Review for My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal

My Last KissMy Last Kiss
By: Bethany Neal
Release Date: June 10th 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Source: ARC from Publisher

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
What if your last kiss was with the wrong boy?

Cassidy Haines remembers her first kiss vividly. It was on the old covered bridge the summer before her freshman year with her boyfriend of three years, Ethan Keys. But her last kiss–the one she shared with someone at her seventeenth birthday party the night she died–is a blur. Cassidy is trapped in the living world, not only mourning the loss of her human body, but left with the grim suspicion that her untimely death wasn’t a suicide as everyone assumes. She can’t remember anything from the weeks leading up to her birthday and she’s worried that she may have betrayed her boyfriend.

If Cassidy is to uncover the truth about that fateful night and make amends with the only boy she’ll ever love, she must face her past and all the decisions she made–good and bad–that led to her last kiss.

Bethany Neal’s suspenseful debut novel is about the power of first love and the haunting lies that threaten to tear it apart.

My Thoughts:
My Last Kiss was a highly entertaining yet heartbreaking thriller. We follow our main character, Cassidy, as she tries to put the pieces of her death together because she has no memory of what happened the weeks prior. The story wastes no time throwing us into our main character’s ghost existence and I was immediately curious as to what happened to her that last night and weeks leading up to it.

Though Cassidy is a complex character that doesn’t always behave in a way I respect I empathized with her and could understand why she acted the way she did. I felt that Neal did a great job in giving us a main character that was flawed and relatable. I loved seeing glimpses of the other characters through Cassidy’s eyes as a ghost and then in her flashbacks. It was a lot of fun, and at times stressful, to watch the sides line up to put the puzzle together. Though I could see things start to line up I remained interested in seeing the whole night of Cassidy’s death reenacted.

The other characters were hit and miss for me. One of Cassidy’s best friends Aimee was highly relatable and likeable. I rooted for her and she really pulled on my emotions with how she was taking the story’s events. Another character that resonated wonderfully for me was Cassidy’s boyfriend, Ethan. I loved the memories of how the two of them started dating and thought he was sweet and very realistic.

The characters that did not work for me were some of the other secondary characters that seemed more shallow. I never fully felt the emotions behind their actions.

As for the mystery in this book I was able to see some aspects fairly early on but I didn’t have it completely figured out until the end. It was easy for me to see clues that Neal left in descriptions and dialog to help tip the reader off in the direction mystery was taking. I enjoyed following these and seeing how Neal worked them into the greater plot and made my noticing them meaningful.

Final Thoughts:
Blythe Harris from Finding Bliss in Books nailed it when she described this book as The Lovely Bones meets Pretty Little Liars in her Goodreads review. I really can’t describe it any better than she did. Neal has written a strong thriller that was fast paced and kept my interest.

Comments

  1. says

    I will never ever ever get over how super mega awesome this cover is! And now that I know what it’s about, I want to read it even more. I need more thrillers in my life but I’m not ready to stray from classic contemporaries too much so this one sounds perfect! Especially with the description that you mentioned. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • says

      I love the cover as well. Very fitting for the book too. I’m with you I don’t read nearly enough thriller/mystery type of books. I hope you really enjoy this one when you read it.

  2. says

    Oh, I have this coming up soon. Your review has me excited, too…I love piecing together a story like this. And I love imperfect characters and sweet romances, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy this story as much as you did. Great review!

  3. says

    This one seems to have slipped under my radar recently, though I do like the sound of the premise. Even with hit and miss characters, I’m glad you liked it overall! I will definitely have to keep an eye out for it now. Great review, Kristen. 🙂

    • says

      I can’t wait to hear your thoughts Sam. I hope you enjoy it. I hadn’t heard anything about it when I read it so it was a nice surprise.

  4. says

    Yay 😀 Great review Kristen. <3 We both gave it four stars, hih 🙂 I'm glad you liked it. I did too. I just.. didn't like how she hurt Ethan 🙁 didn't make sense. Sniffs. Because yeah. Ethan! He was amazing, wasn't he? Sigh. I also loved Aimee 🙂 Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3

    • says

      Yes! I was so upset with how she treated Ethan. He didn’t deserve that at all. I still found Cassidy likeable though which says a lot about Neal. So glad we both enjoyed this one!

  5. says

    Hmmm, I wasn’t entirely sure if I’d like it at first, but reading your review as well as a few others (like Carina’s) I get the feeling this one is unique enough to give it a try!
    Thanks for a great and honest review, Kristen!

  6. says

    The paranormal thriller aspects sound interesting, though it’s a shame the whole cast isn’t well rounded and developed. Thanks for the great review!

  7. says

    I’m glad you liked this one Kristen! I’m so excited for this one.! :D<3
    Hopefully I won't see the mystery/answers coming from a mile away because that would ruin the book for me. D:
    And ohh, I am definitely excited to meet Ethan. ;D

  8. says

    I really enjoyed this one too! I had a really great time reading it and I enjoyed so many of the characters. Aimee really grew on me too! I agree – I think one of the reasons I didn’t make it to a higher rating was those secondary characters who seemed a bit one-dimensional and at times a bit stereotypical but I enjoyed SO much of it.

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