I came upon this title while I was browsing for any good books to read. It didn’t catch my attention at first, but after checking the reviews on Goodreads and figured that the book might suit my taste, I decided to buy a copy from The Book Depository.
Here’s the synopsis from the back cover of the book:
And 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…
The arrangement of the storyline in this book is surprisingly different from the other books I read. Every chapter is subdivided into three parts. There’s Molly’s narration of the present time, the type of kiss and Molly’s insight on it, and her recollection of an event in the past in which that certain type of kiss happened. The whole story mainly centers on Molly’s life as well as her love life – basically from teenage love to adult love. But what makes this book unique is the way Ali Harris creatively comes up with the different kinds of kisses Molly experiences throughout her life and Ali Harris’ strategic process of delivering the story.
Aside from Molly, readers are also introduced to other characters: Ryan, Casey, Mia, Ryan’s parents, and Molly’s parents. The dynamism in their characterization makes them more realistic and relatable to the readers. They possess distinct personalities – showing their vulnerabilities and strengths – that I can’t help wonder how I would react if I were in Molly’s position and meet people like them. Molly, on the other hand, interests me the most. Throughout the book, readers are able to witness Molly’s life as a teenager up until she becomes an adult. Ali Harris manages to portray Molly realistically with flaws and insecurities and doubts, as well as her growing maturity as she grows older. I could vividly see the gradual change in Molly’s priorities as opposed to her younger self where her teenage unconsciousness overshadows the reality of her current situation.
Seeing how she lives her life pushes me to reflect life in general. I could see how Molly is conflicted with herself as she is torn between attaining her dreams versus spending life with Ryan. Sometimes I feel that Molly tends to become immature with her decision-making. It somehow shows that Molly is trapped between two goals she wants to achieve – two goals that can’t be done at the same time. And this situation often applies to us in reality. More often than not, it’s harder to decide once we’re in that position as we are forced to compromise or sacrifice one over the other.
Although this book entertains me well, it doesn’t have that WOW effect on me. Story wise, I enjoy reading the life of Molly, but the way it’s written sometimes confuses me. The timeline jumps from one period to another, thus, weakening the coherency of the plot. I guess this is one of the reasons why it took me so long to finish the book. But aside from that, I still love how Ali Harris focuses on the different types of kisses Molly encounters and how these kisses affect and define Molly.
The First Last Kiss is a story about kisses, young love, finding hope, friendship, loss, and finding love once again. This book manages to teach me not to take kisses for granted, that every kiss could be cherished. The revelation towards the end definitely helps me gain some insights about life. I look forward to Ali Harris’ next book.