Review: The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik

Review: The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnikTitle: The Last Best Kiss
Author: Claire LaZebnik
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 22, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Check it out on Goodreads: HERE
Rating: four-stars
Anna Eliot is tired of worrying about what other people think. After all, that was how she lost the only guy she ever really liked, Finn Westbrook.

Now, three years after she broke his heart, the one who got away is back in her life.

All Anna wants is a chance to relive their last kiss again (and again and again). But Finn obviously hasn’t forgotten how she treated him, and he’s made it clear he has no interest in having anything to do with her.

Anna keeps trying to persuade herself that she doesn’t care about Finn either, but even though they’ve both changed since they first met, deep down she knows he’s the guy for her. Now if only she can get him to believe that, too....

I wanted something light and fun to read and I got exactly that with The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik. This was a cute story really about not appreciating something that you have until it is gone as well as liking who you want no matter what anyone else thinks.

Anna learned some lessons the hard way in ninth grade and it was at the expense of Finn, the guy that shared her carpool with her during school. He was a bit of a nerd, you know the kind, scrawny, glasses, interested in learning things more than impressing people. Anna cared a bit too much about what other people thought of her. She fell for Finn while they carpooled together and she kind of had a secret relationship with him. That all came to a screeching halt when he wanted to go to the dance with her and she didn’t want to because it was public. He went anyway, asked her to dance and she blew him off. Well, he moved away and she had no chance to tell him she was sorry.

Fast forward a few years later and Finn is back! Only he’s still hurt and Anna’s friend Lily, who is a little wild and doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her, has taken a liking to Finn. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that’s totally against friend codes but, Anna never did tell her friends how much she liked Finn so it goes unnoticed and she works through it. She should have just said something and saved herself the heartache of watching Lily and Finn together.

I really liked all of Anna’s friends, I think they were really supportive of each other and they focused on school more than relationships. They were all going through the college application process and getting into colleges. It was good to see a close knit group of friends be able to focus on school as well as everything else that went on.

Anna dealt with her feelings for Finn as well as her feelings for another guy although they were technically cousins, which I didn’t really understand there. I mean, generally if someone was somehow related to you, even through some distant relative type thing, that would make them undesirable, right? Or maybe I’m just odd here. Anyway, she was dealing with that as well as one of her sisters coming out that she’s a lesbian, her father dating a much younger girl that teaches at Anna’s school and also her older and annoying sister’s friend.

The ending was pretty predictable with Anna and Finn. There is definitely a happily ever after but, what else do you expect from a light and fun read right? I wanted that happily ever after. I really enjoyed this book quite a bit and can’t wait for others to read it.

Review: Don’t Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley

Review: Don’t Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn HeasleyTitle: Don't Call Me Baby
Author: Gwendolyn Heasley
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 22, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Check it out on Goodreads: HERE
Rating: four-stars
All her life, Imogene has been known as the girl on THAT blog.

Imogene's mother has been writing an incredibly embarrassing, and incredibly popular, blog about her since before she was born. Hundreds of thousands of perfect strangers knew when Imogene had her first period. Imogene's crush saw her "before and after" orthodontia photos. But Imogene is fifteen now, and her mother is still blogging about her, in gruesome detail, against her will.

When a mandatory school project compels Imogene to start her own blog, Imogene is reluctant to expose even more of her life online...until she realizes that the project is the opportunity she's been waiting for to tell the truth about her life under the virtual microscope and to define herself for the first time.

Don't Call Me Baby is a sharply observed and irrepressibly charming story about mothers and daughters, best friends and first crushes, and the surface-level identities we show the world online and the truth you can see only in real life.

Don’t Call Me Baby was about a girl who has grown up as the focus of her mom’s blog. This book is a subject which I have thought about a lot and I also think that in about ten years there is going to be a lot of teens having these conversations with their mommy blogging parents.

One thing about this story that bothers me is the lack of communication that Imogene has with her mother. I mean, she wants her mom to stop blogging about her but yet wrong just flat out tell her that. Communication is the key to getting what you want or even just a step closer to it. I understand not everyone is able to voice their opinions and feelings in a good way or even a neutral way however, it is what gets other people to see how you feel.

There was a lot of growing up in this book from young and old. I think it was great that even grandma Hope did some growing up and she was in her 70s. It shows that no matter how old you are you can always learn something about yourself.

The relationships seemed genuine and even though Imogene and Sage had a bit of a rough patch their relationship was good. It wasn’t just individuals that grew up but people as a pair and group.
I think that perhaps the subject of the book wouldn’t be interesting to some of you weren’t too into blogging and reading blogs because you can see where both sets of people are coming from. When my son was first born I had a blog for him, it was a mommy blog. I stopped blogging about him about a year to two years ago. I had a lot of thought about when he’s grown and not wanting anyone to see the things I write although it wasn’t bad or embarrassing the way Imogene had it. Her mom wrote about her period for goodness sake! I have also had thoughts on other people’s blogs that I read about the stuff they put on their blog, how everything they do is photographed and blogged about. How will their kids feel when they’re older? This is why I think this book is a foreshadowing of what a lot of families are going to go through when they get older.

I liked this book for those reasons. The subject is close to my thoughts and it was good to see how it all played out. It’s not something revolutionary but it is definitely a good read.

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