My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: June 9th 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, High School, Drama
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.
I’m positive this book will not work for everyone. Actually, if I weren’t in the right mood for it, it wouldn’t have worked for me either. It was the kind of foreseeable, cheesy romance contemporary read that will lighten up your mood but not leave you impressed in any way. But that’s okay because it’s been months since I last read this type of story set in a classical American high school setting.
We’ve got the main character, Kelsey, dating the baseball player of her school (Ryan)– spoiling her with charming gifts, her phony friend Violet who starts dating her ex (David), her true friend Candy whom we barely see interacting with Kelsey… Really, this book was barely focused on anything else than Kelsey, Ryan and David’s messed up relationship and Kelsey’s confused mind toward the latter. Romance-driven for sure.
Kelsey’s life is perfect, but that before she hears news of David coming back to town. Seeing him again makes her feel a thousand different emotions she can’t seem to suppress. Since avoiding him doesn’t seem to work, better try and make the awkwardness go away by talking, no? The plot was more complex than it may seem, while simultaneously being completely unoriginal and unsurprisingly overdone. This story was told alternatively by Kelsey in her Senior (present) and Sophomore year (past), when everything went wrong… and when she and David were still best friends.
I truthfully didn’t mind Kelsey’s character at all… until we got near the denouement. She might have been stereotyped, bitchy and irritating by moment and completely clueless too, but she was portrayed in a manner that made her look alive and not only a character but a true human being. And, you know, humans beings aren’t flawless. So I liked that about her. And the thing is that her negative thoughts and actions were understandable. SPOILER – Except for her cheating on her boyfriend. No no no no no. – SPOILER
David was a guy pretty much controlled by his hormones… or inability to say no? His dating girls while being in love with Kelsey was comprehensible because the main character took some time before she realized how David meant more to her than she thought, but I still think David could have stayed single at least in his Senior year. That way, the drama between Kelsey and Violet would have been nonexistent. But it was this later’s fault, too. See what I mean? Was it necessary for her *coughs* best *coughs* friend to date her ex?
What I loved most was the writing. It seems like this is a sentence I keep writing in almost every book review I write, but it doesn’t change that it was what made the story and characters feel so alive. It wasn’t dull! And made the story very easy to follow by its simple but lovely style which, I believe, fitted the story more than well, especially since it was a contemporary read. Kelsey’s family interactions were lively and it was good to see a great relationship between sisters. I wish her family members were more present though because, even if they were, they were mostly used in the décor since few dialogs included them.
There was a secrecy from the protagonist at the beginning that made reading this quite exciting. Of course, the revelation wasn’t extraordinary, this not being a mystery or suspense story, but it was formidable to have a complex and detailed back story on Kelsey and her relationship with David. It gave their feelings for each other more importance and sense.
I wouldn’t highly recommend this, but I think it can make a nice enough read if in the right mood. It’s really up to you!