Review: The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik

The Last Best KissThe Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik

Publication Date: April 22, 2014
Page Count: 384
Published by: HarperTeen
Source: eArc received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Jane Austen comes to modern-day Los Angeles in Claire LaZebnik's imaginative take on Persuasion, where seventeen-year-old Anna Eliot finds out whether there's such a thing as a second chance when it comes to first love. Fans of Polly Shulman, Maureen Johnson, Elizabeth Eulberg, Stephanie Perkins, and, of course, Jane Austen will love this irresistibly funny and romantic contemporary tale.

Anna is tired of worrying about what other people think. After all, that was how she lost the only guy she ever really liked, Finn Westbrook. Now, three years after she broke his heart, the one who got away is back in her life—and he wants nothing to do with her.

Anna keeps trying to persuade herself that she doesn't care about Finn either, but even though they've both changed since they first met, deep down she knows he's the guy for her. Now if only she can get him to believe that, too . .

 photo picadillypink.png So you may be able to tell by my blog name, but Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen novel. I love the idea of couples reconnecting and getting a second chance, especially after misunderstanding and miscommunication occurs to drive them apart. So The Last Best Kiss was an automatic read for me. I thought it was really sweet, easy to read, and I definitely enjoyed it.

I really liked Anna. She didn't handle things with Finn very well when she was younger, but she realized what a huge mistake she made and how she hurt Finn's feelings when she rejected him. Anna regretted treating Finn so badly, and she wanted to make it up to him. When Finn moved back to town Anna thought she would have a chance to make up with him, but he was distant and cold. I could really feel for Anna every time Finn ignored her or flirted with someone else. But at the same time, I could understand why Finn was hesitant to give Anna a second chance. Anna wants forgiveness from Finn, but she also wants him to be happy - even if it's not with her. I loved the growth and maturity that Anna showed throughout this book. Now Anna wonders if Finn does forgive her, will things ever be the same between them? Or are they destined to remain apart and divided by time and circumstance?

Finn was such a likable character. He had a great combination of nerdy and swoony that made him so enjoyable. The older Finn is much improved, he has confidence now that he didn't have before. He's cuter than ever and the girls take notice! Finn sees no reason to pick things back up with Anna, and instead moves on to a ridiculous relationship with Anna's friend, Lily. He acted indifferent towards Anna because of his anger, and I'm glad he made Anna work for his forgiveness instead of giving in to her like you know he wanted to do.

The plot of The Last Best Kiss follows along the same basic lines as Persuasion. Anna's family was every bit as self-centered and selfish as they were in Persuasion. Annoying to the point that they weren't likable at all! I did really enjoy the way Anna's art was involved in the storyline, and I liked that Finn was able to 'see' Anna in her art.

With many modern day retellings, some aspects work with the current times, and some don't. This book was no exception, but most of the themes translated very well. Overall, this was a very cute book and definitely worth reading if you enjoy romantic contemporaries, and especially for fans of Persuasion.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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  1. Anna and Flynn sound like characters that I could like, root for and enjoy reading about as well.

    1. I really liked them because they both knew they weren't perfect, and they wanted to fix their mistakes.

  2. I am glad you liked this one, I thought it was a really cute retelling as well. :D


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