Author: Bethany Neal
Synopsis: 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.
Huge thank you to Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) and Netgalley for this ARC!
This was an interesting book to read on a Disney Vacation. The resort I was staying in was all connected by bridges, so every time I was out walking the resort, this book kept popping into my brain and I found myself eyeing people more carefully in case they decided to push me off the bridge. But in all seriousness, My Last Kiss was quite the surprise and thrill ride.
It’s funny how much this book is compared to The Lovely Bones(a book, by the way, that I despised even though it’s on a topic that I feel is so important), and I totally saw the comparisons and actually thought Bethany Neal did a better job. Our ghostly narrator Cassidy is trying to figure out who pushed her off a bridge on the night of her last kiss. However, what I loved about this particular story is you get Cassidy’s life before and her life after, and it’s done in such a way where you see how Cassidy changes and transforms without it feeling forced or awkward. What I loved further is the fact that Cassidy in her before, was not a likeable person — she had some pretty nasty faults, so when we get the flipside of her being a ghost, you get this genuine sense that she’s trying to come to terms with who she was as a person, and I liked that angle a lot.
The mystery in this book is really the thrilling aspect. While I found myself constantly guessing, I was proud of myself that my first guess was in fact correct. However, Neal does a great job of throwing the reader off the trail repeatedly, giving plenty of character’s different motivations to harm Cassidy. Ethan, Caleb, Mica, Drew, each one had interesting motivations and struggles related to Cassidy, and each had underlying guilt that was just intriguing to read about. Then there was Aimee and Maddie who I LOVED because they behaved like obsessive teens dealing with grief, and it was handled really well. Aimee scores points for behaving like a Junior Detective.
I was amazed how easily I whipped through this book. The mystery, the story, and how human Bethany Neal’s character’s were made this to be a worthwhile read. There’s a great amount of suspense, and while the romance was a little muddled (for me personally), I still appreciated a lot of what this book accomplished for just being so damn engaging. This one is worth checking out when it releases, it’s not perfect, but it’s a fun ride nonetheless.