Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca ARC Review

Tuesday, 16 June 2015
Last Year's Mistake, by Gina Ciocca
Publication: June 9, 2015, by Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 256
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

Before: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...
After: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.

My Thoughts: 

Here we have another (fantabulous) addition to my 5-star streak of 2015. Not that I'm sighing, taking deep breaths, or am acting depressed in any kind of way. None of that. Instead, THIS IS THE MOST ASTONISHING THING TO HAVE HAPPENED TO ME FOR YEARS AND MONTHS AND CENTURIES AND... you hopefully get what I'm trying to say. Last Year's Mistake is the most fucking cute novel that I've read this year and I can't simply get enough.

Before we actually get deep into my precious thoughts, I'd like to mention that this equals summer. Ciocca throws us in back and forth with alternating views (but both Kelsey's) and a lot of this has to do with the cutest things possible: summer vacations, bike riding, spending summer nights in the backyard. Agh. And then, I highly recommend taking a peek at the cover, BECAUSE THAT IS BEAUTIFUL. Chemistry between models, check. David and Kelsey's look, check. The gorgeous car, check. I don't know anything more about it, but it's certainly a reason why I went ahead and wanted the book, so badly.

"I took a step forward, and he stopped. He'd seen me, too. The beginning of a smile curved his lips. Lips I knew all too well. Lips I hated." (ARC, page 6)

It's true. And then at the same time, it's so much more than that.
Where can I possibly begin without bursting into tears, longing for that kind of relationship? This may start of seeming to be like a typical contemporary-romance with no bit of fluff and fuzz that readers adore. Kelsey and David were best friends, and have been close since the summer before freshman year, where they met in Rhode Island. They then discovered that they'll both be going to the same Connecticut school, and live right beside each other, at least a few streets over. And then, things happen. Kelsey finds out that she'll be moving to Rhode Island, and then the secret is exploded out by David. THEN HE SHOWS UP AT HER SCHOOL A YEAR LATER. 

*sounds the depressing, scary music* You must be thinking that this is cheesy and possibly with a ton of use of clichés to throw the romance in and make it sound real. But you can't even imagine how real this is. Ciocca adds in tons of realism, friendship, family issues, and issues of being a teenager just to add a second chance for Kelsey and David's characters. I loved the subject, and although I haven't ever been in love (no empathy for me, here), I feel like I can connect to the characters so well and their story spoke to me. 

I have to disagree with the negativity spewing around. This is not CHEESY. Is is not humanly possible for a boy and girl to be best friends, and then something else comes out of that relationship? I've heard that story many times, and this works. The main issue and climax coming from K + D's perspectives is them struggling to mend their relationship back together. And the worst thing for them is: their families are both super close with each other, and they're kind of forced to spend time with each other. (WHICH MAKES EVERYTHING SOOOO MUCH BETTER FOR THEM.)

"For a moment it was like no time had passed at all. The entire year melted away, and we were back in the woods. How I wished I could relive that night, when it was just me and my best friend, finally acknowledging something else between us. Before we'd broken each other's hearts." (ARC, page 245)

From page one, I couldn't honestly let this one go. It wasn't like there were tens and hundreds of cliffhanger moments that I just needed to keep going. It was more of the addiction that I got from reading Ciocca's writing. It's such a simple story, but it was the right read for me at the moment. Destiny threw in a read for me that would mend my heart, let me shed tears without caring, and realize what it's like to be in love. Books don't usually do that for me, and I can only wish for that kind of feeling. In this case, it was truly possible, and I believe in the gorgeous love stories that occur like this. There is not a moment in this book where you feel regret or hatred to something that is written—you just want to keep reading and hope for the best for the characters. Happiness equals heart-squeezing moments. I completely understand why people have noted that they were crying.

It does get sad.
The story does get sadder and sadder as we read on, because of the loss of hope. You just want everything to happen so easily, but life never goes like that, and we have to get through the rain to see the rainbow. Thankfully, our great batch of characters realized that, especially by having to get through the stupidity that life putted them through.

Kelsey is everything that I wanted from a protagonist in a contemporary-romance. After she had to leave David back in Connecticut, she kind of lost herself and who she was. She turned to the things that she obviously didn't need in life—drinking, partying, showing off. Thankfully David came back into her life at the perfect right time or else she'd turn into someone who she wasn't completely. He is right about every word he says about her—though I loved them both for everything. She puts her family first, always having love towards them although life became tough for her to follow. 

David now equals the role of my new book boyfriend. (Ryan was so adorable as well, poor guy!) These days in YA, we rarely find a love interest who's so caring and selfless, doing amazing things for his love! THEY'RE THE POWER COUPLE OF YA LIT. I can't speak of anything of their romance without falling apart and dying, because they were so adorable and I can't get enough. Chemistry in relationships is real, people!

This ending came out with a BANG. Although readers may have seen it predictable, this novel certainly wasn't about the plot or the structure of it at all. It's the gorgeous, special moments in between that makes readers obsessed and wanting more. It's about making mistakes and learning from them, realizing what the special things in life are. Last Year's Mistake is definitely on my top-ten list of favourites for this year, I can't possibly recommend it enough. Now, don't make a mistake, GO GRAB YOURSELF A COPY... OR TEN.

*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much!*

What is your all-time favourite sugary contemporary read?

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