Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Young Adult
Published by Macmillan on June 10th 2014
Format: Hardcover (368 pages) • Source: Library
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What if your last kiss was with the wrong boy?
In Bethany Neal's My Last Kiss, 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. Now, 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.
This was a highly anticipated read for me and I’m not sure why it took me so long to get to it! I finally got around to checking it out from the library recently and I’m so glad I did. I’d seen somewhat mixed reviews on this one, so I was hesitant to buy it outright (even though the cover is perfect). I absolutely love books that involve that in-between space between life and death – the main character has some kind of unfinished business on earth that needs to be resolved before they can move on. I had pretty high hopes for this one as a result.
It starts off kind of confusing with the different timelines and flashbacks. I did continue to be a little confused at times throughout because I was thinking that she’d have flashbacks to slowly piece together the night, in order, but it also had scenes from much earlier than the event. The book is about Cassidy, who dies at seventeen. Obviously the book involves kissing and cheating of some kind, hence the title/summary, but the reader tries to figure out what happened to Cassidy in her final minutes along with her. Her death is ruled a suicide but most signs point to the fact that it was either an accident or she was killed. Regardless, I could not figure out what happened for the life of me. I’m usually bad at figuring out books like this, but I’m always glad when I can be surprised regardless.
Cassidy has dated Ethan for the past two years but may or may not have cheated on him with someone from her childhood (Caleb). Cassidy doesn’t remember anything about her final month, let alone the accident itself, so she has to try to understand why she would even cheat on Ethan in the first place. It was really cool to go back and see how things developed through the flashbacks, but it felt really slow-moving. The plot itself definitely progressed without much happening for most of the book. I wanted to shake her and yell at her to observe other people when she could. She’d spend a lot of time with her friend Aimee even though she had left Ethan on a major “cliffhanger” of some kind. Like GIRL get back to him and figure this shit out!!!
The ending involved a LOT of twists and turns. When you thought you had it all figured out, you were tricked again. It was interesting because the details of her friends’ lives started unfolding slowly and I found myself not trusting anyone. LOVE THAT. The veryy end of the book was kind of confusing and I wish there was a bit more closure. I won’t say more for the sake of spoilers, but I don’t know – it just kind of missed the mark for me a little.
I can’t say much about this book without giving things away, so I’ll probably quit while I’m ahead. (Behind?) But one final thought that has bugged me lately in YA is the portrayal of weed-smokers in books. I’m not experienced in that area by any means but I’ve been around it plenty thanks to college/friends/etc. Authors always make it seem like people who smoke weed are acting really weird all the time or aren’t able to function like normal humans. Because Caleb is considered a pothead, they think he won’t remember things that happened the next day? That’s not how it works. It’s not alcohol. AND if Caleb really smoked every day, his body would be so used to it that there’s no way that his peers would even know that he was high. He’d be acting normal. I just think that some situations involving drugs and alcohol in YA books aren’t realistic.