17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen | Book Review

17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen is a book that I was really sleeping on. I actually regret that because this book was so good — even the parts that were genuinely difficult to read. This another book that I had picked up while I was on my streak of throwback contemporary young adult books. I need to trust my urges and instincts more often as the majority of the books I read on the streak were excellent. 17 First Kisses was superb. I ended up adding pretty much all of the books by Rachael Allen to my TBR.

Claire has kissed a lot of boys, but they all seem to be frogs and she has yet to find her prince. Most of the boys seem like they’re more into her best friend Megan who is gorgeous, a cheerleader, and essentially homecoming queen. When a new boy, Luke, comes to town Claire is immediately interested – they have soccer in common. Unfortunately, Megan is interested too and Claire does not know if she can compete. 17 First Kisses takes us through the story of all of Claire’s first kisses as well as present day.

We also see that Claire’s family has some issues, as her mom is deep in the trenches of grief from the loss of her infant brother Timothy. FYI, that was incredibly hard to read — especially as I had finished this two days prior to giving birth. Yet, what a testament to Rachael Allen’s writing that I kept going with this book.

Rachael Allen’s 17 First Kisses is a brilliant contemporary book perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Courtney Summers. It explores friendship brilliantly. I loved that I went in expecting one thing with Luke, Megan, and Claire but it played out differently. Also, there’s an extracurriculars aspect which added to the realism and enjoyment of this book. Further, I loved how flawed Claire was as a character and how not perfect or charmed her life was. This was such a good book and one that came out of nowhere for me. I definitely recommend you give it a chance if you like reading contemporary YA.


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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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