ARC Review: 26 Kisses by Anna Michels (YA)

Book Blurb

Breaking up with her boyfriend is not how Veda planned on starting her summer. When Mark makes it clear that it’s over between them, Veda is heartbroken and humiliated—but, more importantly, she’s inspired. And so she sets out on the love quest of a lifetime: use the summer to forget about Mark, move on, and move up. All she has to do is kiss twenty-six boys with twenty-six different names—one for each letter of the alphabet.

From the top of the Ferris wheel at her hometown carnival to the sandy dunes of Lake Michigan, Veda takes every opportunity she can to add kisses (and boys) to her list, and soon the breakup doesn’t sting quite as much. But just when Veda thinks she has the whole kissing thing figured out, she meets someone who turns her world upside down.

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Anna Michels’s debut is the story of one girl who realizes that moving on from the supposed love of your life means taking a chance—and having the courage to love again.


Toot's Review by Stacy Sabala

Veda’s boyfriend of two years, Mark, has broken up with her. He doesn’t want to be dating his high school girlfriend when he goes to college. Her heart is broken and her summer seems ruined. Her best friend Mel comes up with a challenge for the summer. She wants Vee to kiss 26 males with the names from A to Z. She thinks it will help her get over her break up with Mark. Veda is hesitant at first but decides to give it a try. She finds herself taking risks and actually having some fun.

However things start spinning out of control. Word travels about Veda and her kissing multiple boys. Whispers start and people start viewing her as a slut. She panics and is afraid of what Mark will think. Then she worries about Killian. She just met him and works with him every day. She likes him and is scared. She isn’t ready to jump into a new relationship. On top it all she can see how Mel and Seth, her best friends, feel about each other. She isn’t sure how she feels about that. So her summer is full of drama and uncertainty topped with her strained relationship with her dad.

This was a good book. You instantly feel bad for Veda. Her boyfriend of two years breaks up with her the moment after he graduates. She doesn’t see it coming. She is completely devastated. Her friends pull out all the stops to get her back to normal.

Mel’s idea is crazy and Veda is right to hesitate. I do like that it forces her to take chances and meet new people. It also makes her braver and more independent. She is open to meet Killian. She also lets go of Mark then Seth figures out how he feels finally. It turns out to be quite a ride and a great summer read. I can just picture this actually happening. It is very entertaining to watch the girls scheme. The family dynamics add some depth to the storyline making Veda a more complex character. She is dealing with a lot and trying to come out on the other side. I give it a 4 out of 5.

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