Author: Rachael Allen
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: June 17, 2014
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.I'm a huge fan of contemporaries, particularly those that have a twist and give us more than is expected. 17 First Kisses was one of these titles that completely exceeded my expectations. I read the majority of it in one day which seems to be the trend with me recently. Once I started I couldn't stop because I was completely caught up in Claire's world.
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.
There are different dimensions in this book and to adequately explain it I'm going to have to break it down a little bit differently.
Dimension #1: Family Life
Something happens within Claire's family structure that completely shatters her world and no, it's not something you will expect. This is a huge part of the story that you don't really get a sense for in the synopsis. It's a huge deal and the story gets a ton of depth because of Claire's family life and what is happening behind doors.
I LOVED the family aspect of this book. The lead up to it has you guessing and when the reveal happened I was completely enthralled. All the emotions are there and they feel realistic. It's not cookie cutter, but it isn't unbelievable either, it's the perfect line that allowed me to believe that I knew the family I was reading about.
Dimension #2: The Boys
The classic storyline goes as follows- Girl meets perfect boy+Boy meets perfect girl=Happily Ever After. That doesn't happen here and I am so glad.
I love that Claire goes through multiple boys and doesn't fall in love with the first one she kisses because lets be real, who does that? The kisses are revealed slowly beginning at 2nd grade so it's not an overabundance of high school romances gone wrong. This makes it much sweeter and gives it an awesome build up.
We really get a look at Claire's entire life so by the end I felt like I really knew her and understood why she made the decisions she did.
Dimension #3: The Friends
This is the one part of the book I had slight issues with. Megan McQueen is Claire's best friend throughout the entire book and we get to see the birth of their friendship and the various stages in between. While she is her best friend and I can see the attributes within their relationship, so many times Megan treated her terribly.
Megan is all into popularity and she wants what she wants, sometimes at the expense of her best friend. I understand why things happen, but there were a couple times where I would have reacted a lot more negatively than Claire did at her actions.
Overall: I highly recommend this one to anyone who loves contemporaries. This is definitely one of my favorites this year and I will definitely be reading more from Rachael Allen!
4.5 rounded up to 5.