Friday, July 4, 2014

ARC Review: My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal @BethDazzled @MacKidsBooks

My Last Kiss photo 21524042_zpsfcaa3d97.jpg
Blurb from Goodreads:
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.

Title: My Last Kiss
Author: Bethany Neal
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
Published Date: June 10, 2014
RATING: 5/5


The Cover Contessa's Review:
I want to thank Mamillan for Providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.



When I first read the blurb to this book, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. It sounded like it would be a really interesting read. Then I got a look at the cover, which I absolutely loved, and I resolved to definitely read it. I'm so glad I did.


Cassidy Haines is dead and she's outside her body watching everyone around her mourn her death. Her parents, her sister, her friends, her boyfriend. I loved Cassidy's character. Though she could at times be selfish, even in her "ghostly" form, I was really able to connect with her. She has such deep emotional connections to those around her, ones she didn't realize she did. It was interesting to watch her growth and development, especially considering she could not remember the few weeks leading up to her birthday and her death. It was great to watch her flit between worlds: present and past. Her point of view is so interesting because she gets to experience everything from others (as how can a ghost possibly do anything but watch, right?). Her observations often made my heart ache, and at other times made me mad at those who used to surround her. But through it all, Cassidy remains determined to figure out what happened to her and to help herself find peace.

Ethan, well, I'm not sure what to think of him, still. He was very hot and cold during the course of this story. One moment he was sad, the next mad, the next happy. I love that he was willing to help find out what really happened to Cassidy despite the fact that he was betrayed right before her death. I really can't say much else about his character because I don't want to give away his relationships during the course of the story.

Cassidy's friends all play very particular roles in this book from betrayal to wanting to find out what really happened to her that night not he bridge. They provide a lot of twists and turns and you're never really sure who was with or against her until the very end. Everyone was under suspicion.

The pacing of this story was fantastic. I just kept wanting to turn the pages. I finished it in one day. The writing was crisp and clean and the author did a fantastic job at really showing the scenes so you could see exactly what was going on. She also did a great job of tugging at my emotional strings. I had moments where I laughed and within two pages I was wanting to cry. The interactions between the main character and others really got to me. It was sad at times to watch the main character realize what she was missing and would be missing now that she was gone.

There was a lot of thrilling suspense in this book. I was not expecting it. It kept me guessing until the very end. I wasn't sure who to trust or who might turn around and be the one who betrayed Cassidy in the end. I was happy to see her figure it out.

The thing that shocked me most about this book is how much is wrenched my heart. I really wanted Cassidy to have a happy ending. And I honestly thought it would end a different way than it did. I went through the gamnet of emotions: happy, sad, angry, mad, frustrated. You name it, I had it. I was not expecting the emotional roller coaster from this one at all.

Neal does a great job giving us perspective of what life is like once someone's gone, from that person's point of view. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes suspenseful mysteries with a touch of heart wrenching romance.

Bethany Neal photo 6549281_zpsd5662bc9.jpgBethany Neal writes young-adult novels with a little dark side and a lot of kissing from her Ann Arbor, Michigan home. 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.

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