Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Review: 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen

Title: 17 First Kisses
Author: Rachael Allen
Expected publication: June 17th 2014 by HarperTeen
Genre: YA Contemporary
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You see the title, you see the cover and you would never think that this book is what it is.

I know, I know, I shouldn't judge a book by its title or its cover but some times it cannot be helped. And actually, part of what made me pick up this book is the cute cover, I just thought it will be this cutesy, light romance and maybe a bestfriendship thrown in there too.

And the first few chapters it appeared it was the case but then Wham! The story took off at neck-breaking pace while I laughed and oh-ed and ah-ed and wondered where the well my cutesy story went. It pulled the rug out from underneath my feet. It takes guts to put this kind of story out there as your debut book and I have to take my hat off to Ms. Allen. I can easily tell you that the risk paid off because this book rocks.

The story is about Claire, aka CJ. CJ starts off as a cute tomboy who has all these awkward kisses ever since the second grade and it is just hilarious. At first I loved CJ and how real and smart she was and confident enough to wear Adidas shorts and flip flops to girly parties. I was also head over heels about her overweight best friend, Sam. Sam was adorable and loyal and the goalie in CJ's soccer team.

Everything goes to hell when CJ starts her new friendship with Megan, only the most popular girl in the sixth grade and Queen of the Crownies, the most important girl clique consisting of her, Britney (a mindless groupie that always follows Megan) and Averley (the one with a reputation of being easy), and some other girl that moves away leaving space for CJ to be part of the Crownies and therefore she becomes popular.

These girls were the mean girls all through the seventh and eight grade, and CJ goes through a transformation and becomes Claire, a beautiful, confident girl that gets to have a bunch of new kisses with a new bunch of guys and it is just messy and hysterical. Now while I was a bit disappointed on these girls I still couldn't take them very seriously since they were so young and I just laughed it off. They were like any other teenager, trying to figure who they are.

But then things get serious as they get older and I find myself getting annoyed at Megan and how she treated Claire and then something happened and I would cheer for Megan instead and all I wanted was to kick Claire in the shins.

One thing has to be clear, though, this book is not as light and airy as I am making it out to be. Claire's family goes through a horrible tragedy, and the other girls family situations weren't ideal either, and I loved that, it made me care for them even if I didn't like them at the moment.

But the important thing is that they, all these characters, they made me feel. They made me care to the point of taking the story too seriously and being too emotionally involved. And that is what makes me continue to pick up books, that overwhelming feeling of living through somebody else's life. It is what keeps me glued to the world of contemporary, where the authors don't have magic to rely on so they have to create their own.

And as far as romance, it does have some but it really doesn't. Sometimes you would think Claire was in love only to realize that it really wasn't and she saw it too, as she grew up. And the one I really wanted her to be with didn't happen ): you know what I am talking about because it is one of my most favorite things to read about but I won't ruin it for others. And even if CJ tries to make it seem like she kind of have feelings for said guy, at the end I just didn't buy it. Not after everything that happened with her and all the boys before (and after, ughhhh). But whatever, they were both better off I'd like to hope. And I really wasn't bothered because it was refreshing to see that young love is not always so final.

So really, this book was all kinds of messed up and ugly but also so entertaining and awesome and hilarious too. I just think it is one of the best contemporaries I've read this year and it was a huge surprise. I can't wait to read more from this author.

Lastly, I am not really into comparisons but this one just speak volumes about this book, because 17 Kisses reminded me so much of the Jessica Darling series, which is amazing so for fans of Not-so, you have to try this one!


  1. Haha! Great review it made me laugh so I'm hoping the book will be as awesome as you say!


    1. It's so lovely! And unexpected! It'll hook you too I hope! (:


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