Thursday, June 6, 2013


First Kiss (Heavy Influence Trilogy, #1)Series: Heavy Influence Trilogy #1
Category/Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: 6/11/13
Format: eARC
Pages: 483
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.

Favorite Quote:

  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
Skid Out (Heavy Influence Trilogy, #0.5)First Kiss (Heavy Influence Trilogy, #1)
(click on cover for GoodReads page)
Purchase Skid Out at:

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


  1. great review! I did like the book but I was expecting something else and I hated the ending! I totally had a sad

  2. Good book, I'll read it later, thank you for your share!

  3. I love the character driven stories and I think I'll like these characters.

  4. This actually sounds like a really strong self-pub, so that's always a plus! I love it when a book exceeds your expectations in terms of character development. That always makes my day! Great review, Andrea!

  5. I love a good character driven book. I actually don't mind seeing every little moment between characters because it makes me feel like I really know them. This sounds like a good one. Great review!

  6. huh I am so curious to see how this one plays out. So he is 18 and she is 14. When they meet? Or when their romance starts? I'm happy that the book lived up to your expectations after loving the prequel so much!

  7. Great review babe!! I am almost done reading this now and enjoying it! I am such a character reader that I am happy that it's very character driven.

  8. I'm so glad that you enjoyed this follow up Andrea. I always have a tough time connecting with characters especially if they're as young as Alyssa. So I'm glad that you were able to connect with both characters so well!

  9. interesting. Very different... The age difference , didn't see that one coming. Seems like a delicate subject that she handled well!
    500 pages is a lot! but glad that you enjoyed it!

  10. Glad you liked this one. I did like it and am curious about the next book for sure.

  11. thanks for sharing! i'm definitely intrigued and am putting this on my list...but probably with a note not to read until the next book comes out. =\ it doesn't sound like i'll be able to handle the ending

  12. Character-driven stories are usually my favorites, but there has to be something else going on in the story. Thanks for the honest review! Also, that dude's hair on the cover is sooo perfectly coifed...looks like he's going for the smolder. :P

  13. I shared this books trailer back in March and have been looking forward to it since then. I'm not usually into the contemporary, romance style book but I'm drawn to this one. Best of all based on your review it doesn't seem like it will be all that mushy which is something I was worried about.

  14. Great characters are so important to a great story. This one looks like something to add to the TBR pile. Great review pal

  15. I'm going to have to read Skid Out! I just saw it's on Goodreads, as a read now book! Great review, doll!

  16. I really liked this book to, but Jake pissed me off so bad and I was all in a dither at the end, but you are so right that it is a good setup for the next book. I am still thinking about this one. Great review.


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