Title: Kissing Max Holden
Date Published: 8/1/17
Kissing Max Holden was a terrible idea…
After his father has a life-altering stroke, Max Holden isn’t himself. As his long-time friend, Jillian Eldridge only wants to help him, but she doesn’t know how. When Max climbs through her window one night, Jill knows that she shouldn’t let him kiss her. But she can’t resist, and when they’re caught in the act by her dad, Jill swears it’ll never happen again. Because kissing Max Holden is a terrible idea.
With a new baby sibling on the way, her parents fighting all the time, and her dream of culinary school up in the air, Jill starts spending more and more time with Max. And
even though her father disapproves and Max still has a girlfriend, not kissing Max is easier said than done. Will Jill follow her heart and allow their friendship to blossom into something more, or will she listen to her head and stop kissing Max Holden once and for all?
After a long break from contemporary YA romance, this book has been a great get back. This book has it all: a sweet hero, a strong heroine, family drama, and a nice ending.
I really loved all the characters in this book. Max Holden has been Jillian’s friend for a long time. Recently, things haven’t been great for him and he has been going down on the wrong side. Max is the perfect boyfriend. I love that he is patient and is so loving. He does make mistakes, like any teen would, but I know he does have a good heart. He is just misjudged by people. However, what I like about him is that he will do anything for Jillian. Even if it means going against his evil girlfriend he will be there for her. I just want my own Max.
Jillian is the main narrator of the book. She has so much going on. However, she is strong through all of it. I like that she does not lash out or sulk. Instead, she tries to fix things and get them done. Her love for Max is also one of my favorite things about the book. She isn’t trying to fix him. But she is always there for Max and always believes in him. She is one of my favorite YA heroines to date. If you are looking for a kickbutt heroine, Jillian is the one.
The amount of drama in this book is at the perfect level. Man, I feel really bad for Jillian. Her parents are awful. I won’t spoil it but there are some pretty shocking revelations. I just feel so bad for her. She is trying to focus on her dreams but avoid the additional drama. The secondary characters in this book are wonderful, except for the bad ones. I love Mer and Mercy. They are just so sweet. Jillian’s father not so much.
The overall romance in the novel is beautifully engrained. I love that the forbidden kisses and sneaking around is carefully plotted and is not an act of lust. Yes, there is chemistry between Jillian and Max, however, there feelings for each other are mutual. They are geunienly in love and are always there for each other. I really swooned at Max’s sweet actions. Like I said, I need my own Max. I also like how that the plot revolves around Max and Jillian’s love story but also focuses on other important issues such as growing up, new family members, prejudices, and other in general coming of age themes. Upperman does a great job making sure that each element of the novel gets its justice done.
Overall, this is a great debut novel. I cannot wait for more of your books Upperman. What a great way to start a new month!