Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release: 17th January 2013
Genre: Chick-Lit, Romance
Rating: 4/5 stars
Source: Received from the publisher for review
Goodreads Summary:"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…"
Ali Harris’s debut novel Miracle on Regent Street is one of my all-time favourite chick-lit books so when I heard about The First Last Kiss I was incredibly excited to read a new book from her and had very high expectations. Although I didn’t love The First Last Kiss quite as much as Miracle on Regent Street it was still an exceptional read in its own right.
The book alternates between chapters from present day to the past with snippets about the different kinds of kisses in between. The chapters told in the present take place during a day counting down the hours until Molly’s big move, without Ryan. We know from the start that Ryan isn’t in Molly’s life anymore but we’re not told why and as the story goes on in these chapters you get clues as to what has happened to come between this amazing couple.
The chapters told in the past tense are told at different times during Molly and Ryan’s relationship so one minute we’ll be reading about them falling in love as teenagers the next as a married couple going through a hard time. It’s as though we are given puzzle pieces that we put together as the book goes on - the big picture being Molly and Ryan’s love story. Although I really like the idea of the book being told this way and found it very unique I did get confused at times trying to remember what had happened on the timeline and where exactly we were in the story. I enjoyed the snippets on the different kinds of kisses and really loved how they fit into the plot as the relevance is made clear towards the end of the novel.
The romance in this book was absolutely beautifully written and very realistic which was refreshing to read. Ryan and Molly have arguments, tough times in their relationship, and are far from a perfect couple, yet they still have this epic love story. I loved how their romance wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine and how they had to put effort and compromise into their relationship to make it work. Ali Harris has created a love story that people will relate to and yet it still has that fairy tale feel to it.
I had a love/hate relationship with the characters in this book. Again they are entirely realistic and can be quite hard to like at times when their bad sides show. Younger Molly really frustrated me at times but she grows a lot throughout the book and by the end I loved her. My favourite characters throughout were Ryan and Mia, Ryan is such a loveable hero as he’s just such an all-round good guy and Mia was always such a fantastic friend to Molly.
The First Last Kiss kept me guessing as to where it was going to go and although the last few chapters were really heart-breaking to read the ending has a beautiful hopeful message. The First Last Kiss was a rollercoaster of emotions to read and will stay with me for a long time to come. Ali Harris is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors and I can’t recommend her books highly enough.