17 First Kisses
17 First Kisses
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Annotation: Claire Jenkins has finally found a boy worth kissing, but when she discovers that her best friend Megan also has feeling for him, Claire must decide what she is willing to risk to get what she wants.
Genre: Love stories
Catalog Number: #5576272
Format: Paperback
No other formats available
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition Date: 2014
Pages: 319 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-06-228134-8
ISBN 13: 978-0-06-228134-0
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2013021525
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Publishers Weekly
While high school senior Claire Jenkins and her beautiful best friend, Megan, have a long history of supporting each other when it comes to family, they tend to compete over guys. After a handsome soccer player named Luke moves to their small town, Megan gets him first, much to Claire-s dismay and anger. But Luke keeps paying attention to Claire, and soon he-s breaking up with Megan, and Claire is risking their friendship to keep her romance with Luke a secret. Between chapters, debut author Allen includes flashbacks to Claire-s past kisses (dating back to second grade), though these sections are really about revealing the evolution of Claire and Megan-s friendship and a past family tragedy. While the flashbacks are informative and entertaining, they can frustrate the forward momentum of the novel; additionally, Allen sometimes skips over weeks- worth of events with a few lines, making the story occasionally feel disjointed. As Claire struggles to understand if and when a boy might be worth risking a friendship, readers should find it easy to relate. Ages 13-up. Agent: Susan Hawk, the Bent Agency. (June)

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up&12; High school senior Claire has kissed many frogs in search of her prince. Starting in kindergarten, her kissing partners have run the gamut from band nerds to star football players. All the while, her best friend Megan has been by her side. Megan's good looks and magnetism sometimes leave Claire playing second fiddle. When a new boy moves into town, he seems to be the perfect boyfriend for Claire, but her best friend is interested in him, too. The teens devise rules for how they are to handle the situation and remain friends&12;but both girls find themselves bending these tenets. Told in a series of flashbacks, Claire's story has humor and optimism and breaks through the high school love triangle formula. The backstory involving her family is detailed and adds depth to the novel. The protagonist is placed in several compromising but realistic situations involving underage drinking and sexual pressure. She makes strong decisions and deals with the consequences of her actions. Recommend to teens looking for a beach read.&12; Morgan Brickey, Marion County Public Library System, FL
Voice of Youth Advocates
After a nasty breakup, Claire swore off boys for over a year to change her bad reputation at her high school. Now a senior, she makes a pact with her best friend and the most popular girl in school, Megan McQueen, to end her good behavior and kiss a boy before the year is over. Unfortunately, she and Megan have eyes on the same boy. Luke is new to town and unlike all the boys there; besides that, he is better at soccer than Claire is. Those two things are enough to make Claire play along when he flirts with her in plain sight of Megan at the Friday night football game. Megan and Claire had agreed to leave him alone, but how can Claire blow him off when he so clearly likes her?Through a series of flashbacks of each kiss she has ever had, Claire takes the reader through her friendship with Megan from its very beginning through its many endings. Readers will enjoy getting to know Claire as she slowly reveals the many difficulties that have made her so strong and made Megan her best friend.Elisabeth W. Rauch.
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 7-12

In this incandescent page-turner, sixteen-year-old Claire learns the unfortunate truth that sometimes a girl has to kiss a lot of frogs. . . . Brilliantly capturing the complexities of friendship, the struggles of self-discovery, and the difficulties of trying to find love in high school, Rachael Allen has crafted a rich debut that's impossible to put down.

No matter how many boys Claire kisses, she can't seem to find a decent boyfriend—someone who isn't afraid of her family's tragic past or her own aspirations for the future . . . until she meets Luke. But Megan, Claire's closest friend, is falling for Luke, too, and if there's one thing Claire knows for sure, it's that Megan is pretty much irresistible. With true love and best friendship on the line, Claire suddenly has everything to lose. And what she learns—about her crush, her friends, and most of all herself—makes the choices even harder.

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