Title: Last Year’s Mistake
Author: Gina Ciocca
Release date: June 9th, 2015 by Simon Pulse
Genre: Young adult, contemporary, romance
Rating: ★★★ – 3/5 stars
Synopsis: 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… After: 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 received this book fro review from the publisher -via Edelweiss- in exchange for a review. This does not influence my opinion in any way. The BookDepository link provided above is an affiliate link.
I requested this on Edelweiss because it seemed like a really good YA contemporary read. And while I did enjoy reading Last Year’s Mistake, there were some aspects I didn’t like as much. Let’s get into the review!
Last Year’s Mistake is told in alternating sections kind of like the synopsis. You get a before, and an after/now and then a before again. You understand what I’m trying to say here. While I really enjoyed that we get to discover what happened to Kelsey before as well, it seemed a bit unnecessary sometimes. Those sort of pulled me out of the story a bit. I would be immersed in Kelsey’s life and actions and suddenly we are transported back to the past. The book was definitely enjoyable but the constant alternations made it a bit harder for me to connect to the main character -as she is very different in them.
Let’s talk about the characters for a bit. First off: Kelsey, our main character. In the beginning, I liked Kelsey. She was trying to hold her current life separate from her past, but I did enjoy reading from her perspective -in both timelines. I liked her relationship with her family, her friends and her boyfriend. And in the “before” timeline, I adored seeing the friendship between David and Kelsey develop. It’s truly a friendship everybody would want: one where you’ll do everything together, help each other get over their fears, be able to tell the other person everything.
As the book progressed though, I liked Kelsey less and less. In the ‘”before” time, she turned into someone who is extremely jealous. And yes, I do understand that it must suck to be in the situation she was in. But I feel as if a whole lot of drama could have been avoided if she would have just been honest with her best friend! And then there is the big misunderstanding that turns her life around. I can’t imagine what she must have felt like but again, a lot could have been avoided by just opening her mouth and saying something. And in the “after” timeline, she was starting to make strange decisions. To the point where I was like, what are you doing girl?
The big misunderstanding isn’t the entire reason Kelsey wanted to start over and leave. But I would’ve understood that reason better than the one she actually has. She literally turned her back on everyone but her family, moved away and stopped talking to everyone. For a ridiculous reason -in my opinion.
I know that this review is making it sound like I didn’t enjoy this book. In all honesty, I did think it was enjoyable! It just had some flaws that prevented me from giving it more than 3/5 stars. There were other aspects of the book that I did enjoy, like David. Even though he also makes some very strange choices, I really liked him. And the main part of the “before” chapters made it so easy to get to know the characters and get attached to not only them, but their family as well. While I didn’t like Kelsey as a character, I did feel for her. I felt bad for what happened to her, she definitely didn’t deserve it.
Overall, I thought this book was enjoyable. If you like YA contemporary, I would definitely give it a go. Maybe you will absolutely love Kelsey! And even if you don’t, it will still be fun to read.