26 Kisses – Anna Michels – Simon Pulse – Published 24 May 2016
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.
With that title and cover this book had no choice but to be a cute romance, perfect for chic-lit lovers and a quick, swoony read.
When Veda’s boyfriend of two years dumps her, she and her best friend come up with a plan to enjoy this summer and mend Veda’s broken heart: kiss 26 guys from A to Z.
I tried not to be judgemental when on the first page Veda confesses to being unhappy her best friends are going to get together because she likes that one of them has always been in love with her and that means he’s moving on, despite the fact that she has had a boyfriend for the last two years. So Veda and I didn’t start on the right foot. But she managed to win me over in the end with her crazy schemes, ability to stand up for herself and ultimate desire to make things right.
In between chasing down guys (and dogs, Veda thankfully doesn’t take the kissing challenge all that seriously) are moments spent with Killian. Geeky, super-strong, likes pop music, doesn’t fit in, random fact babbling Killian. It is these moments working at the Boat & Float and taking off in his Jeep to a secret beach that really make this the perfect summer read. Some parts are fun and others downright crazy. Looking back, making 26 guys your play things for the summer sounds really creepy. And of course falling for one guy while running around kissing 26 other guys is sure to end badly. Really badly. But I was surprised by the end, the way each of the characters handle what’s happening, and how they work together. It’s a great ending in a fun (if slightly nuts) YA contemporary.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Summer, romance, kissing, dating and relationships.
Reading age guide: Ages 14 and up.
Advisory: Strong coarse language, f***, s***, sl**, ass****.
Published: 8 March 2016 by Penguin Random House UK Children’s.
Format: Hardcover, ebook. 304 pages.