Friday, June 2, 2017

LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE BY GINA CIOCCA - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca.


I think I'm outgrowing YA. Or, at least, high school drama YA.

This book follows Kelsey, a senior in high school who, after moving a year ago, finally has the life she dreamed of, adoring boyfriend, Ryan, tight (do people still say tight? I feel so old after reading this book) best friend, Candy, etc. Then one day, her old best friend, David, rolls into to town and back into Kelsey's life. Cue boy drama, friend drama, etc.

I really want to stress that the way I am feeling right now, about this book, about the school setting it has, the writing, all that is not bad. I just think I'm over it. Stories set primarily in schools have never really been my favourite and I find that as I get older, even though I'm only in university, I just don't find these types of books as appealing anymore. So a lot of my negativity in this review stems from that, not the book itself.

Character-wise, this book was okay. Kelsey didn't blow me away as an MC but she wasn't too terrible. There were a couple of times when I thought she was a little bit annoying, but not enough to completely ruin the book. Ryan, her boyfriend was a bit of a jerk. But she stuck with him, hurray! Seriously though, there were times when I felt like Ciocca was setting Ryan up to be the biggest jerk so that when Kelsey inevitably got together with David, we wouldn't feel too bad for him. David wasn't anything special either. I felt like we didn't get to know him until closer to the end of the book and by then I didn't really care too much about him.

I also think that the "night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke" situation was so pointless. The only real value I see in it is to show what NOT to do in that situation. But when I read that in the synopsis, I thought a million different things that weren't what it actually was. It wasn't what it looked like and anyone with half a brain would have figured that out. But alas, we needed some petty high school drama.

My other issue with this book is that the central romance is basically built on the idea of a sort of star-crossed, best friends but ripped away before anything could blossom situation. There was zero chemistry in either of Kelsey's relationships and I felt like the only reason she and David liked each other was because they were in the right place at the right time when they met. I bet you any amount of money that if Kelsey's sister was hit with that baseball or any other girl for that matter, he would have been head over heels for her.

I will say that Ciocca's writing style is really good. She was able to flow between the two timelines, the summers when Kelsey and David met, and senior year "present" day. I think that was the only reason I was able to get through the book.

Overall, I wasn't a fan but if you are into slightly cheesy, slightly annoying high school dramas, here you go.