The Things You Kiss Goodbye

Author:  Leslie Connor                             kiss
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Source:  BEA



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.

Ope’s Opinion:  When I started this book, I just couldn’t get into it.  It seemed slow moving.  I almost gave up on it, BUT I am glad I didn’t.  As I got to know the characters, I became attached to them.

I really liked that the abusive boyfriend wasn’t slamming her around in an obvious way.  He kept making a joke out of it and apologizing.  It felt like how I think it might really happen.  It built slowly and subtly.  I think it would make someone who was being abused open their eyes.  I do wish that Bettina was more proactive about getting out of the relationship instead of accepting the abuse.  Coming from the family Bettina comes from made her more vulnerable to an abusive relationship.

Even though Cowboy was significantly older then Bettina – it was good to see her recognize a more healthy relationship.  He made her feel safe and important, neither of which she was getting at home or with Brady.  I like how much Cowboy respected Bettina.

I really liked the twist toward the end of the book.  I did not see it coming at all.  It changed the rest of the book and the characters relationships.  I am interested in reading another book by Leslie Connor.

Rating:  Four Chairs – I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.


Little Mercies


Author:  Heather Gudenkauf                 little mercies
Publisher:  Harlequin MIRA
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Source:  BEA


Buy this book NOW!


Goodreads:  In her latest ripped-from-the-headlines tour de force, New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf shows how one small mistake can have life-altering consequences…


Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity;the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children’s advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system she works for.


Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but irresponsible father since her mother left them, sleeping on friends’ couches and moving in and out of cheap motels. When Jenny suddenly finds herself on her own, she is forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen’s and Jenny’s lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another.


A powerful and emotionally charged tale about motherhood and justice, Little Mercies is a searing portrait of the tenuous grasp we have on the things we love the most, and of the ties that unexpectedly bring us together.

Ope’s Opinion:  This is a book I would like to put in everyones hands – even those who don’t read very often.  I will pass my copy on to others, but they will have to return it.  I will buy copies for those who will not be able to share my copy.  This is absolutely a must read.

Emotional, intense, exciting, fast moving – these are just some of the words that come to mind to describe this book.

Heather Gudenkauf weaves a story that intertwines all the characters lives.  While reading I found myself literally holding my breath! The twists and turns are not predictable at all.  I am amazed at how Heather writes in such a way that I am drawn into the book so deeply I loose track of time.

Even though there are so many books to read, I want to make the time to read this one again.  I can not wait for her next book.

Rating:  Five Chairs – This book is so good it will be passed on and on and on…..