Author: Bethany Neal
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Buy This Book: Amazon / Book Depository
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. (Goodreads summary.)
I've been finding it really difficult to find the energy to write up a review for this book. It's been about four or five days since I've finished it and I still can't really work out what I want to say. I'd say it's never a pleasure to write a negative review but that would be a really obvious lie. It can actually be quite nice to get all your thoughts down about why a book didn't work for you, especially after spending hours of your life reading it.
After two amazing reads, The Winner's Curse & The Truth About Alice, I was excited to start reading My Last Kiss because I thought it had an interesting premise and would be a book that would keep me guessing. To be fair, it did and I didn't guess who killed Cassidy but that's because it didn't really make sense or matter by the end of it. I was just left feeling like I was too mature or grown up for this book, it felt like a book someone a lot younger would enjoy. If you compare this to other YA books that centre around finding the killer - Dangerous Girls being a perfect example - it just doesn't measure up.
Cassidy seemed to be the biggest problem that I had with this book, I can't understand that character at all. The blurb hints at the fact that she may have been unfaithful to her boyfriend and it's rather apparent early on that that's the case. The blurb refers to the fact that this is the only boy she'll ever love, and she sort of says that herself throughout the book, but you don't treat people you love the way she treats him. I just can't even go along with her reasoning because it's pretty pathetic.
I expected this book to deal with serious issues in a more mature way then it does. Cassidy, before she died, was struggling with the fact that her parents were fighting and might divorce. I am sure that's something a lot of people can relate to, but hopefully they can't relate to the way she handles it. She has this horrible attitude that no one else with parents who are still together could ever understand what she's going through, they wouldn't get it. I kind of wanted to hit her at that point, I really did. If you love your boyfriend then you should be able to tell him about your parents fighting, it's not anywhere near as serious an issue as she makes out. Divorce is common, it happens all the time and surely if your parents would be happier apart then you should understand that. That might just be me though, but I was Cassidy's age when my parents split up and I didn't even cry when my mum told me. No, I am not an emotionless shell of a human being, I was just mature enough to understand when two people just shouldn't be together.
I didn't even keep many notes when reading this because I didn't have much to comment on. This book was probably a solid three star read until the ending. It was really slow going until the last fifty pages or so and then everything happens all at once. It was just too much too fast and you end up not being able to feel connected to the story. The melodramatic, teen drama, psycho, unbelievable ending was what really turned me off the book in the end. I felt like I was unable to do anything but laugh at the kind of drama that was driving these kids to despair.
I also found it odd that Ethan was the only person who could see Cassidy. I thought that it should be a case of no one can see her or everybody can. That way there is no confusion as to why she can only be seen by one person in the whole world. Some explanation or theories on that would have been nice, but we get none.
Most of the time I find that I can connect really well to a Young Adult character, but this one I really struggled with. She felt very immature for her age and I couldn't feel even the smallest amount of sympathy for her. I was kept guessing till the end but the big reveal didn't have any shock value to me. I didn't like the main character and I know that this usually ends up with me disliking the book and this was no exception. In my opinion, put this down and go pick Dangerous Girls up if you're looking for a young adult thriller that will keep you guessing and leave your mind blown.
*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist via Netgalley in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.