Author: Rachel Allen
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: HarperTeen (June 17, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 3 Stars
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.
In her moving debut, Rachael Allen brilliantly captures the complexities of friendship, the struggles of self-discovery, and the difficulties of trying to find love in high school. Fans of Sarah Ockler, Susane Colasanti, and Stephanie Perkins will fall head over heels for this addictive, heartfelt, and often hilarious modern love story.
I saw someone else mentioned that this is like a com-rom for the YA age group and I have to agree, it is very much that while also holding very true to a very endearing coming of age story that we have all grown to know and love over the course of the YA genre in general.
This holds true to popular YA tropes while still giving it a fun enough twist with detailing all of Claire’s past kisses and failed romances to make it something that is worth the time and effort of reading it.
Be warned, there are mean girls and frenemies and bad boys and good boys (thankfully no real love triangle), drama and some angst and yes, lots and lots of kissing, there is even some skirting around of very serious topics (abuse and death). You might not even like the main character Claire during certain parts in the book and you will certainly love to hate Megan during most of it but yet, it still draws you into their friendship and story and still makes a teeny tiny small part of you root for them anyways.
I can't explain it exactly but it does.
Now on to the harder stuff. Did I love this? Did it blow me away and most importantly, would I really put it into the same category as Dessen, Ockler, Perkins and Colasanti's work like the synopsis suggests?
To answer, no, no and absolutely not. If you go into this expecting something from them, something like them, you will be disappointed, but, that doesn’t mean this wasn't a good read, maybe even a solid read, it just means I personally, wouldn't put it into the same category as some of my favorites. Certainly not.
But this was a good debut novel with some hard life lessons. Some lessons about forgiveness, friendship over love and about growing up and finding who you are and staying true to it.
*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*