Bittersweet: The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Things You Kiss Goodbye
by Leslie Connor
Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary
Expected Publication: June 24th 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books
Source: ARC from Publisher
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.

Books are knives and swords and daggers that cut us. Sharper blades tend to create deeper wounds, and deeper wounds are more inclined to scar. They’re more likely to cause marks that would never fade, marks that would be permanent fixtures of us. The Things You Kiss Goodbye is no different—it’s a knife. A knife with a razor-edge blade, purposely honed to sever deeply. 

> Bettina Vasilis’ life is anything but free. Every action and decision she makes must pass through her father’s scrutiny. When Bettina’s father consents to basketball jock Brady Cullen being her boyfriend, her life is perfect. But through the way of the universe of conspiring against “perfect” things, Brady begins to change. The sweet, shy boy Bettina has grown to love is no more.  Then she meets Cowboy, a man years past her age and someone her father would never allow in their life. In the addicting scent of his autoshop, through morning coffees and stolen nights, Bettina falls for Cowboy. But one thing she learns is that life will never be perfect. And sometimes, you have to kiss goodbye the things you love. 

> Bettina Vasilis, despite being at such a young age, was an exceedingly enduring girl. Her patience and tolerance for all the bullshit happening to her was greatly admirable. Perhaps her hesitation to speak out sometimes meant her more trouble, but the way she put up with all her misfortunes cannot be overlooked. Bettina didn’t let herself be wavered by grief or by her father’s sternness. Her strength was truly enviable.

> Brady Cullen’s transformation was astounding. As I was reading the first few chapters, I asked myself, “What went wrong?” Their relationship seemed perfect. I’m still wondering how Leslie Connor did it, but no matter how, it worked. It was very effective.

> And then we have Cowboy. Not the type you see on Harlequin novels’ covers, no! Just… Cowboy. He was an enigmatic character. Or, maybe, merely acting his age—that is, very maturely. I just felt that he needed more exposure in the story. It seemed a little hard to connect to him, if I may say so. However, despite that lack of connection I had towards him, Bettina’s affection for Cowboy is undeniable. It was palpable in the pages of the book. 

With a writing that can only be classified as poignant and raw, Leslie Connor crafts a novel of pure love frosted with heartaches, losses, and hope.

 Buy the book from: Amazon / The Book Depository

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  1. Venmar Christopher G.RiveraMay 29, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    Awesome Review! :)
    Made me want to read the book, and that's saying something since I'm not really a big fan of contemporaries.
    I'll surely keep an eye out for this when it's released. :)


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