Book Review: The First Last Kiss by Ali Harris

The First Last KissThe First Last Kiss by Ali Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m one of those people who cry at pretty much everything, films, sad songs, stories on the news and even TV ads but I don’t think anyone could read this book without being reduced to a blubbering mess by the end.

It’s difficult to describe this book without giving too much away but essentially it’s the story of the relationship between Molly and Ryan. The story begins with Molly being woken up not by a kiss but by her cat Harry. It’s moving day and as she packs up her belongings and generally procrastinates (which I can totally relate to) she reminisces about moments and kisses she shared with love of her life Ryan.

In some ways it reminded me quite a lot of One Day by David Nicholls as it’s a series of episodes in their life that are linked in some way. However, where One Day was set on the same date, in this case the episodes are linked by the different types of kiss they represent such as the worst first kiss, the lost kiss, the celebratory kiss and the eternal kiss. This means that the story jumps back and forward in time from the mid 90’s when they first met as teenagers to the present day with Molly packing away her memories.

It seems at the start that they aren’t together any more, and the title of the book suggests that if there is a first last kiss there must be a last last kiss at some point, but what happened? Were they too young and grew apart, was someone unfaithful or has something driven them apart? I have to admit these questions and more drove me a little crazy. At some points I decided they were actually still together or at least that’s what I hoped.

I absolutely loved Ryan as a character. He just seemed so perfect, good looking, athletic, loving, romantic, funny, popular and totally devoted to Molly. I loved how determined he was to win her over and how he would do anything to keep them together and make her happy (although the story was told from Molly’s point of view so I suspect there was some bias).

Molly I wasn’t so sure about. She was the more ambitious of the two and always seemed to be wanting more than what she had. A better job, better flat, more nights out to the newest and trendiest places and to travel all over the world. She seemed like the rebellious teen who’d never really grown up unlike Ryan who wanted to settle down in his hometown near his family.

As individuals they couldn’t be more different but as a couple they just worked so well. I found myself really rooting for them and that was an emotional rollercoaster. There are some funny moments, some romantic moments that left me smiling for the rest of the day and some exceptionally sad moments which will take me a while to get over. Even thinking about it now, hours later makes me want to smile and cry. I’m so jealous of the love they seemed to have.

I have to admit I found the episodic style of the story and all of the jumping back and forward in time a little confusing and frustrating, particularly at the start. I kind of wish the author had just told the story but by the end it turned out there was a reason for it and once I understood it it made a lot more sense.

Overall it’s a great read and a book I’d recommend to anyone who loves a good romance and a bit of a tearjerker.

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