17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen
Published HarperTeen 2014
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: Paperback from the library
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.
The amazing thing about this book was that I read it nearly a month ago (I finished it April 28), but because I’m so bad at writing reviews and I was really busy, I haven’t gotten around to writing this until now. Typically, I would struggle with a review left behind for that long, but this time – nope. I remember everything like I read it yesterday. Just after a quick glance over some notes and plot points, I remember reading this book like it was yesterday. That truly makes a good memorable book. So, anyway, let’s get on with this review!
One aspect of a book that I’ve been looking out for more and more often is the relationships. I really felt like all of these relationships were really on point! Claire and Megan’s relationship had a really intricate balanced, coupled with the flashbacks throughout their friendship and Claire’s 17 first kisses. Megan is more popular and well noticed than Claire, so there are some jealousy issues. They don’t have a very easy friendship and there is always a layer of competition between the two girls. I loved that this friendship was so relevant, but also kept its reality. Sometimes, friendships can be portrayed as really easy-going and sweet at all times, but friends do get in fights or get jealous. Plus, in the end, I love the way that everything turned out. No spoilers, but it’s probably one of the most satisfying endings I’ve read in a while. Everything felt true to the story.
Romance is a huge part of this book. I really had so many emotions in the book – toward Luke, especially. I can’t really talk about the romance too much because of everything that happens as a major plot point, but know that it takes you along for a wild ride. Between the two girls and Luke, the entire relationship felt real and emotional. I had so much fun reading the book and really being put right into the world.
Overall, I LOVED reading this book! I could not put it down and it was such a cute romance. I’m a huge fan of Rachael Allen now and I will be checking out more of her work (especially since this was just a debut). If you love contemporary romance in tune with Stephanie Perkins, I would suggest this one!