Category/Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: 6/11/13
Source: Received from author for review
About an up and coming teenage rocker on the verge of stardom, when the girl next door becomes something more; they're forced to face the harsh realities on his road to fame and the expectations of their friends and family. Sacrifices are made as everything changes as they know it.
I've literally been waiting on First Kiss for over a year. I read the prequel, Skid Out, in March of 2012, and loved it. I loved Jake, loved Alyssa, and was so, so excited --and anxious-- to see their new and fragile relationship develop.
Take away the fact that Jake is an up-and-coming musician, and First Kiss is essentially the story of a first love. Now that's not to say that Jake's music doesn't play a role in the story and relationship --it does-- but for me, the focus was simply Jake and Alyssa. And that was more than enough considering that she is only fourteen (I think) and Jake is eighteen. And here's what the author did so well: she portrayed all of the emotions, questions, frustrations, elation, confusion, and heartache of a first love. The story took me back to that age and reminded me of those feelings of being so overwhelmed by feelings that are hard to name, much less to control and express. This aspect of First Kiss was so well done.
First Kiss, as you might be able to tell from what I've given thus far, is a character-driven story, and not plot-driven. Other than a few parties and the beginning of the school year, there is not a lot that drives the story forward, other than the impending pull of Jake's career. So given that, the story does tend to focus on every little moment with Jake and Alyssa, and their feelings that come from that. When you take into account that First Kiss is nearly five hundred pages (including Skid Out) the story does become a bit long and drawn out. I did feel that the book could have been shorter, and still have the same impact. But still, I did truly appreciate the honest, not overly romanticized, portrayal of teens and relationships.
First Kiss went to places that I didn't see coming, and covered a much larger span than I anticipated. I felt so bad for Jake and Alyssa. Their lives, and the people around them, were pulling them in different directions, and they have no choice but to follow their paths and hope for the best. The ending really caught me off guard. At first I was more than a little sad and upset at what had gone down. But the more I think about it, I am starting to see that this is what had to happen, and it makes for an excellent set-up to the next book in the series, Broken Notes.
I was in deep and sinking fast, way more quickly that I imagined possible.
I didn't give a shit if I drowned. ~eARC, 39%
The Heavy Influence Trilogy
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About the author:
Ann Marie ("Annie") Frohoff grew up in sunny Southern California. As a teen and young adult she spent her time frequenting and living in nearly every beachside city up and down the coast.
The first installment in her Heavy Influence Trilogy, FIRST KISS, is tentatively set to release June 11, 2013 — The series is a story about young, reckless love between a rising rock star and his younger muse, spanning 10 years of their tumultuous and passionate relationship. Each book in the Trilogy will come with a soundtrack of original music, of which the lyrics will appear in the pages of the books.
Annie is now settled in the South Bay area of Los Angeles with her family.
Connect with Annie at:
Website | Twitter | Heavy Influence Facebook Page