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My Last Kiss
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My Last Kiss

4.1 17
by Bethany Neal

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Seventeen-year-old Cassidy Haines has just died after falling from a bridge, and now she’s a ghost, witnessing her own autopsy. She soon finds out that her boyfriend, Ethan, is the only person who can see her, and she enlists his help to piece together what actually took place on the night she died, even as her friend Aimée investigates, too. Through a series of flashbacks, Cassidy is forced to revisit moments leading up to her death. The setup of Neal’s debut may remind some adult readers of the 1980s classic Ghost, though the dialogue can sound more like that of a TV police procedural (“From where I was standing, she was unstable that night”) than a story about teenagers concerned about their friend’s death. Neal creates confusion while trying to maintain mystery; so many people in Cassidy’s life were involved on the night of her death, readers may find themselves as lost as Cassidy as the mystery progresses. Ages 12–up. Agent: Stacey Glick, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (June)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Cassidy Haines is blissfully reliving her first kiss with boyfriend Ethan when she is jolted back into the present by snow falling on her face. She looks up to see the silhouette of a boy, and follows his gaze down to the broken remains of her body strewn across the rocks on the riverbank. She has no memory of how she got there, but it doesn't take her long to realize she's dead. The authorities rule her death a suicide due to a note found clutched in her hand and the large amount of alcohol in her system. Cassidy is sure she had no reason to end her life, and she cannot move on until she discovers how she really died. The story unfolds as her spirit is pulled uncontrollably from one grief-stricken friend or family member to another, and to reliving the events that led up to her death. The only person who becomes aware of her presence and who might be able to help her figure out what happened is Ethan, and he is afraid that once she knows, he'll have to go through losing her all over again. Slow pacing and character development may frustrate some readers. So much of the story focuses on a moral message about lying and deceit that a promising whodunit is sacrificed in the process.—Cary Frostick, formerly at Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Seventeen-year-old Cassidy Haines is on a quest to unravel the mystery of her own death, about which she can remember nothing except for the fact that it might have involved kissing someone other than her boyfriend.The police suspect that it was a suicide, but this doesn't ring true to Cassidy or to her best friend, Aimée. Intriguing? Perhaps. Neal's debut is much like a soufflé that collapses upon being served. Though not particularly groundbreaking, the premise is promising enough, but it simply can't support the meandering plot and disappointingly flat characters. Unfortunately, the limits on Cassidy's ability to sleuth from the afterworld create an awkward distance between Cassidy and the action—and readers. Cassidy is often a passive observer, spending the bulk of the novel looking on as Aimée scrambles to find out who was responsible for her death. The only person Cassidy can communicate with is her boyfriend, Ethan. This means that in order for her to play an active role in Aimée's investigation, she must go through Ethan first, making her twice removed from the action itself. Finally, there is far too much importance placed on secondary characters that are either never fully developed or developed far too late. Maybe Cassidy should have stayed in the morgue and let Aimée tell the tale.Less of a whodunit and more of a who cares. (Paranormal mystery. 13-17)
From the Publisher

“The mystery here is well played, with possible guilt and culpability shifting deftly among the usual cast of high school chracters until the final reveal.” —BCCB

“Debut author Neal offers a good combination of paranormal ghost story mixed with romance, suspense, and mystery . . Readers will be immediately sucked into the tale, told from Cassidy's ghostly perspective, as she attempts to put together the pieces that led to her untimely death.” —Booklist

“Cassidy is sure she had no reason to end her life, and she cannot move on until she discovers how she really died . . . The story unfolds as her spirit is pulled uncontrollably from one grief-stricken friend or family member to another, and to reliving the events that led to her death.” —School Library Journal

Product Details

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
770L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

My Last Kiss

By Bethany Neal

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Copyright © 2014 Bethany Neal
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-374-35129-8


IT'S SNOWING OR MAYBE it's raining ... no, it's snowing. I can feel the wet flakes gathering in the corners of my eyes, melting down my cheeks like tears. The warmth from the sun I felt on my face only an instant before is gone. When I blink, the only things I see are blotchy white bits of trees and clouds and lights. Where are those lights coming from? I stumble onto my feet and my legs feel Jell-O-y, like I've been swimming for a really long time and now the ground feels too rigid.

I take one step and suddenly my whole body stings. I fall to my knees and clutch my middle. The worst pain I've ever felt invades my limbs, like when your foot falls asleep except it's my entire body and it's epically stronger. I'm screaming and gripping my sides, writhing in the fluffy white snow. And then the pain stops; as fast as it came, it stops. Filled with relief, I do a quick once-over of my body. I even pinch my arm to check if I'm dreaming. How dumb is that?

I manage to open my eyes enough to see a silhouette standing above the waterline among the trees in Dover Park. He—at least I think it's a he—is staring at me, but not at me, me. He's staring at the bloody, twisted mess of me on the rocks along the riverbank.

Why are there two of me?! And how did I get in the river?

I run toward my Other, mangled body. I must be having a nightmare—but it's like there's a force field around me. I sort of melt into the air, then get flung back. I land on my butt in a massive snowbank at the water's edge, waiting to feel the cold from sitting in waist-deep snow.

A jagged chunk of ice floats by, sparkling in the early-morning moonlight.

I still haven't felt the cold.

The silhouette is talking now. I hear him, but the words are muffled as if he's talking underwater. I press my hands to the sides of my face and squeeze my eyes shut, concentrating. His voice comes clearer ... He's telling me he didn't mean to.

Mean to what?

Now he's telling me this isn't how it was supposed to go. This is her fault.

Is "her" me?

I open my eyes to check if he's talking to me, me. He's not. I look at my Other body, broken and folded in ways a body should never bend over a mound of gray rocks. In one of my Other hands I'm holding something, maybe a piece of paper, but I can't see it clearly. Snow piles high again around my eyes and my cheeks and now on my shoulders. It comes down, harder and harder, until I feel buried in it. I can't even see it and I'm buried in it so deep that I can't breathe.

Slowly a thought creeps in, settles in the front of my mind. It tugs at something I feel like I know but can't quite remember. I open my mouth to speak it, but I don't see my breath the way I should in early March. I glance up at the silhouette. He's crying or maybe he's yelling; either way, I can see his breath.

I'm not breathing. I don't need to. The words float past my lips like a rehearsed chorus: "I'm dead."


FOR FOUR HOURS I've been trying to remember how I died. It's not going very well. No matter how hard I think, I can't bring a single memory of last night to mind. It doesn't help that I'm standing next to the biggest distraction in the world: my body—my Other body. God, that's weird to say. I want to scream or cry, but nothing feels real to me. I keep thinking if I can just get back inside my own flesh, all this will be over. I'll wake up from this creeptastic dream and everything will go back to normal.

But I can't.

The force-field thing is getting stronger. I don't even melt into it anymore. I just smack against it. It's like my own body is rejecting me. It makes me feel horribly unwelcome in this sterile dark room, but where else am I supposed to go?

Finally, a woman enters the room. She's wearing a surgical mask and a long green medical coat over her matching scrubs.

"Excuse me, Doctor, can you help me? I—" She switches on a light above Other Me, and my words catch in my throat. Harsh fluorescents flicker, illuminating a room I've only seen in episodes of Buffy until now: the morgue. I stagger back away from the metal table I've been standing next to since 1 a.m. My eyes jump from trays full of glistening tools to industrial-looking scales and sinks to the tile floor with a wide drain in the center. I pull my arms in tight to my sides, terrified to accidentally touch anything in this place.

The woman starts examining all kinds of embarrassing, totally exposed body parts. I want to reach out and stop her, hit her hand away and scream that she has no right to touch me, but I'm paralyzed where I stand. She jots down a few notes, then pokes and prods at my right ankle, then pinches my knee.

"Careful, I—" I start to tell her about the tender bruise above my knee that I got during ballet practice last week, but by the time the words are out they don't seem important anymore. Nothing does except getting my body back.

Another woman walks in. She has a clipboard. "What do we have today?" she asks.

I glare at her. It's bad enough one person is violating my naked body. Plus, she asked her question like I'm the breakfast special on some morbid menu.

Coat Woman answers, "Miss Cassidy Haines joins us in her seventeenth year."

"Only seventeen?" The woman tsks and sets her clipboard on a small table near one of the sinks.

"And for only three days. According to the report, she had a birthday on Thursday," Coat Woman says.

It's infuriating the way she says my name and talks about me. Especially since I can only see her dark-as-molasses brown eyes and wide, arching black eyebrows above her surgical mask while she sees all of me.

She continues. "Seems the darling couldn't keep her head above water this early morning to bear another year."

So that's how I died; I drowned. The stillness in my chest is an eerie reminder that I have no memory of my lungs seizing and burning for oxygen.

"Do you know anything else?" I ask her, but it's more out of blind habit than to get an answer since neither of them has acknowledged my presence. Still, without thinking, I step forward, anxious to hear even the smallest detail about what happened to me.

Coat Woman doesn't answer. Instead she asks the other woman for a tool that looks disturbingly similar to the X-Acto knives Mr. Boyd lets us use in Art class and starts slicing into my body on the table.

I jump back and cry out, "No!" I instinctively clutch the spot above my breastbone where her blade cuts, anticipating pain and blood will burst across my chest, but not one drop of red beads up on me. Or on Other Me.

"Stop!" I shout at her. "This isn't right—I'm not supposed to be here for this." I wave my hands in front of her face and let out a scream that should shatter the lightbulbs.

She asks for a sharper blade.

Suddenly it dawns on me: No one can hear me. Or see me. I guess I expected they couldn't—disembodied at the morgue and all—but there's something about the casual, almost cheerful way Coat Woman asked for that knife that hits me hard with awareness of how unreal I truly am.

My floaty limbs feel heavy. The abrupt sense of loneliness is like nothing I've felt before. It runs through me like blood used to in my veins. I look down at my body, desperately hoping for some small spark of recognition, some link to click back into place connecting us.

As Coat Woman's incision travels down to my navel and the phantom pain ebbs away, a slow realization spreads through me. That body—my body—doesn't belong to me anymore. We aren't connected. I'm alone in this sterile horror show. My hands fall and dangle loose at my sides.

When Coat Woman lifts her knife to make a second incision, a drip of some kind of terrible fluid splatters onto her latex glove, and it's all I can take. I run out of the room.

The quiet of the hallway settles in around me. It feels right, how it should be. The hallway is empty, but, strangely, I don't feel alone anymore—far from it. I can sense everything and everyone all around me. It's like the whole town is in me. Like I could do that I Dream of Jeannie head-bob thing and magically appear anywhere in Crescent Valley.

I'm desperate enough that I try the head bob. When I look up and I'm not at my oldest best friend Aimée's house—the last place I remember being alive—I start to hyperventilate. My chest heaves and I feel like I'm gasping even though I'm still not breathing. I clamp my mouth shut mid-inhale; it doesn't affect me one bit except maybe to lessen how spastic I look. But what does it matter anymore what I look like? I wasn't hyperventilating; I can't.

But how can I still exist if I'm ... dead? Because that's what you are when you stop breathing, right? When you leave your body behind?

A tidal wave of emotions rises in me and crashes down against my insides. I don't want to be disconnected from my body, my life. I want to live it, but I'm pretty sure I no longer have a choice.

What did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening to me?

No answers come, no spirit guides mystically appear, like in movies and in books, to help me understand how to deal with the part of dying where you, well, don't.

What am I supposed to do now?

My skin feels like ice as the pain from before comes back in sharp jabs. I bend down and brace my hands on my knees, closing my eyes, wishing for the pain to stop, for this to start over, but with instructions this time.

Maybe I'm supposed to stay with my body. Maybe I did something wrong. I need to get back to her—to me.

I run for the room where Other Me is and throw open the double doors. The two women don't turn from the large stainless basin they're scrubbing their hands in, side by side. Other Me is still on the metal table, but I look different. I look like someone gave me reverse Botox, then stitched me up for Dr. Frankenstein to experiment on.

How long was I in that hallway?

I gaze at my lifeless, marked body for a long time. The longer I look, the more I think I might throw up. I cover my mouth to hold back vomit that never comes. Even though I'm horrified by the sight of my corpse—that's the only word for it now—I can't resist the urge to try one more time to make contact.

My toes bump against the force field as soon as I'm within reach. I push against the dense air as hard as I can, but the resistance increases the closer I get to my body. My hand snaps back, and I frown. I want her back—I want my body back! But all I can do is helplessly look on. As I do, the invisible barrier slowly materializes into a shiny film that's bubbled around the table. My mind is numb, trying to process so many unbelievable bits of my new reality.

I spread my fingers wide, refusing to give up, and focus on reshaping and pulling apart the film. It's no use. There's no edge for me to grip or even any texture to let me know if I'm making progress. I gaze longingly at my layered auburn hair, splayed out on the table, wishing I could move a swath of curls that's coiled around my left ear. They took out my rosebud earrings. The sight of my empty piercings burrows a woeful hole inside me. I've never felt so sad about something so small.

I position my left hand so it's next to my lifeless hand resting on the table. Neither of them looks like it belongs to me.

When the women are done washing, they come back to the table and cover Other Me with a sheet. Panic hits me when they switch off the light and leave the room, because I can't see my body anymore. Nothing is anchoring me to this world, this life. I'm just suspended in darkness. I spin around, calling for them to come back. The doors swing in their wake, jutting into my shoulder twice until the swing loses momentum. I realize then that when I burst into the room, I didn't throw open the doors at all. I went through them.

Snow gathers around my eyes again, and I decide it must be tears since it's impossible for it to be snowing inside. Although it's also impossible that I'd be standing in a morgue staring at two sets of my hot-pink nails. I close my eyes and try to remember how I got here, how I got to the river, how I stepped out of myself and broke every rule that was supposed to be unbreakable.

My icy skin turns molten as the heat of last night returns to me. I can see faces: Madison and Ethan and Aimée. Someone else. It's Saturday night and we're in Aimée's ginormous backyard standing in front of a roaring bonfire. My trio of junior girls is drinking vodka and Sprite with Jolly Ranchers—jolly vodies as Aimée calls them—that are turning our clear drinks fruity colors: cherry red, apple green, grape purple. The colors are so vivid it's like I'm there, in that moment, HD instant-replay memory-style. I can smell the smoke and feel Ethan's gentle arms as they wrap around me from behind.

He's next to me the entire night. Then he's not. Then I'm alone. Then I'm not. This part plays out in segmented bits, as if someone scratched the DVD of my life.

When I open my eyes, the lights are on again and the woman with the clipboard is back with an unfamiliar man in a dark blue uniform and someone else that I instantly recognize.

Oh no, Dad is here too.

He's crying. I've never seen my dad cry before. I thought he was going to when my little sister, Joules, was born, but he didn't. I want to hug him so badly. A surge of need and fear consumes me. I run to him. I run right through him! The prick of a thousand needles attacking me from the inside out nearly drops me to the floor.

"Cassidy, baby," Dad says. His voice breaks my heart—even if I no longer have one, I feel it crack and crumble inside my chest.

Now I know I'm crying. I leave the room again. I can't stay and grieve my own death with my dad, not when part of me still lives.

I pass by an old man coming in the front door as I run out into the blizzard that is swirling up snow in little tornadoes around the parking lot. I look down, half expecting to see the flakes breezing through me, but they're glancing off my skin. I lift my arm to capture a handful, and for a fleeting second, I can see a million tiny rainbows dancing in each individual flake in my palm, and the hollow hum of the wind is the only thing I hear.

Then the world comes rushing back to me in dull grays, and I'm running again.

Before I know where I'm running to, I see the riverbank. My feet stomp slushy puddles and freezing water splashes my legs as I cross the park. Wait, it hasn't rained in days and the snow on the ground is dry and frozen.

Then how did my legs get wet?

I swipe at the spray and come up with wet palms covered in leafy debris and bits of ice. It's river water dripping from my fingers, as if they are fleshy faucets. As wetness seeps into me, spreading an eerie chill across my skin, I see Aimée's tall white house through the trees on the other side of the covered bridge. The whitewashed planks that make up the bridge's walls are fissured and shadowed. The threat of the wind rustling the gaunt branches seems to be enough to blow the bridge right over. It's a vague remnant of the sanctuary it used to be for me. I stare across the partially frozen water, trying to remember what the bridge once was, but my vision starts to blur. I blink, bringing it back into focus for a brief moment.

The bridge isn't sunny and bright the way it was that day with Ethan. Did I dream that? No. It was real—Ethan and me reflected beside each other that day.

This bridge is where I had my first kiss and ... I'm pretty sure it's where I had my last.


I LOOK DOWN AT MY HAND, blinking when I realize the red cup is gone and I'm holding someone else's hand instead. But it's not Madison's or Caleb's. These fingers fit snugly twined between mine, like they were meant to puzzle together. Only one person's hand fits in mine so perfectly.


I want to wrap my arms around him and pull him close so I can see his gorgeous face, but sharp stabs burn through me when I move. As the pain slowly subsides, I realize I'm not outside anymore and it's not last night. I'm back to reality—or, I guess, the present would be more accurate. And my mind is full of impossible questions that keep me from him.

Did I have a flashback? Blackout? Out-of-body experience? I guess, technically, everything is out-of-body for me now, but how did that happen? It's like I dissolved into a parallel dimension where Saturday night is still running on a constant loop and I relived a small portion of it. It didn't feel like a repeat while it was happening though. I wasn't even aware this reality—the one where I'm dead—existed. I was in that moment, seeing it through my own eyes as if it was the first time I'd experienced any of it.

I look down at my legs to see if they're wet like they were before whatever just happened to me happened. From what I can see in the dim room, they're not. I'm wearing the cream-colored corduroy miniskirt and leggings topped with my puffy lavender coat with silky faux-fur trim around the hood that I wore to Aimée's last night. My rhinestone horseshoe necklace is even around my neck still. Lot of luck that brought me. If I'd known this was going to be my outfit for eternity, I wouldn't have worn leggings. At least I have on my favorite black suede Mary Janes.


Excerpted from My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal. Copyright © 2014 Bethany Neal. Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Bethany Neal writes young adult novels with a little dark side and a lot of kissing from her Ann Arbor, Michigan, home. She graduated from Bowling Green State University. The things she is obsessed with include, but are not limited to: nail polish, ginormous rings, pigs, pickles, and dessert. My Last Kiss is her first novel.

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My Last Kiss 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux  Publication Date: June 10, 2014 Rating: 3 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): 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. What I Liked: A contemporary novel set from the perspective of the dead heroine - weird, right? Cassidy is dead, but she's a ghost. She remembers nothing from the night of her death, but she knows it wasn't a suicide (like everyone thinks it is). Someone pushed her into the ice-cold river. Dead Cassidy is determined to know what happened to her, and so is Cassidy's friend Aimee, and Cassidy's boyfriend Ethan. Ethan can see ghost Cassidy, but no one else can. Really weird, right? This book is a mystery, and it flips between present and past. Actually, ghost Cassidy is pulled between past and present. One minute, she's in the present, one moment, she's being sucked into the past. Slowly, she gets pieces of her memory back, one by one. By the end of the book, she is able to figure out how she died, and all of the events leading up to her death. It's not as simple as someone pushing her. There are many factors, many players, many motives. That was definitely one of the things I liked about this book - the complexity of the entire situation. The blame is on just about everyone, even though only one person is responsible for Cassidy's death. One girl was in love with Ethan, and wanted to sabotage Cassidy and Ethan's relationship. One boy wanted to protect his best friend's heart from getting broken by Cassidy. One boy was in love with Cassidy, except he couldn't be, because Ethan is in love with Cassidy. And Cassidy herself, dallying with another boy. Complex, intricate, fragile... The mystery kept me going, if anything. I wanted to know what happened to Cassidy. But after a while, things seemed to go in circles, and I just wanted to know who did it. Information seemed inconclusive, or unimportant. So, I finished this book, but I had issues with it. What I Did Not Like: Like I mentioned above, I had problems with this book. The plot seemed to go around and around, the mystery getting stale and boring. I WANTED to know the story behind Cassidy's death, and how each person played a role in her death, but this book kept going in circles. Scene after scene, the information presented seemed useless. Nothing really showed anything important to solving the mystery. Not until the very end. In the end, everything is revealed, and it's like a huge info dump. I still don't fully understand everything that was revealed at the end, and quite frankly, I don't care enough to re-read the end and figure it out. I'm sorry if you might have wanted me to do that. I already know that I would not like the heroine, Cassidy, if she were a real person. I would probably hate her a lot. She seems like the stuck-up type, that gets whatever she wants without having to work hard to ask or do anything. The sense of entitlement, it's strong with this girl. What she did with and to Caleb was wrong. And the same, with and to Ethan. I really didn't like Cassidy - I found her annoying. Of course, I wouldn't wish death on anyone, but ugh, even in death, I wasn't a fan of her. It's hard to like a book if you didn't really like the protagonist, or the plot. Again, the mystery was cool, but when it started going in circles, I sort of shut down. I wanted to know what was going on, what had happened, and that wasn't being revealed. Even in the end, it was confusing. THAT IS ANNOYING. Also, please explain to me why Ethan is the only one that can see Cassidy? No explanation was given. You couldn't make one up? Like, Ethan and Cassidy are soul mates, or something. Absolutely no explanation was offered, and I have more of a problem with the lack of explanation, than whatever possible explanation the author could have offered. If that makes sense. Would I Recommend It: Hmm, not really. If you already have this book, then read it! If you were already super excited to read it, then go for it! But if you were on the fence, or didn't have much interest to begin with, then don't bother. It isn't a must-read, or the next bestselling novel (that I can see, anyway. I could be wrong). Rating: 3 stars. This was an interesting book, and I enjoyed reading it, but I wouldn't read it again. The mystery was intriguing and puzzling, but this book wasn't amazing or mind-blowing or THAT GOOD, unfortunately.
kydirtgirl68 More than 1 year ago
Cassidy is trying to remember who her last kiss was with. She is dead but she doesn't know how she got that way. Everyone seems to think she killed herself. She is falling everyone around trying to figure out just what happened. No one but her boyfriend can see her. Her best friend is trying to figure things out as well. Cassidy knows she must have done something bad but she doesn't remember much. Slowly as the clues begin to show their selves she starts to remember everything that led up to that night. She needs to hurry and figure things out as someone doesn't like her best friend searching for answers. Cassidy is dead but she is still trying to make up for her past as she remembers it. She is a good person who made mistakes as some young people do. She has to come to terms with all that happened in her short life. Her family was falling apart before now she has an outside view of what happens after her death. She wishes she could be there to help them and get them to move on. Her boyfriend Ethan is a wonderful guy. He tries his best to help her but doesn't push her memories on her. He is a very loyal guy for someone his age. I liked this story as you get to see what all happened to lead up to her death in flashbacks as well as what happens after. All the characters have some part to add to what happened to her and it all leads up to that horrible night. Cassidy sees who was really there for her and who she shouldn't have trusted. I liked it as I was never sure till the end what had happened that night. I had a few guesses. This is a great book and I really enjoyed it.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
  I wanted to read this because I enjoy these sort of "ghost" or afterlife stories. It is a spin-off of the amnesia because it becomes a quest for her to figure out what led to her death and if her last kiss was with the wrong guy.     It drew me in right away because Cassidy has a voice that feels natural. She is in really stressful place because she is watching her death scene and then ends up in the morgue with her own body. Then she visits family and the boy who was her perfect first kiss. She does what she calls melting when she has the flashbacks of memories. She feels wet and then her body starts to disappear and she "wakes up" in a new place and time. Some of the memories are from further back but most are giving us the pieces of the puzzle in the weeks leading up to her death.      I liked the friendship it drew between Cass, Aimee, and Madison. They had a group that was close, and really knew each other. Their quirks, how their emotions are displayed or hidden. Aimee and Madison both grieve differently but they get on a mission to figure out what happened to her, and are denying the rumor that she committed suicide because they feel like the friend they knew wouldn't do that, and she seemed drunk but def not depressed at the party right before Cassidy died. Though I was surprised at the part that one of the friends in Cass' circle played into the party, the different people on the bridge with Cassidy and maybe even the one behind trying to break up Ethan and Cassidy.      The romance between Ethan and Cassidy was so sweet. I loved the way they were together in the flashbacks. But things started to change and we get the impression that there was another guy, and there was also a rumor that they were breaking up but Cassidy didn't know anything about it. So, it was hard to give in to the romance completely because I don't know if Ethan was planning to break up with her, or if she cheated on him with her last kiss. Or was there a last kiss (at 20% I am speculating this, I have no idea.)          There were a few things that caused me to rate down a bit. There weren't explanations for why Ethan was special in that ***minor spoiler--highlight to read*** only he could see Cassidy. I know they were together but there could be some sort of explanation. There was love between her and her parents, friends, etc.   Then there were some times when the reveals felt like filler. There were some of the flashbacks that I liked because it gave us history with Cass and Ethan, Cass and her friends, as well as her and her family.          I saw a lot of growth in Cassidy. While at the beginning she seemed like I could relate to her, and I certainly wanted to get to the bottom of her reason for being a ghost. As I got some of the flashbacks it became a little bit harder to like her with some of her actions. But I can also get that we all make mistakes and do things in the heat of the moment that we'll regret or doesn't tell the full story who we are. But still, I can see how she realizes that and that she sees things in a new way. Ultimately though, what made me completely go there with her was as much as she tried to rationalize everything she did wrong (and admit it, we all do things wrong) I could see why she made the decisions she did. And at the end, she accepted that she'd messed up, owned it, and did her best to make it all as right as possible.      While there is the semi love triangle and some cheating, it never bothered me like it usually does, and I don't know if I understand that when you have a friend or boyfriend who seems so good and has a good family it is hard to confide about your own new issues at home. And how it can be easy to mix up childhood nostalgia for feelings you can act on when the other person has been in your life so long and cares so much for you.      The book really kept me guessing right up until the end, so even with the bits of repetition, I can look back and see that there are elements that really did add to the big picture. Each character played their part in the whole story and most of them really do have reason to feel at least a little guilty over all that led up to that point.  Bottom Line: If you like the premise, you'll enjoy this suspense-filled journey to discovering the events leading up to main character's death. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anikus does not hunt
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A duck.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Emerald does not hunt
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Cassidy experiences her last kiss and she doesn't even know it.  Then she realizes that she is staring at her dead body and must follow her friends to find out how she died and help expose her killer.   An interesting part of editing/formatting the book was where the numbered chapters were concerned that was Cassidy as a ghost in the present tense and the titled chapters were stories from the past to give the reader some context.  I appreciated that there were stories included to take the reader back in time and give some backstory.  Those parts made the book for me.  
MakeupByOne More than 1 year ago
A romantic story
Chrissy_W More than 1 year ago
Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy it. It was a quick read that had me wanting to see how it ended. But I didn’t quite get the point. Cassidy met a tragic end, an end she doesn’t remember. She is stuck among her friends until the circumstances of her death come to light. Of course, you feel bad for Cassidy, her life cut so short. And you feel for her friends as they try to piece together what happened to Cassidy. They each are going through their own grief and guilt. But I didn’t quite understand why she was stuck there, going through her memories. I know she was trying to figure out what happened to her. I know her friends were trying to figure it out. Cassidy is pulled between the present and her memories. It is a bit disjointed, but it was interesting. You never really remember everything in chronological order. But the transitions were a bit rough for me. There were a few parts that I didn’t quite understand. (Two that stick out are Ethan, seventh grade and pencils.) Sadly, if I go into detail, I will spoil a part of the book, so I won’t do that. But I wonder if I missed something. If anyone has read this and is willing to discuss the spoiler parts, please email me or leave a comment with *SPOILER* to begin it. I’d really like to try and figure it out. Would I recommend it: Sure. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
I’ve been trying to mix up my usual reading schedule, not only with young adult and new adult (and the occasional adult), but by adding suspense, mystery or historical fiction into the rotation, instead of sticking with my usual go-tos of romance and science fiction. The blurb for My Last Kiss intrigued me immediately when I first read it. I was excited to learn I had a spot on the tour and would get a chance to read this book before its release. My Last Kiss begins with Cassidy observing her broken body and realizing she’s a ghost. She’s not sure how she died, but she has flashes of a kiss with someone before her death. She can’t remember who, though. It’s just one of many things Cassidy can’t remember. As she visits her friends and family, only one person can still see, hear or feel her – her boyfriend, Ethan.  I loved the mystery plot line in this book. I enjoyed how the story unfolded between the scenes with Ethan, the flashes that took her to others in the present and the flashbacks. Nothing was as it seemed and the dynamic between the characters was interesting and complicated. There were so many lies. Everyone seemed to be hiding something. Cassidy is determined to put the pieces together to find out what really happened to her. It’s the only way she can move on. I can’t review this book without talking about the romance between Ethan and Cassidy. Yes, they had their problems while she was living, but the scenes between them after she had died were heart-wrenching and tender. It makes me so sad they had to say goodbye. I kept hoping for some twist that would allow her to come back, but I knew it wasn’t going to happen that way, no matter how much I wanted it to.  My Last Kiss was a fantastic debut novel. The writing was excellent, the pacing nearly perfect. I thought I knew all along who was responsible for the accident that led to Cassidy’s death, but I was wrong. The story was complex and unpredictable and I was hooked right from the start. I enjoyed the characters and the interaction between them. I loved that I was kept guessing right up until the very end. I’m looking forward to more great novels from Bethany in the future.  I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Meow meow meow meow meow