The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor
Sixteen-year-old goth-dressing Bettina Vasilis is looking for a way to create time outside her very traditional, strict Greek family, when she is “chosen” by Brady, the star basketball player.
Brady appears to be just the polite kind of boy her father would allow her to date, and at first she is thrilled by his attention, not to mention the fact that she has a lot more freedom. Brady talks her into try- outs as a cheerleader, or as Bettina nicknames them, the “not-so-cheerleaders.”
Bettina loves her new freedom- and her new, very popular boyfriend. Even when his nickname for her, “P’teen-uh,” is wearing thin. Even when he pulls her braid until her head hurts. Even when he slams her locker door so hard, it comes back and hits her, hard, in the face. Even when they start having sex and it really hurts. She is willing to, as her Bampas told her, fili antio- kiss it good-bye. Rough starts. Get over it.
Then Bettina meets “Cowboy,” a 25 year old mechanic with his own garage, who encourages her to face up to Brady, and with whom she feels she might be falling in love…
Although Bampas is close to a one-dimensional stereotypical Greek father, there are many well-developed side characters. Simply, beautifully, written, with a mixture of humorous and thought-provoking scenes. And with only alluding to any further plot lines, this is a three Kleenex box book.
Recommended 14 up because of the sexual scenes