by Claire LaZebnik
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Publication Date: April 22nd 2014
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Retelling
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Anna Eliot is tired of worrying about what other people think. After all, that was how she lost the only guy she ever really liked, Finn Westbrook.
Now, three years after she broke his heart, the one who got away is back in her life.
All Anna wants is a chance to relive their last kiss again (and again and again). But Finn obviously hasn’t forgotten how she treated him, and he’s made it clear he has no interest in having anything to do with her.
Anna keeps trying to persuade herself that she doesn’t care about Finn either, but even though they’ve both changed since they first met, deep down she knows he’s the guy for her. Now if only she can get him to believe that, too....
With her signature wit and expertly authentic teen voice, Claire LaZebnik (the author of fan favorites Epic Fail and The Trouble with Flirting) once again breathes new life into a perennially popular love story. Fans of Polly Shulman, Maureen Johnson, and, of course, Jane Austen will love this irresistibly funny and romantic tale of first loves and second chances. (Goodreads)
When we first meet Anna Eliot she’s just starting her freshman year of high school. She’s young, naive and very impressionable. This, of course, causes her to break the heart of the one person that she could actually be herself around. I alternated between feeling completely frustrated with Anna, to feeling really bad for her throughout the novel. The frustration came from the way she treated Finn, and how she gave in to peer pressure so easily. However, I felt even worse for her because of her home life. Her parents and one of her sisters were just awful, selfish people, which I’m sure is why Anna felt so insecure about being herself around her friends. It was a sad situation to have to be in. We do see Anna grow throughout the book, thankfully, and even before Finn came back into her life, she seems to have changed for the better. That is always a plus in my book.
While I liked both Anna and Finn, I really wasn’t able to connect with many of the secondary characters in the novel. As I mentioned before, most of the people in Anna’s family were just awful. Her friends seemed very shallow and were very annoying most of the time. There were a few characters that were ok, but otherwise, I didn’t really care for most of them.
I really have a love/hate relationship with these types of books. I love the storyline for the book, but I hate how long it takes for the characters to finally get together! The tension drives me crazy every single time, but in a good way!
Overall; if you’re looking for a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, you should check this book out! It was a very enjoyable read. Now that I’ve read something by Mrs. LaZebnik, I’m really looking forward to reading more of her books in the future.