THE THINGS YOU KISS GOODBYE
Charmingly written, Connor’s book delves deep into the minds of its characters: the abused heroine, the abusive boyfriend, her overprotective Greek parents and the game-changing new guy. The author’s got a clever way with words, which helps, mostly, in curbing the novel and keeping it from becoming a mite overdramatic.
Outside of her Greek community, Bettina has always been an outcast. Not helping matters is how her father disallows her from participating in anything social at school. When shy basketball player Brady takes an interest in Bettina, life changes — somewhat. The kids at school aren’t much friendlier, but her father relents some on his otherwise draconian rules. After spending an incredible summer together, Bettina and Brady begin the following school year. Only now, Brady is the big man on campus and the sweet boy Bettina once adored is nowhere to be seen. Seeing Brady as Bettina’s “get out of jail free” card, her father allows her more free time now that her popular boyfriend is in the picture, but Bettina isn’t sure how to get out of an increasingly bad situation. Only the attention of a 20-something man makes school, home and her relationship with Brady easier to manage. (KATHERINE TEGEN, Jul., 368 pp., $17.99, ISBN: 9780060890919, HC, 14 & Up)