The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor

ARC, 356 pages

Release Date: June 24, 2014

Published by: Katherine Tegen Books


Source: Gifted from Around the World ARC Tours

For fans of: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Grief, YA


     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.





     This story touched on so many subjects I'm not sure where to begin. From unhealthy relationships, to teens handling grief, to teens handling family problems, this story handled them all. It was a rough story, but so emotional I couldn't put it down.


     The thing I liked most about this book was the writing style. The story flowed and because of that it ended up being a quick easy read. It took  me only 3 days to read it and lately with my work schedule it's been taking me a lot longer. It was just that every time I sat down and opened it, I was pulled back into Bettina's world. 


     Although I wasn't a fan of the characters, I was still sucked into the country setting. The characters all kind of irritated me because they all seemed to be hypocrites. The mother and father were getting onto Bettina for the same things they had did and of course Bettina got on someone else for the same thing she was doing. And what she was doing was no where near healthy. I also HATED Brady. He scared me from just reading about him. And to make matters worse, there is someone I know going through the same thing in real life. It made me really frightened for everyone involved.  I was constantly pulled back because of all the emotions. I was scared at one point. I was sad at another. And at one point I was even filled with love. Connor wrote an interesting story that had me tugged on my heartstrings. 


     Focusing on the romance, there was a small love square that I thought was happening, but ended up being basically just a triangle. There was one dude that I despised, but the other I really did like him. Their romance seemed a bit insta-lovey, but when you have a person like the other person, being with anyone else will blossom into love. I wasn't happy about the way they got together, but at the same time I was so happy that they did. And then I was epically disappointed at the event that happened afterward. It really hurt me to just read it, so I can only imagine Bettina. And Connor definitely portrayed it well. 


     Basically, I wanted to put life on hold while I was reading this. I wanted to keep reading hoping that the characters would change, but then again I kept reading because it was so emotion filled. Believe you me, Connor will make you feel all the feels. Even when you don't want to feel them for those specific characters. 


     Overall, I give this