Monday, May 6, 2019

Review: Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman

Title: Kissing Max Holden
Author: Katy Upperman
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Release date: August 1st, 2017
Pages: 304
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

Kissing Max Holden was a terrible idea... 

After his father has a life-altering stroke, Max Holden isn't himself. As his long-time friend, Jillian Eldridge only wants to help him, but she doesn't know how. When Max climbs through her window one night, Jill knows that she shouldn't let him kiss her. But she can't resist, and when they're caught in the act by her dad, Jill swears it'll never happen again. Because kissing Max Holden is a terrible idea. 

With a new baby sibling on the way, her parents fighting all the time, and her dream of culinary school up in the air, Jill starts spending more and more time with Max. And even though her father disapproves and Max still has a girlfriend, not kissing Max is easier said than done. Will Jill follow her heart and allow their friendship to blossom into something more, or will she listen to her head and stop kissing Max Holden once and for all?

If you're looking for a great contemporary story, I highly recommend that you add this one to your list.  Kissing Max Holden isn't just a fluffy read, like I thought upon first picking it up due to the cover.  As I read the story, I learned that there's actually a lot of depth to the characters created.  First, there's Jillian, who you meet when Max, her next door neighbor climbs through her window one night.  She's smart, but can't help but resist kissing Max, even though she knows he has a girlfriend. 

I, personally, LOVE a good boy-next-door kind of story.  It's always one of my go-to ideas when writing and I tend to gravitate towards those books the most.  I don't know why, but it's just so appealing!  Max and Jill both have their own family issues.  Max's dad had a stroke, and it's affected Max greatly.  Jill's stepmom is pregnant with her sister, but Jill's planning on moving to New York to go to culinary school...until her parents start fighting incessantly and she learns that she may not have the money for culinary school, after all. 

There's drama between characters and toxic relationships are a huge issue in this story, but there are a lot of lessons to be learned!  There's so much chemistry between our two main characters, which makes the book and exciting read, but there's also a factor of infidelity, which isn't everyone's cup of tea when reading a book regarding romance.  My least favorite thing about the book was how they went about handling Max's relationship with the toxic girlfriend.  It felt like such a rocky ride, which is realistic, but also felt a little drawn out.

Although this story is called Kissing Max Holden, it's about so much more than that.  It's a book about a teenage girl who loves to bake; who's trying to make a life for herself, who is falling for her neighbor, and is dealing with fighting at home and at school.  Her only safe house is Max Holden- or the idea of him- and even then, things aren't completely stable.

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