I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman
on August 1, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Reading Challenges: 2017 Debut Author Challenge
Kissing Max Holden was a terrible idea…
After his father has a life-altering stroke, Max Holden isn’t himself. As his long-time friend, Jillian Eldridge only wants to help him, but she doesn’t know how. When Max climbs through her window one night, Jill knows that she shouldn’t let him kiss her. But she can’t resist, and when they’re caught in the act by her dad, Jill swears it’ll never happen again. Because kissing Max Holden is a terrible idea.
With a new baby sibling on the way, her parents fighting all the time, and her dream of culinary school up in the air, Jill starts spending more and more time with Max. And even though her father disapproves and Max still has a girlfriend, not kissing Max is easier said than done. Will Jill follow her heart and allow their friendship to blossom into something more, or will she listen to her head and stop kissing Max Holden once and for all?
It’s easy to expect a fun swoon filled romance with Kissing Max Holden. You definitely get those things, but the story has so much more! There’s some heavy family issues with both Jillian and Max’s families. This isn’t quite the fluffy romance that the cover suggested. I was really pleased to find that out.
Jillian and Max have been neighbors and friends for years, but they have grown apart a bit. Max is going through a really rough patch. His father had a stroke and since then Max has been making stupid decisions. He turns to Jillian one night and there’s a pretty steamy encounter. This sets off the semi love and hate interactions between them for the rest of the book.
There was undeniable chemistry between Max and Jillian. The first chapter in the book involves kissing and swoons. There relationship definitely involves lots of drama. Not all of it felt necessary, but I’m old and have little patience for these things. I didn’t find it annoying, just a little overdone. I know some readers don’t like to read about cheating/cheaters, so be warned that there is a good bit of cheating in this book. I didn’t love that aspect of the story. It felt like the author was trying to justify Max’s actions, but I don’t think there was a way too justify his actions. Sure, his girlfriend was awful, but there’s an easy solution for that.
Despite all of that I was pretty invested in Kissing Max Holden. I wanted to see the characters happy and I was pleased with the way things ended. I also really liked that their families played such a big role in the story. Jillian’s step-mom was one of my favorite characters. I loved all of the new baby aspects of the story.
Overall, Kissing Max Holden was a good and fast read. I’ll be on the lookout for more books from this author.