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?
Ms Upperman is a debut author I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more from!
Kissing Max Holden‘s Jill and Max are far from perfect people, which makes their story all the more likable. I loved that Jill was so passionate about baking–she did it to express love, to keep herself calm and centered, and to make sense of her world–and all of the little baking metaphors that the author threw into the narrative were so much fun. (It also made me kind of hungry, so plan your reading snacks accordingly.) Max had more than a few issues to work through, and he does (eventually) make a pretty good effort, which made me like him all the more. The ending of the book left me with a pretty good case of the feels all around, and lived up to the promise of that pretty, pretty cover 🙂
Trigger warning: there is infidelity (with both young adults and adults–though I would argue that in the case of the latter it’s much more consequential; the YA couple really just kissed while one was in a relationship, as the title suggests), so if that’s a no-go for you, you might want to steer clear. You’d be missing a darn good debut story if you did, though.
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.