June 22, 2014

Review: The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik

Author: Claire LaZebnik
Release Date: April 22nd, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 374
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
(I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest
review. No favors were exchanged, my opinions are my own.)

First Reaction: Cute but ultimately forgettable.
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....

[Summary Source: Goodreads]


Anna is pretty insistent that she stay in her friends good graces. Which is why, as a freshman, she chooses to snub this guy who is super sweet to her but, ultimately, a giant nerd her friends don't think is good enough for, well, anything. After totally breaking his heart and finishing up 9th grade, this sweet giant nerd, Finn, leaves Anna's school and she doesn't hear from him again until he pops back up in time for the later high school years. And when he returns, he's good looking and attractive and people want something to do with him. But he doesn't want anything to do with Anna. This book is about how Anna deals with that, especially when she's still into Finn.

Let's break this down:

This book is the perfect beach read. It's totally adorable and fluffy and fun. It hits the sweet spot - it makes you swoon ever so slightly, while hitting the feels in just the right way so that you're not ready to cry or anything but you definitely feel something. And there's just the right amount of drama.

Of course, Anna makes you so mad because younger her is a giant dodo. And then she has this one friend who's cozying up to Finn who's very much a manic pixie dream girl - she's even acknowledged as such at one point, which was entertainingly self aware, so I actually kind of enjoyed that plot point. But I wouldn't let those facts keep you from reading this book.

What's really fantastic about this book, though, is you get so wrapped up in their drama and their fun that you don't really want to put the book down. You want their fun to be apart of whatever fun you might be having in your life. You want to slip into their world for a bit, have a good time, not be burdened by any of it and walk away without thinking about it as much more than a pick me up.

I honestly wouldn't let anything keep you from reading this book. It really is short and sweet. The perfect read to clear your head with between heavier book. Or maybe just something you don't have to give too much of your attention. It's also great if you like Jane Austen (hellooooo retelling).

The long and short of it?

Plot: Adorable, light, fluffy fun.
World Building: This book doesn't really take you anywhere, but it has fun not taking you places.
Character Development: Anna definitely grows a lot throughout. Finn's also an interesting character to watch. The rest... well, I could take 'em or leave 'em.
Prose: Very simple, deliciously consumable.
Would I Recommend This Book?: Do me a favor and stick this paperback original in your beach bag this summer. You won't regret it.

Do you like Jane Austen retellings? Or maybe you're just into beach books. Let me know what might push you to pick up this book in the comments below!