Kelsey and David became best friends the summer before freshman year and were inseparable ever after. Until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke, and everything around her crumbled—including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey's parents decided to move away, she couldn't wait to start over and leave the past behind. Except, David wasn't ready to let her go...
Now it's senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David's family moves to town and he shakes up everything. Soon old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey's second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never truly let him go. And maybe she never wants to.
Told in alternating sections, LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE is a charming and romantic debut about loving, leaving, and letting go.
Title: Last Year's Mistake
Author: Gina Ciocca
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: June 9, 2015
I want to thank Simon Pulse for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my review or opinion.
For me, there is nothing quite like a rekindled romance, or a rekindled friendship to more. So when I read the blurb for this book I was immediately interested. The alternating time lines made for an interesting look at the before and after of the character's relationship.
Kelsey was your typical YA female character: a bit egocentric, a bit over the top, a bit angsty. But overall she was well thought out. She pines over David, while still dating Ryan, and constantly wonders why her heart seems to pull her away from what she has established as her life. It's obvious she is confused over her feelings for David and tries her hardest not to give in. She pushes him away, but at the same time gets mad when they are "just friends." She is frustrating at times, but I think that's part of her character's trait: that she just can't seem to make up her mind about who or what she wants and must learn through experience where she should be.
There were parts in the book that bothered me. Since this is aimed at teens I was hoping for some positive lessons, but the ones I saw were not. For instance, it's ok to cheat, it's ok to lie. I'm not ok with this, though I understand that it's part of the learning experience and certainly teens are going to have these things happen in their lives. But it didn't seem there were enough consequences for these things so that a lesson was taught. I needed the lesson to be taught!
The ending was a bit predictable, but sometimes you just have to have that trope. I knew it would end up where I wanted it to be, which is why I chose to read it in the first place. But it's not about being able to know what will happen in the end as much as watching the journey of the characters as they get there. But the journey for me wasn't strong enough. The characters did really mean things not only to each other, but to others, and I couldn't connect with them on this level.
The pacing of this book was a bit slow for me. I pushed through some parts because it didn't necessarily hold my interest all the time. There were a lot of sweet moments between David and Kelsey, which I think I liked most of all. The writing was quite good, though. I didn't find overuse of language or phrases.
Overall it was a nice read, but not one of my most favorite contemporary reads of the year. It was a bit cliche for me. Add on the predictability factor with a journey that doesn't quite sit right and I'm left with a book that doesn't WOW me.