Posts Tagged: Review

Friday, May 09, 2014

Review: My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal

Posted by • 24 Comments

I received this book for free from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: My Last Kiss by Bethany NealMy Last Kiss by Bethany Neal
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR) on June 10th 2014
Genres: Mystery, YA
Source: Raincoast Books
Buy on Amazon

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.

I’m beginning to think that YA murder mysteries just aren’t the thing for me. Movies filled with twists and turns and murder, yes please! But for some reason it just never feels like it is pulled off as well in book form. My Last Kiss is basically a murder mystery featuring stupid decisions and supercharged teen hormones that had me cringing at the explanation behind everything that happens.

We start the book off seeing MC Cassidy’s very first kiss that she shared on a bridge with the boy she liked Ethan. Once that chapter is over we are taken for a quick turn as we realize we are still Cassidy only she is no longer in her body and is a ghost trying to solve the case of her murder. The last few weeks leading up to her death (where she fell off the bridge from the first chapter) are a complete blur and she has to follow her friends and family around to piece together what happened. This sounds so cool, right? It was! I really enjoyed seeing Cassidy explore her new existence and find out what she was capable of and what she was no longer capable of. Things are thrown for a another quick turn when she realizes that Ethan (who at the time of her death had been her boyfriend for 3 years) can see her in her ghostly form and even make physical contact with her. Suffice it to say this little tidbit of luck helps her move along in solving what happened to her pretty nicely.

In the beginning of the book we get to see her check on everyone that she knew when she was alive. Seeing how they are coping after her death was great and I loved getting to see it all from the eyes of the dead girl (yes, Blunt is my middle name.) Normally we see it from the perspective of someone who knew the person who died but seeing it from the eyes of the deceased allowed for there to be a certain… lightness to it. What I mean is, Cassidy was able to crack jokes about her death and her newfound abilities so it made the novel a lot less bleak than stories with dead teens are usually. We also get to see first hand the details of what Cassidy was up to in the weeks leading up to her death as the memories come to her. The incorporation of the memories into the story was really cool because she would be taken into the memory in a really unique way. One thing that didn’t work too well for me is the jumpiness of the timeframes of these memories. In the beginning she would go back to memories she had of her girlfriends from junior high or with her boyfriend and it took me a bit to place what timeframe I was reading about. Not helping this matter is the fact that Cassidy’s first and last kiss were on the very same bridge that she died on so pinpointing exactly what instance we were reading about took some time for me at some parts. Once the memories started focussing more-so on the party that took place the night of her death I didn’t struggle with the jumps at all.

Something that left me quite underwhelmed with My Last Kiss was the intricate love web that is weaved and that essentially leads to Cassidy’s death. Friends having crushes on friends, cheating scandals and asshole jocks making moves when they shouldn’t is essentially the basis of everything that happens. It all felt very over-the-top-drama to me and was far too predictable. About halfway through you really see the pieces of the big picture start to show up and piecing them together was something that I was able to do right off the bat. I did hope for a twist that would take my by surprise in the end but unfortunately that didn’t happen.

I do think that My Last Kiss is a very unique take on the usual whodunnit thriller but it isn’t one that I think is really all that remarkable in any way. If you’re looking for something that is entertaining even though it is rather predictable then I think you could enjoy it.


3 Hot Espressos

Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

Posted by on 05/06/2014 • 24 Comments

This one came to me highly recommended from a fellow contemporary lover. I am so happy that Bekka of Great Imaginations took the time to tell me all about this one because I had seen the original cover for The Truth About Alice and thought it was a historical novel so had completely written it off. I have to say that I am very happy they decided to change up the cover for the novel, this new one suits the subject matter and genre much better than the first one.

The thing that had me taken with The Truth About Alice from the very beginning is the way in which it’s told. We have multiple POVs telling us their viewpoint of all of the drama going on at Healy…

Review: Renegade by Debra Driza

Posted by on 05/02/2014 • 15 Comments

When I finished Mila 2.0 last year I was left quite eager to get my hands on the novel’s sequel. Mila 2.0 was action packed from beginning to end and quite possibly the most fun I had reading a book in 2013. Upon finishing Renegade I am left wondering “what the hell happened?” Where was the action and fun that I loved so dearly in the first book? It must have gotten lost somewhere because this book was a nearly 500 page yawnfest with 3-4 action scenes max.

We catch up with Mila and Hunter in Renegade as they are on the run from both General Holland and the Vita Obscura. Well, Hunter doesn’t know that they are on the run and the first good chunk of the book…

Review: The End or Something Like That by Ann Dee Ellis

Review: The End or Something Like That by Ann Dee Ellis

Posted by on 04/29/2014 • 10 Comments

I went into The End or Something Like That expecting to read a YA contemporary novel.  Having this mindset left me very annoyed at the repetitive writing and juvenile attitudes presented.  Once I started easing into the story I switched my perception of the novel and starting looking at is as a middle grade one which helped with my enjoyment of it greatly.  Don’t get me wrong, lots still annoyed me about it but I was much more forgiving of its quirkiness than I was initially.

In this story we are Emmy, a grade 9 student who lost her very best friend the year before.  She grew up with her best friend Kim from as early as one can because their mothers were also best friends.  From birth Kim had…

Review: Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

Review: Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

Posted by on 04/23/2014 • 10 Comments

Upon finishing Life By Committee all I can think of is that I am… indifferent to it. I breezed through the novel and did enjoy reading it, but I failed to connect to it in any way so it was a very passive experience. This is a bit of a disappointment to me because I was such a huge fan of Haydu’s OCD Love Story, but at least I did manage to enjoy the reading a bit.

I think my inability to really connect with the story was mostly due to the fact that I never felt like I got a real understanding for our MC Tabitha. Tabby was a very cold, closed off character. This attitude is really understandable in her story because of what she had been through….

Review: The Treatment by Suzanne Young

Review: The Treatment by Suzanne Young

Posted by on 04/21/2014 • 20 Comments

There’s always something nerve wracking about going into the sequel to a book that you loved. I was a huge fan of The Program so my hopes were high that The Treatment would follow in it’s awesome footsteps. I am saddened to report that it really didn’t. This novel fell so flat with me that I almost DNFed it about 3 times. But then I would think about how much I loved The Program and how since this is a duology this was the last book in the series and I just had to see how everything played out.

I’ll start this out by talking about what didn’t work for me because the beginning was just a train wreck in my eyes and then the novel started to get better…

Review: The Wicked We Have Done by Sarah Harian

Review: The Wicked We Have Done by Sarah Harian

Posted by on 04/02/2014 • 24 Comments

A funny, recurring conversation I always have with my friends is about the stark contrast between books I like and movies I like.  See, I love me a good action movie. Give me Jason Statham, Mark Wahlberg or a nice gory horror film any day of the week. But when it comes to reading, I want the “chick-flicks” I want heartbreak, I want emotion, I want to be left so emotionally wrecked that I can’t even see through my tears.  The Wicked We Have done brought everything that I like in movies so perfectly to a book that it surprisingly worked incredibly well for me!

What struck me right off the bat with this one was how original it was. First of all there is the fact that it is…

Review: The Last Forever by Deb Caletti

Review: The Last Forever by Deb Caletti

Posted by on 04/01/2014 • 16 Comments

I really don’t even feel like I can effectively review this book because all I want to do is flail all over the place and shove it in people’s faces so they read it too.  This book was absolutely perfect for me, I picked it up on a Saturday morning and before I knew it I was halfway through and dreading the book ending.  This book is emotional, this book is funny and this book is engrossing.

We meet our MC Tess as she is grieving the recent loss of her mother to cancer.  She is living with her father and just going through the motions of day to day life.  One afternoon the two of them pack up her father’s truck and head out to finally see the Grand…