26 Kisses by Anna Michels
Published by Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 24, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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Kasie West meets Morgan Matson in this hilarious and heartwarming debut about a girl’s summer mission to get over her ex-boyfriend by kissing her way through the alphabet.
Getting dumped by her boyfriend is not how Veda planned on starting her summer. When Mark makes it clear that it’s over between them, Veda is heartbroken and humiliated—but, more importantly, she’s inspired. So she sets out on the love quest of a lifetime: use the summer to forget about Mark, to move on, and move up. All she has to do is kiss twenty-six boys with twenty-six different names—one for each letter of the alphabet.
From the top of the Ferris wheel at her hometown carnival to the sandy dunes of Lake Michigan, Veda takes every opportunity she can to add kisses (and boys) to her list, and soon the break-up doesn’t sting quite as much. But just when Veda thinks she has the whole kissing thing figured out, she meets someone who turns her world upside down.
This was a quick read for me as most contemporary YA’s are. If I had to describe this book in two words, they would probably be cute and fluffy.
Veda’s boyfriend Mark broke up with her right before summer kicked off and she’s heartbroken. She was expecting to spend this last summer with Mark, before he heads off to college but Mark made it clear that he wanted a clean break and so she was single for the first time in a long time. As soon as crying herself to sleep gets old, V is inspired to get over her broken heart by kissing 26 different guys throughout summer. One guy for every letter of the alphabet. The best way to get over a guy is to find a new one, right? With each passing kiss, V learns something new about herself.
As I said before, this was a quick read and I found myself curious about this book after reading the blurb. Kissing 26 different boys in one summer is a lot of boys to kiss and I wanted to see how that would all play out. It’s not exactly the wisest message to send to young girls and I was a little disappointed in the way that it played out. Mostly because I thought the kissing challenge went on for too long and then when Killian was helping her at the end? I wanted to smack some sense into him. You don’t encourage the girl you’re dating to go out and finish kissing more guys so that she’ll get over the last guy. I mean, seriously.
In a way, I guess I understood why Veda decided to go through with the kissing challenge but I guess when she was over Mark and started things up with Killian, I kind of hoped that she wouldn’t need the kissing challenge anymore. I hoped that she would respect Killian’s feelings and not need to finish the challenge.
Veda’s character felt real to me. She acted and reacted the way that normal teenage girls would (and I’m surrounded by teenage girls on the daily). I liked that she really learned about herself and really grew into the person she wanted to be in the end. She had a great support system in her friends and her Mom. I even liked seeing her relationship with her father and younger brother evolve.
Killian was cute and everything young girls would like in a love interest. I liked that he was who he was, liked what he liked and was trying to be okay with everyone not understanding him. The feelings he had for Veda felt real and I liked seeing him fit himself into her life and I liked that he stuck around even when things got hard.
Overall, this book was cute and while I didn’t enjoy every part of the book, it was still a solid read. Perfect for a lazy day at the beach read.
Grade: 3.5 out of 5