Monday, June 9, 2014

17 First Kisses by Rachel Allen ARC Book Review~

17 First Kisses by Rachel Allen
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publish Date: June 17th, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

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.

My initial impression of this novel was that it was going to be a book about a young teenaged girl who's had a plethora of first kisses, seventeen to be exact and her experiences with that. When it was grouped with authors like Sarah Ockler and Stephanie Perkins I kind of had it in my mind that it was going to be a cutesy romance or even a comedic one but it's pretty much nothing like that at all.

There were moments in the beginning where I felt kind of swoon-y and connected to the MC, Claire but after awhile I started to feel a disconnect.

Before I get into what I had issues with I want to say that this is a good book in the sense that it paints a realistic portrayal of teenaged friendships and teenaged life. BUT, it was quite possibly TOO realistic for me.

I don't live in a world where I believe that teenagers are not hooking up sexually and getting into fights over boys and doing cruel things to one another but it was a bit much at least for me.

Claire and her group of "crownies"(popular/mean girl types) basically screwed each other over and messed with each others boyfriends throughout the entire book. They are not good friends. Their relationships are fragile to say the least. I don't know if even after having read the entire book if they're really friends at all. Sure they know each others secrets and faults but they were always getting split up because of boys. They spent more time apart then they did together. There was always a divide in their relationships and I get that, crap happens. But, wow.

There was just so much hooking up and mentions of sex (mostly oral sex) that it just felt like one big angst-y teenaged drama gone awry.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this one but it's definitely not for everyone and the idea that the publisher grouped this book with authors like Ockler and Perkins is going to lead a lot of readers astray. This book is not a feel good romance or even much of a romance. The "romance" between Luke, Megan and Claire is barely a issue when you look at the whole grand scheme of things.

I'm not entirely sure what the message was here but the book does touch on more serious issues but don't look for any deep meaningful explanations. It's more like a romantic drama, heavier on the drama. I'd say go into this one with zero expectations and hope for the best.


  1. Oh dear, I have this book to read but it sounds like a book I am going to hate. The girls and their 'friendships' seem ridiculous and I know I will be getting really annoyed at them. I hate angsty teen drama as well, so that's not good. I admit to thinking this was going to be a cutesy book, kind of disappointed that it isn't. Thanks for the honest review, I will seriously lower my expectations before getting to this one.

    1. I definitely thought it was going to be a cutesy romance but I was sadly disappointed. I can't wait to see what you think!