Monday, June 9, 2014

Review: My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal


 My Last Kiss
My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal
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.
”add
Publishes in US: June 10th 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genre: Ghost story contemp feeling
Source: MacMillan via NetGalley
Series? No

Buy it:
My Last Kiss on IndieBound
My Last Kiss on Amazon
My Last Kiss on Book Depository
My Last Kiss on Powells.com


Author stalk away: ~site https://www.facebook.com/bethany.neal.50https://twitter.com/BethDazzledhttp://instagram.com/bethdazzledbethanyneal@aol.com

 

   I wanted to read this because I enjoy these sort of "ghost" or afterlife stories. It is a spin-off of the amnesia because it becomes a quest for her to figure out what led to her death and if her last kiss was with the wrong guy. 

   It drew me in right away because Cassidy has a voice that feels natural. She is in really stressful place because she is watching her death scene and then ends up in the morgue with her own body. Then she visits family and the boy who was her perfect first kiss. She does what she calls melting when she has the flashbacks of memories. She feels wet and then her body starts to disappear and she "wakes up" in a new place and time. Some of the memories are from further back but most are giving us the pieces of the puzzle in the weeks leading up to her death. 

    I liked the friendship it drew between Cass, Aimee, and Madison. They had a group that was close, and really knew each other. Their quirks, how their emotions are displayed or hidden. Aimee and Madison both grieve differently but they get on a mission to figure out what happened to her, and are denying the rumor that she committed suicide because they feel like the friend they knew wouldn't do that, and she seemed drunk but def not depressed at the party right before Cassidy died. Though I was surprised at the part that one of the friends in Cass' circle played into the party, the different people on the bridge with Cassidy and maybe even the one behind trying to break up Ethan and Cassidy. 

    The romance between Ethan and Cassidy was so sweet. I loved the way they were together in the flashbacks. But things started to change and we get the impression that there was another guy, and there was also a rumor that they were breaking up but Cassidy didn't know anything about it. So, it was hard to give in to the romance completely because I don't know if Ethan was planning to break up with her, or if she cheated on him with her last kiss. Or was there a last kiss (at 20% I am speculating this, I have no idea.)
    
    There were a few things that caused me to rate down a bit. There weren't explanations for why Ethan was special in that ***minor spoiler--highlight to read*** only he could see Cassidy. I know they were together but there could be some sort of explanation. There was love between her and her parents, friends, etc.   Then there were some times when the reveals felt like filler. There were some of the flashbacks that I liked because it gave us history with Cass and Ethan, Cass and her friends, as well as her and her family. 

     I saw a lot of growth in Cassidy. While at the beginning she seemed like I could relate to her, and I certainly wanted to get to the bottom of her reason for being a ghost. As I got some of the flashbacks it became a little bit harder to like her with some of her actions. But I can also get that we all make mistakes and do things in the heat of the moment that we'll regret or doesn't tell the full story who we are. But still, I can see how she realizes that and that she sees things in a new way. Ultimately though, what made me completely go there with her was as much as she tried to rationalize everything she did wrong (and admit it, we all do things wrong) I could see why she made the decisions she did. And at the end, she accepted that she'd messed up, owned it, and did her best to make it all as right as possible. 

    While there is the semi love triangle and some cheating, it never bothered me like it usually does, and I don't know if I understand that when you have a friend or boyfriend who seems so good and has a good family it is hard to confide about your own new issues at home. And how it can be easy to mix up childhood nostalgia for feelings you can act on when the other person has been in your life so long and cares so much for you. 

    The book really kept me guessing right up until the end, so even with the bits of repetition, I can look back and see that there are elements that really did add to the big picture. Each character played their part in the whole story and most of them really do have reason to feel at least a little guilty over all that led up to that point. 

Bottom Line: If you like the premise, you'll enjoy this suspense-filled journey to discovering the events leading up to main character's death.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you believe in ghosts?
Follow on Bloglovin

48 comments:

  1. YES. I do believe in ghosts, which is why books about them freak me out, LOL. This one doesn't sound so bad though ;) Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I forgot that I have this ARC! It sounds like it's right up my alley.....

    ReplyDelete
  3. This book sounds really good. I haven't read many ghost stories, but this does sound like a great one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I had to go read the spoiler, I am too curious

    ReplyDelete
  5. kirstymariejonesstudioreadsJune 9, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    I do love a good murder mystery and the fact that she's the ghost and helping someone to find out what actually happened to her kinds of reminds me of Ghost Whisperer (I so miss that show). But, besides that I really want to read it for the amnesia aspect, they're always really good, so I have no doubt I'll love this. I love ones that you read and there's hints but you don't really know they're hints until it unravels and it's revealed and then there's that point you're just oh I get it now, haha. So love that everyone has their part, and that Cassidy owns up to the things she did. And yup, I believe in ghosts, haha. I don't even know why, but I do. I'm pretty open when it comes to the possibility of paranormal/supernatural in the world.

    Kirsty @ StudioReads

    ReplyDelete
  6. I definitely want to give this book a try at some point. It sounds pretty interesting and different than a lot of books that I've read like this. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think this is one I'll definitely have to read. I love these kinds of ghost stories!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's interesting, I heard great things about this one so I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great review sweetie. <3 I'm glad you mostly enjoyed this book :D I did too. I also had a few issues.. but mostly liked it :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great review. Been curious about this one so I'm glad a lot of people loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. shootingstarsmagJune 9, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    Glad you really liked this. And yes, I do believe in ghosts.

    Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I don't really enjoy mysteries but I like the afterlife aspect of it in this one. I'm glad to hear the cheating/love triangle stuff didn't bother you. That's usually a deal breaker for me.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm glad My Last Kiss worked out for you, Brandi. This one just sounds so mysterious and I like the supernatural/ghost aspect of it as well. The mystery sounds really good, especially since it kept you guessing until the end. Great review :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. This seems like a great read and I'm so happy you enjoyed it. Great review :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Reviews have been promising for this and I do like ghost stories, despite a few problems I am glad you enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I don't read much ghost or afterlife books like these, but I do like the sound of this and the mystery of it. And a book that can keep me guessing is one I also love to encounter--though the kind of love triangle thing doesn't really sit well with me. BUT despite that, I am curious about this one!


    Lovely review!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I like a good ghost story, but I am a little wary because she's dead. And well, that's sad. So she can't have an HEA unless someone else dies which is also sad. So....can you give me a hint????

    ReplyDelete
  18. I do believe in ghosts but sometimes after-life stories gets too metaphysical for my taste. I think this one doesn't have those, great review!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm terrified by the idea of ghosts and while I'm not 100% sure they exist, I'm definitely not convinced they don't. There's too much weirdness in this world that just can't be explained. I have seen moved reviews of this one but it sounds right up my alley, and Cassidy sounds like an easily to like and connect with character. I love it when a character just has that natural quality to them that makes you fall right into the story. I also love that there seems to be a good friendship theme - not just romance. Great review, Brandi!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I definitely believe in ghosts, everyone I knew was convinced my old house was haunted, and the strangest thing was once we moved away our old neighbor told us they had found bodies in the lot behind our house! That kind of cemented it all for me. Anyway, this book is intriguing, and you've sold me on the characters. They sound really fun and I love the sound of the character development.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oooh.. this sounds interesting!! I am intrigued about Cassidy and the whole relationship between her and Ethan... Especially after reading the spoiler! Fab review!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    ReplyDelete
  22. Andrea @The Bookish BabeJune 10, 2014 at 12:53 AM

    Oh, this sounds exactly like the kind of story I loved a few years ago. I bet I would enjoy this a lot. Thanks for the review, Brandi!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I know, it wasn't really that big of a spoiler, some people outright said in review, but it wasn't in the summary, so I decided I would try to avoid it.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh man, that is creepy.


    It was a good story

    ReplyDelete
  25. I am not convinced they don't either. Not sure how that fits in with my christian worldview, but still.
    I very much enjoyed Cassidy's character growth.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I don't think it does either, more of a contemp feel

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hint: she's the only one dead, but hea could mean passing over and finally settling her business ;)

    ReplyDelete
  28. It was actually a love triangle that I semi didn't mind

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks, a few issues, but would still recommend it.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Just the way that she was making decisions with Caleb

    ReplyDelete
  31. It was a good mystery, trying to figure out who was on bridge with her, and who actually did it

    ReplyDelete
  32. I am not usually all about the murder mystery, but somehow this felt different to me

    ReplyDelete
  33. True that about the real life problems

    ReplyDelete
  34. I guess what ends well turns into a good read. Looking back it was more enjoyable in my mind instead of focusing on what was wrong

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hope you enjoy if you give it a read

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hope you enjoy if you read Candace

    ReplyDelete
  37. It is a better ghost one that I have read in a while

    ReplyDelete
  38. Yes, it def had a lot of pieces that worked together to give us the answer. The ghosty amnesia did add a factor that boosted the mystery.

    ReplyDelete
  39. LOL. Some mentioned outright in reviews, but I decided to mark it

    ReplyDelete
  40. It def is one that i'd recommend as ghost or amnesia plot

    ReplyDelete
  41. YOu should def give a try, I think you'll like

    ReplyDelete
  42. This isn't horror ghost angle, more of contemp feel

    ReplyDelete
  43. I keep seeing this book popping on my bloglovin feed from all different blogs; there is certainly some buzz around it right now. Definitely sounds like one I'll be needing to pick up this summer. Thanks for the review!

    --Katie
    at The Pop Cultist

    ReplyDelete
  44. humm sound cheating in a YA book.. I don't know. Blah, I might still enjoy it.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I had the opposite reaction I liked Cassidy better as the book wend along. This was one of the better ghost books I have read in awhile

    ReplyDelete
  46. Nice review! I do not believe in ghosts myself, I don't know why... I just haven't thought much about it? Too many real life problems to deal with before I will get around to thinking of the supernatural!

    ReplyDelete

I would love to hear from you! (I always try to visit your blog back) I love links, so feel free to link to your blog or a post you like.
Sorry, but I am award and tag free zone, I do not have the time to return. Comments are reward enough :)