Sunday, 8 June 2014

Review & Giveaway: My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal

My Last Kiss
by Bethany Neal
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: June 10th 2014

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.

 I've just this minute finished My Last Kiss and I'm pretty sure I'm sitting here with my jaw dropping to the floor. I don't know what it is about YA mysteries with a twist, be it ghosts or something else, but I find them addictive to read and if there's a big showdown? I never guess whodunnit, never!

My Last Kiss is about Cassidy and her last kiss, Cassidy is dead but for some reason is sure her last kiss wasn't with her boyfriend of three years, Ethan. Realizing she's dead Cassidy becomes determined to find out what happened. Found in the icy river clutching a note the police write off her death as a suicide devastating friends & family alike. Cassidy doesn't accept this though, she's almost certain she didn't jump and luckily for her, one of her best friends Aimee is convinced that something sinister happened on that bridge too. She turns detective and starts questioning everyone who was at Cassidy's birthday party including Ethan and Caleb, the other 'love interest' in the story, who shouldn't have been at the party in the first place.

Cassidy, Aimee and Madison are best friends who share everything except for one thing. Cassidy, too ashamed to say that her parents are having marital trouble, turns to childhood friend Caleb, now a high school stoner after going through the same thing and starts spending more & more time with him instead of her beloved boyfriend Ethan. This is where all Cassidy's problems start! She knows something major happened on that bridge so she starts haunting her friends and to her amazement, Ethan can see her but just Ethan, the one person who, in Cassidy's mind, does not want to be 'haunted' by her. She gets hurt by the realization that everybody knows something about what happened, summed by these three lines (the only ones I highlighted in the whole book, apart from character names).

It seems everyone I know holds captive some piece of my past. I want them, no matter how much they'll hurt. They're mine and I deserve to hold them.

There are so many great things about My Last Kiss it's hard to know where to start. The characters were definitely one of my favorite things about the book. Apart from the core group of Cassidy, Aimee, Madison and Ethan there were also their inner circle of friends - Drew, Mica, Caleb - and Cassidy's family, Joules was the perfect little sister. She sounds far cooler than mine was at that age but shush, that's just between us...

I loved the way she moved between the present day and moments in her past, memories, that are all leading up to the last minutes on the bridge and just who was her last kiss. The moment of the great reveal? Well, I hadn't guessed beforehand so I was still stuck on the last person put forward as a serious contender for last kiss/murder so it was definitely not where I was expecting it to go. I loved that though, My Last Kiss was never predictable, it was fast paced and stylish, it held your attention and drew you into the story. There was humor, tension, romance and regret - everything you could ask for in a YA thriller. Although the heart of the story was a story about romance and just how wrong it can go the book as a whole was so much more, about the consequences of doing things that you don't want people to find out, how you really never do know everything about anybody and how you can grow as a person - even if you're a ghost ;)

One last thing to mention, you all need to get yourselves over to Tor's website to read Bethany's short story, Friends 'Til The End, which is suitably creepy, has a stunning 'cover' and is quite possibly one of my favorite short stories so far this year :) After reading both I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what Bethany writes next!

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Follow the FFBC Played blog tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Bethany Neal writes young-adult novels with a little dark side and a lot of kissing! She is obsessed with (but not limited to): nail polish, ginormous rings, pigs, pickles, and dessert. 

You can find her locked in her Writertorium for insane amounts of time. But, hey, insanity is fun! My Last Kiss is her first novel.

Giveaway is open to US/CAN Only | Must be 13 or older to enter 

Win (1) signed hardback of My Last Kiss + a Swag Pack ( MLK Button, MLK Notebook, & Cassidy's watermelon lip gloss)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour co-hosted by Bethany Neal and The Fantastic Flying Book Club


  1. Well, this is the first review that I read of this book
    But it sounds much better than I hoped it would be
    Great review, darlin
    Your reader,

  2. Great review. I actually finished this last night and must admit to not liking it as much, was a solid three stars till the end. I think I will end up giving it 2/5 because I just couldn't connect to the story or characters. The end felt a bit too much like an info dump overload as there was so much being revealed. I didn't guess who it was but the whole thing didn't make complete sense to me. Too much teen drama, haha.

    I am happy you ended up loving this one though. I had read too 5/5 reads in a row and the last book I read, The Truth About Alice, was so amazing that this one had a lot to compete with. Great review :)

  3. I am so excited to read this one and that you loved it! Thanks for the giveaway!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  4. My first kiss was sweet. simple and sweet. Great review and fantastic giveaway!

  5. I don't remember my first kiss but I remember giving one of my boyfriends his first kiss and his response being, "Ewww is that really what you do?" Awesome for my confidence.

  6. My very first kiss was actually a lesson on how to french kiss. I was all of 13years old, & was walking home from the movies with some friends. I can't remember how we got on the subject of kissing, but as soon as the boy who kissed me realized I had never been kissed beyond a mere peck, he pulled me off away from our group to a secluded spot & kissed me. I had a HUGE crush on him, & yes my heart was beating like crazy, & my hands were shaking even more. It was the perfect first kiss. Even though he didn't return my feelings. (He wanted to make sure that I wouldn't be embarrassed when I did have a boyfriend who would really kiss me) He was a sweetie......

  7. I have to admit, I've been really wanting to read this book. I'll have to wait until the competition is over before I buy a copy! Great review :)

  8. My first kiss was a disaster. I didn't know what to do and it was all I could do not to laugh!


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