The First Last Kiss by Ali Harris

I picked up a copy of The First Last Kiss by Ali Harris when I went to the Simon and Schuster blogger event back in November.  It’s her second book and I previously reviewed her first one, Miracle on Regent Street. I’m keen to reread that.

Ali was one of the authors at the event and it was very interesting hearing her talk about writing and the book.  She very kindly signed my copy for me

Here’s the synopsis:

How do you hold on to a love that is slowly slipping away from you? Can you let go of the past when you know what is in the future? And how do you cope when you know that every kiss is a countdown to goodbye? This is the story of a love affair, of Ryan and Molly and how they fell in love and were torn apart. The first time Molly kissed Ryan, she knew they’d be together forever. Six years and thousands of kisses later she’s married to the man she loves. But today, when Ryan kisses her, Molly realises how many of them she wasted because the future holds something which neither of them could have ever predicted…

This is chicklit.  It’s not the really fluffy chicklit.  But it’s good.  It’s a love story told over the years and through all the real life trials and tribulations.

This doesn’t have the big will they or won’t they moments culminating in the dramatic reconciliation at the end.  Instead it moves backwards and forwards throughout the course of their relationship.  The moves are seemingly random and although once or twice it moved back in time when I wanted to know what happened NOW it worked really, really well.  The way songs and films are seamlessly mentioned help to realise just when each bit is set.  At the blogger event Ali said this was written in chronological order and she then sat with a friend and worked out the best order for the book – I can’t imagine that it would work anywhere near as well as it does in any other order than it’s in.  If it had started at the beginning and ended at the end I don’t think it would have drawn me in anywhere near as much as it did.  Starting towards the end and then going in and out of the story at different points working back towards the end is what definitely made it work.

When I was reading this book I saw on a tweet from someone saying they were reading this book and that it was book in the freezer time (referencing the episode of Friends where Joey is reading Little Women and gets to the part where Beth is dying and puts the book in the freezer to stop it happening).  I was a bit surprised by that because it was a little bit sad but it wasn’t that bad.  But then I got further on in the book and suddenly realised that yup, it’d turned into a real tearjerker and a book in the freezer might be a good idea.  At the same time I didn’t want to put it down and I actually read a little less than half of it in one hit – having planned to only read for half an hour or so I was still under my duvet reading a few hours later.  It wasn’t depressing though, just sad at times in a way that was brilliantly handled.

Well, well worth the read.  I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a book this much – I think it was probably last spring if not before.  Just make sure you have someone ready to hug you at certain parts.

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