Author: Gina Giocca
Published Date: June 9th 2015
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...
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.
Told in alternating sections, LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE is a charming and romantic debut about loving, leaving, and letting go.
(Synopsis Provided By Goodreads)
Overall my thought on Last Year’s Mistake is it was a strong story that portrayed to me, a very real experience of a girl and boy figuring out emotions while still trying to grow up. The story explored the before and after of the main characters that really made the connection between Kelsey and David strong. The author does a phenomenal job writing about teens! The story at a glance is like so many others: girl and boy, best friends until one starts to feel more or in this case both. On top of it all? They've got to navigate high school too. However, Last Year's Mistake to me interjected a lot of real emotions that aren't necessarily portrayed enough or properly in other story's. This is why I think the writing was strong with this book. The author adds a lot of depth to her main characters Kelsey and David that really carry out through the entire book. I got a great understanding of their characters which made their otherwise juvenile 'teen' actions more realistic and relatable. I think the book sticks to necessary plot details without going overboard to jam pack a lot of un-necessary drama – this isn’t to say there is no drama because there is plenty to keep you turning the page!
The alternating way the chapters are written, past to present, were a great way to explain the past memories that are shaping the present moments in Kelsey’s life. I thought it was a loose metaphor for the story of Kelsey’s and David’s unfinished business – the past always has a way of catching up to the present – I could be totally wrong about this but I found it neat!
Kelsey is such a great character who was beautifully written. She plays the part of teenager beginning the decent into high school, a daughter and a best friend/lover but she plays them with truth and perfect imperfections. High school is tough to navigate especially when everyone around you is experimenting, trying new things. I think it was great to read from Kelsey’s POV to see how she felt during crucial moments of high school all the while dealing with family complications. I related to her a lot because of my own similar experiences. Kelsey acted in ways I saw myself react and other teenagers around me react which I found extremely refreshing - characters in books that were REAL! What I read about in teen fiction and YA about the teen ‘lifestyle’ can be repetitious at times and generic so I thought Last Year’s Mistake kind of spun it a little differently. Kelsey was portrayed as one of the students that get lost navigating her emotions; the one shutting out before they get shut down and assuming before she knows. However the author writes her with much care so I didn’t end up hating her ‘whining’ but rather sympathetic to her actions. I guess I got a feeling of great understanding throughout the book about where the main characters feelings and actions were coming from so the story as I was reading flowed so nicely.
Thank you for making the ‘jerk’ of the book not that jerk-ish! It’s easy to know who to love and root for in this book but it was still really nice to not absolutely despise the other boy. I loved how this book portrayed a reality where all characters did not have to be pinned against each other. Even though I got the cry of lonely one against the world from Kelsey, the writing of the surrounding story is strong enough to support those feelings without compromising other side characters. I didn’t find myself hating the others like Kelsey but I understood her reasons for feeling the way she did because of the sensitive writing around everyone!
I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.
I loved this book and I HIGHLY recommend adding Last Year’s Mistake to your to-read list when it hits stores in June! You can expect from this book, teens being teens - screwing up but learning from their mistakes at their own pace!
I made some fan art for this lovely book~! Grab the image below and add it to YOUR sidebars to show support for this awesome author & book!
PS - The author Gina Giocca wrote a GREAT post on why she wrote this book and why she writes. Give it a read if you can! "An Open Letter to My Readers: Why I Write Teens Who Act Like Teens"