Bettina Vasilis can hardly believe it when basketball star Brady Cullen asks her out, and she just about faints when her strict father actually approves of him. Over the course of the summer, Bettina falls in love with Brady . . . and with the new freedom that comes along with him.
But when school starts up again, Brady changes. What happened to the sweet boy she fell in love with? Then she meets a smoldering guy in his twenties, and this “cowboy” is everything Brady is not—gentle, caring, and interested in getting to know the real Bettina, or “Beta,” as he nicknames her.
Bettina knows that breaking up with Brady would mean losing her freedom—and that it would be inappropriate for anything to happen between her and Cowboy. Still, she can’t help that her breath catches when he smiles, or that she longs for the scent of his auto shop whenever she’s anywhere else.
When tragedy strikes, Bettina must tell her family the truth—and kiss goodbye the things she thought she knew about herself and the men in her life.
Leslie Connor has written a lyrical, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about family, romance, and the immense power of love. – Goodreads
I’m doing this thing where I’m trying to get caught up on reviews I have on Edelweiss and Netgalley. Through use of a random generator this book came up! Knowing next to nothing about it, I was excited to get my audio hold it.
Brady is the perfect boyfriend. Brady is the star basketball player and finds Bettina fascinating. Bettina comes from a very old world family and is shock that she’s even allowed to date Brady and Bettina is on cloud nine. Then he becomes abusive. While he doesn’t abuse her via his fists, he is good at emotional abuse and holding on to her a bit hard. Throughout The Things You Kiss Goodbye I never understood why Bettina stayed with Brady, even if you overlook the abuse (which I know, is problematic), he wasn’t a good person and he ultimately didn’t care about her. Yet. She stays with him.
This book is more about romantic relationships though. It’s about the relationship one has with themselves, it’s about the relationship that one has with their family. Even though I saw Bettina’s family as overbearing, they obviously love her. They love her in the way that they know to love her. They protect her.They just want to make sure they want her to be safe. What they don’t expect is the boy they love, Brady, to be the one to hurt her the most.
Bettina has a light throughout all of this, Cowboy, her friend Tony and Bonnie, her friend from clay class. All in their own way help out Bettina. Cowboy sees the real Bettina, Tony reminds Bettina about her past and Bonnie reminds her of her creative side.
This is not a light read. I’m honestly not sure what kind of read it is. It’s nothing like I was expecting, but it’s still a solid read.