[eARC Review] 17 First Kisses by Rachael AllenMonday, June 16, 2014
Title: 17 First Kisses
Author: Rachael Allen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Paperback, 319 pages
Release Date: June 17th 2014
Source: eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads
No matter how many boys Claire kisses, she can’t seem to find a decent boyfriend. Someone who wouldn’t rather date her gorgeous best friend, Megan. Someone who won’t freak out when he learns about the tragedy her family still hasn’t recovered from. Someone whose kisses can carry her away from her backwoods town for one fleeting moment.
Until Claire meets Luke.
But Megan is falling for Luke, too, and if there’s one thing Claire knows for sure, it’s that Megan’s pretty much irresistible.
With true love and best friendship on the line, Claire suddenly has everything to lose. And what she learns—about her crush, her friends, and most of all herself—makes the choices even harder.
In her moving debut, Rachael Allen brilliantly captures the complexities of friendship, the struggles of self-discovery, and the difficulties of trying to find love in high school. Fans of Sarah Ockler, Susane Colasanti, and Stephanie Perkins will fall head over heels for this addictive, heartfelt, and often hilarious modern love story.
A very big pet peeve of mine when reading any YA book where the main character has a best friend who takes advantage of said character, or is not a true friend. So when I started to read 17 First Kisses I knew i would have a problem with Claire's best friend Megan. The moment Claire mentions that Megan steals everything from her, including boys, i know that I will not like her character at all, and i was right.
Claire was an interesting character to read because she seemed to be two different people, one when she was alone, and another one when she was with Megan. While i read the book I started to see Claire cower in the shadow of Megan and honestly it made me quite angry. Especially since the whole book is about who these two friends like the same boy. Luke is the new guy in town, and while Claire saw him first, it is Megan who makes the moves on him. I hated everything about this situation. Not only because a boy was the center of the conflict, but because Claire did not stand up for herself and what she wanted. And honestly her character does not change that much throughout the book, although Luke's character has major character developments I thought that Megan and Claire's did not, which made me questions the book a bit. I mean when a friendship is on the line, and a boy is involved, things change no matter who the friends are, and the way this book ended make me shake my head a bit.
I did love the way the author pushed us into the past to witness Claire's 17 first kisses, and the reason I liked these parts so much was because they gave us a glimpse of who Claire was in the past (pretty much the same as now) and what these boys and their kisses meant to her. I thought it was a great way for us to get to know Claire and her friends, especially Megan. We learn a lot from these glimpses of the past, and I will just say they made me dislike Megan even more than I did in the beginning. Having one character have really no redeeming qualities is very hard to read because I just kept getting mad at Claire for not seeing when I was reading.
Overall, 17 First Kisses was not my kind of book. I wanted to love it, and there were moments where I really enjoyed reading it, but for me the characters were too infuriating to read, and their situation garnered no sympathy from in the least.