I love love stories. And it’s no wonder with how many romance books I read in a month that I wanted to read Kiss Crush Collide as soon as I read the summary. It fit my love of forbidden romances and bad boys who fall for good girls, so I’m so glad I was able to get a hold of an ARC thanks to Around the World ARC Tours.

Leah has the life most high school girls would kill for—popularity, glowing grades, a rich, athletic boyfriend. So why does she feel like she can’t breathe? And why can’t she stop thinking about the boy from the country club? The one who isn’t her boyfriend, the one that her mother would never, ever approve of, the one that her perfect older sisters would never, ever look at twice. The one who is always looking back at her. Irresistible attraction, smoldering glances, the bad boy and the good girl—Kiss Crush Collide has everything that a steamy forbidden romance should, and then some.

With graceful and honest writing and an electric love story, this is a book about growing into your own skin.

This book is told through Leah’s eyes. She’s just finished her Junior year of high school, has a cute boyfriend, gets good grades, is popular herself… she seems to have everything. But from the first page, you can tell Leah’s not all there. She’s not fully participating in her life, just letting others (mainly her mother) dictate it for her while she sails along.

She says several times that people expect her to live like her two older sisters — Freddie, who just graduated from high school, and Yorke, who just got engaged after her first year at college. First Yorke does it, then Freddie and then her. Every time. Her entire life has been laid out for her. But when have you ever heard of a person who’s happy with having their choices taken away from them?

Maybe that’s why the mysterious boy who parks their car attracts so much of her attention. Maybe that’s why she goes with him when he offers her a ride and then moments later they’re making out. Maybe that’s why she continues to see him.

I can see why Leah would choose to rebel from her life. Cookie cutter lives never work out well for people who don’t want it, as movies and books have shown us time and time again. What your parents want for you is not necessarily what you want or what will make you happy, as Leah starts to realize over the course of the summer between her Junior and Senior year.

I can even see why Leah didn’t want to mix her life with her side excursions with mystery boy, since to her, they are two separate things and he’s the one thing she’s ever chosen for herself.

What I didn’t like is the fact that after all this growth we see in Leah, we never got any firm feelings from her about her life or what she wants. There’s one argument in the book where she stands up for herself, but it’s quickly over and never really talked about again. Leah never really makes a solid stand. I didn’t get a feeling of closure that she was going to be alright by herself with both her sisters gone, but then, maybe it’ll help with them being gone. I don’t know. I just wish we’d gotten something definite about Leah being her own person now.

Apart from that, this was a fast and light read that I liked. There is some underage drinking, just so you know. And also, this book is not just about some forbidden romance with a boy from “the wrong side of the tracks”. It’s more about Leah and her growing into a person who makes her own choices in life. The summary is a bit misleading, but the romance is still there, if that’s what draws you in.

Kiss Crush Collide will be released on December 27th from Greenwillow Books, aka HarperCollins.

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