The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor

Disclaimer: I received this ARC for free from the publisher Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review. However, this fact does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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.

Source: Goodreads

My review:

I haven’t heard anything about this book, but the summary intrigued me and thus, I requested it because I was in the mood for a contemporary romance.

Well, it wasn’t one of these cute and fluffy novels that you read just for entertainment, but I knew that, because the synopsis implied that the story would be heartbreaking. Still, I wasn’t expecting that ending, not at all.

I just thought that some secrets would be revealed, that Bettina would have to choose between ‘Cowboy’ and Brady, but the story dealt with so much more.

The Things You Kiss Goodbye deals with physical abuse in the first place, and I definitely didn’t expect that. It also deals with death and with what it means to have parents who are overprotective and old-fashioned.

Thus, the novel is so much more than just a cute romance because it discusses such heavy topics. Of course there’s also romance in it – the friendship between Bettina and ‘Cowboy’ is really sweet and I really liked how it evolved.

I really liked the characters in this book, but I just couldn’t understand why Bettina didn’t fight back. However, since I haven’t been in such a situation, I cannot say what I would have done in her place because one behaves differently in various situations.

The ending wasn’t to my liking because it was sad and I really didn’t understand why the author has chosen to end her story in such a way.

Nonetheless, I still enjoyed The Things You Kiss Goodbye because it dealt with serious matters and I really like it when books discuss such issues since it makes you feel for the protagonists and it makes you think about certain things. The novel is very emotional and sad, and it deals with so much more than just first love.


3.5 out of 5 stars

Note: I would like to thank Harper Collins for sending me this exciting review copy!



20 thoughts on “The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor

  1. Never heard of this book before but the cover looks just so pretty! Too bad the ending kind of sucked. I really wouldn’t have expected the book to deal with physical abuse, but I’ll definitely give this book a try (when I feel like it. I don’t know, but I always find it so hard to read books that deal with tough issues.)
    Great review!


    1. I love books that deal with such issues, even though of course it’s kind of hard sometimes and that’s why I often cry when I read an emotional novel. But they’re the best because they make you FEEL 🙂


  2. I read another review of this and they were shocked because they were expecting a really cute, light contemporary 😛 Guess I know what to expect now! The ending sounds pretty sad, I think I would feel the same way you did.


    1. Yeah, I just expected a nice summery read, but I was so wrong. Still, I really recommend this book because it was very different from the other contemporary books I’ve read.


  3. Yeah, I thought this one was pretty dark. Bettina’s father was really controlling and then her romance with Brady was all messed up, and then Cowboy, who was much too old for her. It was just all so bleak and I just wanted a glimmer of hope that she might get on the right path with men…
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics


  4. I’m not really into the contemporary genre, but this looks different from the usual. It definitely sounds thought-provoking.

    Thanks for stopping by!
    Daphne @ Reading Until Dawn


    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! I really recommend this book, especially if you like deep books that deal with serious issues.

      Thanks, I am happy with my layout, finally!


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