Title: The Last Best Kiss
Author: Claire LaZebnik
Release Date: April 4th 2014
Published by: HarperTeen
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....
With her signature wit and expertly authentic teen voice, Claire LaZebnik (the author of fan favorites Epic Fail and The Trouble with Flirting) once again breathes new life into a perennially popular love story. Fans of Polly Shulman, Maureen Johnson, and, of course, Jane Austen will love this irresistibly funny and romantic tale of first loves and second chances.
I admit that before officially reading The Last Best Kiss – as in opening the book and start reading it chronologically from the first page until the last one like a normal person does – I first skimmed some of the pages for about an hour, trying to get a clue about the characters and the plot; If it’s as likable as the previous Persuasion retelling that I read. And admittedly, I kinda disliked how the characters all seemed annoying, but instead of dissing it already and start on another book, I held onto my seat and waited for what I thought was going to be a disaster. So just imagine my delight when the expected disaster didn’t come!
Contrary to my initial impression of the characters, I actually didn’t find any of them annoying at all (well, okay, save for Lily). Anna is a very relatable character and even though I didn’t like what she did to Finn in ninth grade, I couldn’t bring myself to keep a grudge on her because I understand her too well and I think most people can to.
Anna was young and kind of dumb and only wanted to be accepted by her friends like how most kids just want to fit in. She was in a group of girls who gushed a lot about cute boys and Finn was far from cute so she didn’t acknowledge him around them. At that time, she hasn’t grasped the gravity of what she was doing to Finn and usually just brushes him off. What Anna did to Finn is one of my pet peeves in characters, really but Anna did it so innocently that instead of yelling at her, I could only pity her. Fast forward to when Finn is already a hottie. He acts like he has already forgotten his past with Anna but in truth, he still has some grudge on her and makes her jealous by getting “friendly” with Anna’s friend.
I love that The Last Best Kiss doesn’t sport heavy drama and the romance is incredibly cute and sweet! It’s also pretty light but at the same time, it packs its own kind of depth too. I am also pleased that it touches on the subject of openmindedness since I believe that this is one of the things the world needs most right now. I consider myself an open-minded person but after reading this, I realized I still need a lot more practice on giving more careful consideration about things. I’d go as far as to say that The Last Best Kiss is an eye-opener. It definitely has that effect on me and I hope that whoever reads this amazing piece of literary could also see how magnificent it is.
5 Fairy wings!