MLK_moreblueMy Last Kiss by Bethany Neal
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Source: Publisher
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star (Actual 3.5)
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

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

Review:

My Last Kiss tells the story of Cassidy, a girl who possibly had her last kiss on earth with the wrong guy. The story alternates between past and present with present being told with chapter numbers and past being told with chapter titles. Neal beautifully weaves in what it’s like to be a teenager in high school who tells one lie and how that can quickly unravel.

Cassidy never wanted to die, she also didn’t want to come back and haunt her (ex-) boyfriend as a ghost. While they’re both surprised about this, they have a sweet love. That high school love that even the coldest bitter heart wants to work out. Although Cassidy is a ghost and Ethan tends to look like he is talking to himself, they find a way to make it work. Not once did I feel like Neal was forcing the situation to be together. It worked, I never questioned it. It was however often painful.

Cassidy cheated on Ethan with a boy from her from her past and while I can see how this organically happened cheating is always a sticking point with me. In real life and as a reader. As soon as Cassidy had that moment I quickly disconnected from her. I stayed with the story because I became more involved with finding her killer, which I believe Neal pulled off beautifully. The whole plotline worked for the story better than I ever saw coming, it kept me flipping the pages. The characters were very real and believable. They were dramatic, over the top, and even occasionally stoners but I knew those people in high school. I ate lunch with those people in high school.

While I enjoyed it. I inhaled it, but parts of it I found problematic which would lead me to never re-read it. That is nothing against Neal, as I will continue to read her work. Parts of the book were just personally difficult for me to read. Cheating will forever be a tough topic for me.