Review: The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor

Book Title: The Things You Kiss Goodbye
Author: Leslie Connor
Published Date: June 24th, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Katherine Tegen Books via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
This book frustrated me a lot. 

Abuse was prevalent through the majority of this book and I was so aggravated by Bettina’s behavior towards it. Brady was an asshole. Plain and simple and yet Bettina would blame herself and say things like “Well maybe if I encourage him more” or “Maybe I need to change.” Yes I know abusive relationships are incredibly hard. I’ve never been through one so maybe that was why I didn’t have any sympathy towards Bettina. I think the only reason she kept dating Brady was because she wanted a boyfriend and he was the only one her parents (particularly her very strict Greek father) would approve of.

“This kind of thing hurts a boy’s feelings if you go out when he cannot be with you.”

I hated Bettina’s father. He was so strict and Bettina was so scared to tell her family that Brady was hurting her. Not that she thought her father would hurt her, but she was still scared to tell them. I wanted her mom to stand up for her. I desperately wanted Bettina to be brave enough to tell her family about Brady hurting her.

And “Cowboy?” Ugh, ugh, UGH. No, no, no. I didn’t have an issue with the cheating only because Brady was abusive. If he hadn’t been abusive, I would have had an issue. The age difference was icky, but again, I didn’t have a major issue with it either. The biggest issue for me, was the lack of chemistry. Whenever they were together, I was bored. 

Really the only guy Bettina had any sort of chemistry with was Tony. I liked that there was nothing romantic there. I liked that Bettina had a male friend. Opposite sex friendships are so underrepresented in YA.

Overall, I was very unimpressed with this book. I kept wanting it to be over. Even the ending didn’t save it for me. I’ll be giving it 2 stars. Lackluster romance in every way and frustrating characters ruined the book for me.

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