Wed, July 30, 2014

The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor Review

The Things You Kiss Goodbye book cover

The Things You Kiss Goodbye book cover

The Things You Kiss Goodbye
By Leslie Connor
Publication date: June 24, 2014
Katherine Tegen Books, 368 pages
Source: 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.

— description

I respect The Things You Kiss Goodbye for how it depicted a tough and controlling home situation and an abusive relationship. I think it’s important that these issues be depicted in YA novels so that teenagers can see how quickly things can go south.

Bettina and Brady’s relationship was ADORABLE to start. All cute and fluffy and everything I like to read about in YA. But, wow, did it turn. I think this was a really intense slap in the face for the reader (awful, unfortunate pun not intended).

So, kudos to Leslie Connor on that front.

But the dialogue was so heavy-handed in parts and the drama so overdrawn that I found myself alternating between eye rolls and mental “ughs.” And I just cannot get behind a romance between an underage girl and a guy in his mid-20s. Just…no.

All in all, I’m not sure where I fall here. I guess I’d say “respect, but not like.”

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: abuse, leslie connor


  1. Tilly @ Hardcore Heroines said:

    Interesting, I have wanted to read this for a while, but I’ve heard quite a few meh reviews and now I’m not so sure. I think I’ll give it a go, because abuse isn’t something that I read a lot about in YA.
    Great review! I know what you mean about ‘respect’ and not necessarily like, I think that a great point to make.


    Posted on: Wed, July 30, 2014

  2. Hazel @ Stay Bookish said:

    Anna! I kind of get why you felt the way you did about this book. I received this one for review and I was excited at first since it sounded like a strong contemporary but then I read the first few pages and was bored so I skipped ahead and was like ‘WHAT?’ and ended up putting it down way too early. I do plan on giving it a try again but I am honestly having strong doubts about whether I’ll be able to like the book at all. 🙁


    Posted on: Wed, July 30, 2014

  3. Trish @ Between My Lines said:

    I like the idea of gritty and real but I don’t feel compelled to read it. I think it’s the age difference, it’s just wrong. And TOO much drama is my pet hate so I’m passing for now.


    Posted on: Wed, July 30, 2014

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