Last Year's Mistake
by Gina Ciocca
So. This book was one of the free reads on Riveted last month and I sort of read it by accident?Summary: Before:
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.
I mean, I'd heard a lot of mixed things about it. Some people loved it and quite a few people whose opinions I trust kind of hated it but I wanted to check it out for myself and make up my own mind. And, well, I agree with most of the criticisms of it...but I liked the book anyway.
I only intended to flip through a chapter or two, just to give it a chance but I ended up reading it in one sitting because it hooked me. The worst thing a book can be for me is boring, and this one didn't bore me.
The book was really predictable in so many ways, the characters and their relationships were cliche, the angst in the story was mostly really contrived and at times the portrayal of girls in the book really irritated me (you know those female antagonists who are written really stereotypically and they're so catty and one dimensional? most of the female characters were like that -- there was only one female friendship in the book that felt done alright).
And the romance...it frustrated me a lot. David was so contrary -- in the flashbacks, he seems to want her to change, to hang out with a certain crowd...but then in the present chapters, he criticizes her for doing just that. And he acts like he was the victim of a situation where he was actually mostly at fault and it's just so annoying. And he would say one thing to her but then his actions would totally contradict it (he did that a lot). Most of the angst and stuff that kept them apart was totally ridiculous and I just wanted to yell at the characters to use their words.
Plus, it's one of those stories that has a love-square type situation but it's done in that really tropey way (plenty of people like that though). It has the main characters boyfriend be really bland (so it seems like there's so much more spark with David) but nice to her for the most part (so her indecision can be drawn out) but then has him do something really awful so we won't have to think less of the main character for treating him poorly. And David's girlfriend is horribly cliche, she's really one dimensional and it made no sense for him to be with her and it's just...why?
I didn't like the overly drawn out secrets. Probably more because the flashback scenes were so anticlimactic -- I'm cool with build up to a reveal if the reveal is actually worth the wait but it just wasn't in this case.
Basically...there was a lot about the book that I didn't like. But, I didn't want to stop reading. It held my attention and kept me entertained and sometimes for me that matters more than the negatives. It amused me for a few hours and I liked it for that reason. Not every book has to be a literary masterpiece or be original or bring something new to the table, it's okay for a book to just be fun.
I'd rate the book 3 stars out of 5. There is a lot to dislike about it, but I found it quite easy to overlook that while reading and I would be interested in checking out more of Gina's books in future.