Title: Kissing Max Holden
Author: Katy Upperman
Release Date: August 1, 2017
“Still, I can’t help but hope for his once-trademark grin, the one that says, I knew you’d come.
Of course I’ll come. He’s Max and I’m Jillian, and that’s how it’s always been.”
Let’s start this off on a positive note. I actually liked this a lot more than I was expecting. I was a little nervous going in, because cheating is one of my least favorite things in YA books. But I actually ended up enjoying this book quite a bit. Don’t get me wrong, the cheating still annoyed me, but I didn’t hate the characters, which I a big step up for me. Kissing Max Holden follows childhood friends Jillian Eldridge and Max Holden as they navigate family troubles, high school drama, and growing feelings.
Things I Liked
I actually really loved Jillian and Max’s relationship. They have so much history from family BBQs and holiday parties, to vacationing together, you feel their connection. I love that Max made an effort to be more involved in her hobbies, because she supported his football. It was a really genuine moment that showed their friendship and care for one another. Plus, the friends-to-lovers tropes is always a favorite.
This story was filled with so much emotion and tension. Max and Jillian are not afraid to get angry with each other and call each other out. Or tell the other when they are upset. I like they really talk to each other, and Max apologizes for acting kind of awful in the beginning of the story, it showed some nice growth on his part.
I love baking, and I love when I encounter characters who love baking too! Jillian’s passion and enthusiasm for all things baking was a lot of fun for me personally.
Things I Didn’t Like
I said it before, and I’ll say it again now: I hate cheating in YA books, the characters always come off as selfish and unlikeable. While I did still hate the cheating here, I like that the characters discuss the cheating and don’t excuse it.
I felt like Jillian had a pretty bad attitude. She was snarky about her stepmom and future baby sister (both of these tension points are resolved nicely), a little girl shame-y, and selfish. But as I said, she does have some growth and moments where I did genuinely like her.
Kissing Max Holden is a swoony read filled with love, drama, and friendship. The incredibly well established relationship won me over, and I found myself flying through the story. It was a really fun read that was extremely entertaining.
I received a copy of the books from Swoon Reads via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.