[eARC Review] The Things You Kiss GoodbyeMonday, June 23, 2014
Title: The Things You Kiss Goodbye
Author: Leslie Connor
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: June 24th 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: eARC provided from publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
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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.
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.
Bettina knows that breaking up with Brady would mean giving up her freedom—and that it would be inappropriate for anything to happen between her and Cowboy. Still, she can’t help 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.
As a reader I have always been more interested in characters then story. I have always believed that an author creates a compelling character then the story sort of doesn't matter as much. Not to say that plot isn't something I look for in a good book, I mean really, Plot can make or break a book, but I just believe that characters and the way they interact is more important. And so when I met Bettina from Things You Kiss Goodbye, I loved her right away. She was created to seem like the normal teenager with overprotective parents. And I liked that about her because even though I did not grow up like that, I knew people who did, and it felt familiar.
Then everything changed when Bettina meets Brady. He was the jock who was never supposed to be interested in her, and yet he was. I liked Brady's character in the beginning, he was interesting and extremely different from her character. He was outgoing and had tons of friends, Bettina not so much. SO when they got together I thought it would be interesting to read, and it was...until it wasn't anymore. At one point in the book Brady changes and becomes more controlling and a bit abusive, and yet Bettina's character does nothing to change this because she is afraid her parents will take away her privileges of going out and having a good time if Brady is not with her. I read these parts with so much fury I had to put the book down because I hate characters that do not stick up for themselves, especially those that stay with boys that do not deserve them.
It is during her trying time with Brady that Bettina meets Cowboy, a guy MUCH older than her and one that is so different from anyone she has ever met, that it is no wonder that she becomes uncommonly attached to him. And ultimately him to her. To be perfectly honest i never really understood the relationship between Bettina and Cowboy, they seemed extremely mismatched and at times I found their connection to be forced. I think my issue was that I was so indifferent towards Cowboys character in general. I just couldn't connect with him because I was too busy being angry at Brady and hos actions. So when a tragedy happens I honestly didn't feel what I think I was supposed to feel. I loved how the grief was written, I thought it was done very well on the author part but I just really understand why it was to that extent. But you will have to read the book to understand.
Overall Things You Kiss Goodbye was a book that had no much potential but flat characters and a relationship that honestly made me more angry than anything else, hindered my enjoyment of this book.