Thursday, June 11, 2015

Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca Review

Title: Last Year's Mistake
Author: Gina Ciocca
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance
Series: N/A
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

This book was given to me by the publisher, Simon Pulse, through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review--thank you so much!

This was how I felt after finishing this book, and it really should sum it up:

Last Year's Mistake tells the story of Kelsey and David, two best friends who are more in tune with one another than they are with themselves, and when their high school friendship begins to form into something entirely new, Kelsey does the only thing she can: She runs. Trying to look at her family's move as a blessing, a fresh start, she leaves town, and David, and shatters his heart entirely in the process.

Sounds fun, right?

Well, it gets worse. David returns, and this time, Kelsey has new friends, a new boyfriend, a whole new life, and she herself has changed as well. Forced to finally face the pain of her past, Kelsey tries to confront David, and is suddenly bombarded by feelings long buried, for him, for her former home, for her other life in which she couldn't live without David, her best friend, her other half.

I'll start with the good parts of it. I loved the concept of this teen novel: two best friends, falling in love, and complications soon follow. But most of the reason I loved this novel wasn't just the tumultuous relationship between Kelsey and David; it was Kelsey's journey to self-discovery, and to herself, and her love for David. I loved Kelsey as a character: at first, she is lost, confused, trying desperately to tread water when hr past comes to call, and by the end of the book, she finally knows what she wants, and where her future is.

And then there's David, the sexy ex best friend, (and maybe something more) who longs to give Kelsey his heart, the way he tried to the first time. He is a nuanced, incredibly complex character that proved a great foil to Kelsey's desperation: he is easygoing, sweet, (did I mention gorgeous?) and firm in his belief that he and Kelsey are meant to me, everyone and everything else be damned. I loved his and Kelsey's relationship, despite the drama that constantly ensued, and I loved the ending.

I couldn't give this five stars, though, because at times it was tiring, Kelsey going back and forth between Ryan and David and back again, as well as Kelsey's friends, Violet and Ryan in particular, and the constant testosterone had me rolling my eyes pretty much constantly, but overall, this was a lovely book. The bottom line: A bittersweet tale of best friends, first love, summer, and finding yourself, Last Year's Mistake definitely wasn't a mistake on my part! A wonderful debut! Next on deck: Second Life by S.J. Watson!

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