17 First Kisses

Rachael Allen. HarperTeen, $9.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-228134-0
While high school senior Claire Jenkins and her beautiful best friend, Megan, have a long history of supporting each other when it comes to family, they tend to compete over guys. After a handsome soccer player named Luke moves to their small town, Megan gets him first, much to Claire’s dismay and anger. But Luke keeps paying attention to Claire, and soon he’s breaking up with Megan, and Claire is risking their friendship to keep her romance with Luke a secret. Between chapters, debut author Allen includes flashbacks to Claire’s past kisses (dating back to second grade), though these sections are really about revealing the evolution of Claire and Megan’s friendship and a past family tragedy. While the flashbacks are informative and entertaining, they can frustrate the forward momentum of the novel; additionally, Allen sometimes skips over weeks’ worth of events with a few lines, making the story occasionally feel disjointed. As Claire struggles to understand if and when a boy might be worth risking a friendship, readers should find it easy to relate. Ages 13–up. Agent: Susan Hawk, the Bent Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/21/2014
Release date: 06/01/2014
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-228135-7
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