Monday, April 7, 2014

Review: The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik

The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik
Publisher- Harper Teen 
Released- April 22nd 2014
Pre-Order- Amazon / B & N 

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....
My Thoughts: 
When you like someone, it shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks about him right? That was Anna Elliot's first mistake. She cared to much. Liking Finn Westbrook was easy to Anna. They had an instant connection in 9th grade carpooling to school and eventually they started to date, but Anna wasn't quite ready to share him with her friends yet since he wasn't on the social radar and would be defined as your typical nerd, so Anna kept him her little secret, that is till the dance where she humiliated Finn in front of all her friends. Feeling awful for the way she acted, Anna wanted to make it right between them but never had the chance since Finn’s family moved away that summer, leaving Anna with a heart full of regret and sadness. Fast forward three years later and guess whose back in town? Be gone is the old nerdy Finn with no fashion sense and geeky glasses and is replaced with a taller, brooder, more confident and collected sexy Finn Westbrook and he’s caught the attention of every girl in school, including Anna's best friend. But Finn also hasn't forgotten what Anna did to him, no matter how sorry she was for treating him like an embarrassment. Can Anna prove that she’s grown up since then and can Finn forgive her enough to give her a second chance? Or has the damage already been done?

For the most part, I really enjoyed The Last Best Kiss. The plot was really cute and very realistically portrayed. Everyone at one point in there lives makes mistakes when you’re young and desperate to fit in. Everyone wants to feel accepted and is scared that if you’re dating the loser in school then you won’t be. Everyone has regrets or things they aren't proud of, but it’s what you do to mend those mistakes that really matter. Guilt looked really good on Anna, it’s good for the soul and means there’s hope for her yet. I liked that she owned up to her mistakes and tried to make things right and it was good to see her morals strengthen through her experiences.
Finn was super cute back in 9th grade. He was thoughtful and funny and smart and I really couldn't blame him for being hurt and for how he treated Anna when he came back to school. This was his little way of getting back at Anna and even though he wasn't exactly mean, he was still pretty cold and somehow that makes it even worse. I’m glad he didn't put up that act to long and managed to be civil long enough to be friends again.
Anna and Finn are really quite adorable together, they bring out the best in each other and I really enjoyed their moments throughout the entire novel.

So, I liked the storyline, the writing was strong and the pace and flow was smooth. I liked Anna and I liked Finn, but I had a really hard time liking or connecting with everyone else. Family and friends in any story usually compliments the plot or leaves some sort of impression or impact for the leading characters. Or at the very least, they usually provide some kind of entertainment, support or comic-relief, but in this case, Anna’s family was just terrible and quite strange. Besides her one sister Molly, I found her parents and her other sister Lizzie to be a very negative part of her life. I never understood the bond between their dad and Lizzie and I really don’t understand the whole Ginny thing, it was kinda creepy actually. As for her friends, I didn't find any of them to be very likable either. They all felt fake and into their own drama. It just seemed that Anna didn't really have any stable or solid figure to depend on and yet she was still able to grow and mature enough to own up to her mistakes and change into the person she wants to be.

With that said, this may not be a favorite, but I still thought this was a cute and sweet book. It’s an easy quick read that takes you back to when you were young and acceptance was a pretty scary word. Claire LaZebnik delivers a strong message about peer pressure, self discovery, regrets, forgiveness and second chances with strong voices and a heartwarming plot that a lot of readers will be able to relate to. All in all, a decent read.  

Find the author:
Goodreads  / Website                                3 Snowflakes 


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