Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Last Kiss - Bethany Neal

My Last Kiss - Bethany Neal
My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal
Publisher: Farrar, Strous & Giroux (BYR)
Publication Date: June 10, 2014
Source/Format: Netgalley (Thanks Macmillan!) || e-galley
[I received this book for review from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

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. (from Goodreads)

My Last Kiss, as a title, sounds quite ominous. Indeed, Cassidy's story is one rife with tragedy, sorrow, anger and guilt -- and it's not even clear which of the characters should be feeling any/all of these from the get go. The story serves as an exploration into Cassidy's life before her death, and as she works to solve the mystery surrounding it and figure out what really happened to her.

This novel is part contemporary, part mystery, part ghost story. Of all three parts, the mystery caught my interest straightaway. I wanted to find out who had "pushed" Cassidy off the bridge, or if she'd really been pushed at all. Having so many suspects with various possible motives provided a sea of alibis and evidence to go through. But the unraveling happened cautiously, slowly and the pieces just fell into place with perfect timing right around the end of the story. (And that ending totally surprised me, by the way!)

Other than the mystery, I didn't particularly care for anything else. The characters fell flat to me, appearing as caricatures based on their role in Cassidy's life. Plus, the ghost aspect of it (which obviously made checking on suspects and finding evidence and following people easier) was slightly confusing and a little off-putting.

My Last Kiss was simply a diverting mystery for the time I was reading it. By the time I hit that (surprise of an) ending though, I was ready to be done with the novel and these characters since I hadn't gotten anything really significant out of reading about Cassidy and her death. While the writing wasn't horrible, the story wasn't particularly memorable and thus, this novel was just okay.

6 comments:

  1. I might start this tonight. I've heard mixed things about it, but I think I'm in the mood for a mystery. Hopefully I can get past the blah characters. I've been known to do that if I'm really into the plot :)

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  2. The mystery sounds fabulous, but the characters seem a bit disappointing. I have this one on my shelf, so I'll likely start it soon (if only for the mystery)!

    Nice review :)

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  3. Ehh... I'll stay away from this one, at least for a while. Thanks for the review!

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  4. Hmmm, flat characters is always something that often leads to a DNF for me. The mystery part sounds very interesting though an dyes, pretty cover!

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  5. I can understand that. I enjoyed it but I did feel like the characters definitely could have been fleshed out a bit more and it would have REALLY assisted in developing the story by doing that alone. I enjoyed the actual story but I thought it was more cute and light than amazing and deep.

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  6. Ah. I just downloaded this one from NG this weekend & I knew I had heard not so great things about it. THAT COVER. GHOST STORY. AH. I am going to give it a whirl but... I'll keep all of this in mind. :)

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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