LBK (as I like to call it) is maybe my most serious, or at least most wistful, YA novel. It’s still romantic and fun, I hope, but its focus is on the cost of making a mistake and about redemption and acceptance and being kind even when you’ve lost hope.
I’ll let the School Library Journal describe it:
Gr 9 Up—Anna Eliot has had the past three years to regret her treatment of Finn Westbrook, at the time a fellow freshman, geek, and Anna’s secret boyfriend. When confronted with her friends’ opinions of Finn, she pretended not to know him and broke his heart. Now he’s back, and Anna hopes to get a second chance to apologize and maybe something more, but her former beau is no longer interested. The protagonist has more to worry about besides her romance troubles, however. Her sisters Lizzie and Molly are both off to college, and she is left living with her narcissistic father, who may or may not be dating one of Lizzie’s friends. Then a weekend musical festival changes everything for Anna and Finn. A modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Anna’s first-person narrative is filled with humor and honesty. While the pair’s love story is the main focus, plotlines involving secondary characters are woven together well. References to drugs, alcohol, and sex make this suitable for teens looking for a realistic YA romance novel with relatable characters—especially fans of LaZebnik’s previous Austen updates.—Natalie Struecker, Rock Island Public Library, IL
And a few quotes from literary bloggers:
“The Last Best Kiss is an adorable YA contemporary that’s got a lot to love. With an appealing romance that delivers on the swoon, laugh out loud moments between friends, and heartwarming and heartbreaking family moments, you’re in distinct danger of reading this book in one sitting like I did.” Paper Cuts
“Where to start, where to start – firstly this is a read in one sitting book so be warned you won’t want to put it down until that last page is turned. I cannot tell you how much I love this book – Claire LaZebnik manages to capture the themes from the original classic while presenting it in such a refreshing way as to make it more attainable to today’s teens.” Book Angel Booktopia
“Of course, a major theme of The Last Best Kiss is second chances: If they should be given & how. I really liked the exploration of this theme. It could have felt cheesy or cliche, but it never did, because Anna and Finn behaved like real people. I could see the intense and vulnerable conversations Anna and Finn had in The Last Best Kiss happening in real life.
In the end, though, The Last Best Kiss was just adorable. It was a tad more serious than LaZebnik’s other retellings, and it was always happy or cute, but on the whole it was just an adorable story.” Book.Blog.Bake.
Here’s the link to the Harper page with different buying options, if you’re interested!
If you haven’t yet, please join me on my Facebook author page. I’m seriously thinking of doing a book giveaway contest–come over and encourage me if you’re interested. I’m also on Twitter. Also, if you’ve already read LBK and liked it, please post a review on Amazon or Barnes and Noble! It’s the kindest thing you could do for an author.