FICTION

17 First Kisses

336p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Jun. 2014. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780062281340; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780062281357.
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Gr 9 Up—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—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.—Morgan Brickey, Marion County Public Library System, FL

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