Book Review | 17 First Kisses

Title: 17 First Kisses
Author: Rachael Allen
Publication: June 17th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Bought it

Rating: 4 out 5 stars

Synopsis: No matter how many boys Claire kisses, she can't seem to find a decent boyfriend. Someone who wouldn't rather date her gorgeous best friend, Megan. Someone who won't freak out when he learns about the tragedy her family still hasn't recovered from. Someone whose kisses can carry her away from her backwoods town for one fleeting moment. 

Until Claire meets Luke.

But Megan is falling for Luke, too, and if there's one thing Claire knows for sure, it's that Megan's pretty much irresistible. 

With true love and best friendship on the line, Claire suddenly has everything to lose. And what she learns - about her crush, her friends, and most of all herself - makes the choices even harder.

Review: After some raving about this book from Blythe over at Finding Bliss in Books, I went out bought this one and started reading it. This book really blew me away with the depth that came out of it. It was so much more than what it looks. 

Every aspect of this story was incredibly realistic. Is it uncomfortable? Yes. Because real-life is uncomfortable at times. Were the characters flawed? Yes. Because people in real-life have flaws. This is one of the most realistic YA contemporaries I have ever read. The issues that are conquered in this book could be quite controversial, from slut-shaming to cheating relationships. I found it uncomfortable at times, but that's how realistic this book is. 

The depth of this book is incredible. There is so much more to this story than a romance. As mentioned above there are deeper issues that this story takes on, but there are deeper relationships as well. There is a large and worthwhile emphasis on friend and family relationships, perhaps even more so than romantic relationships. I loved the variety of relationships, the real and complicated aspects of all the relationships. Especially the relationship between Claire and Megan. 

Throughout the book you find out how/with who Claire had her 17 kisses in pastime chapters that are interspersed throughout the current story chapters. I see the value in the telling of these stories as instances that not only gave background on Claire's life but also tell an important part of her life. However, I was a bit put off by them. I'd be so involved in the story and then it would get broken up by a pastime story of how she got on of her kisses. While it mostly tied into what was happening, I just found these to make it a tad disjointed at times in the book. 

The ending was one of my favorite parts of the book. I don't want to go into any details, well because, spoilers, but the ending, to me, was perfect and real. 

PS I apologize for my lack to describe this book as few things other than realistic. But seriously, this is it. Please read this one if you love contemporary and can deal with some rather controversial issues, I think you'll like this one. 

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? Did you find it as realistic as I did? What are some great contemporaries you've read lately?