or addictions issues is harder than most people realize. I'm glad this author was able to share his sister's story. Thanks for the review!
You're welcome. I appreciate your comment.

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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L » 15 May 2019, 21:50

kdstrack wrote:
15 May 2019, 21:07
This is a timely book as the rate of suicide is on the rise. His willingness to share what happened to their family is a loving testimony: to his sister, and to others who need this information. Thanks for your thoughtful comments about this book.
That's so true. I appreciate your comment.

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Post by Rachel Lea » 15 May 2019, 22:23

It's too bad about the editorial issues. Hopefully, the author can get them fixed, because this sounds like a book with a lot of good thoughts in it that I think people would benefit from hearing. Thank you for your review!
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