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Last Year's Mistake

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Kelsey and David became best friends the summer before freshman year and were inseparable ever after. Until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke and everything around her crumbled - including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey’s parents decided to move away, she couldn’t wait to start over and leave the past behind. Except, David wasn't ready to let her go...

Now it’s senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David’s family relocates to the same town and he shakes up everything. Soon old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey’s second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never let him go. And that maybe she never wants to.

321 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 9, 2015

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Gina Ciocca

3 books288 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 647 reviews
June 18, 2015
“Ryan,” I bleated. “I’m sorry.” I wanted to tell him everything, tell him that he wasn’t the only one who’d done something despicable. Part of me wanted him to know how I’d kissed David and then come back and slept in his bed like nothing had happened. How I was just as disgusted with myself, if not more, than I was by what he had done. But watching him break down, I knew there was no point. I’d only hurt him more.
Oh, boo fucking hoo. I have so much sympathy for a cheater.

This book is about a stupid high school girl who gets hysterical over everything, who hates every other girl in the book for being boy-crazy bitches while being involved in a love triangle with her One Twoo Wuv, David, who is a supreme player.
I turned my head, swiping furiously at my tears. “I guess I should’ve figured it out somewhere between Amy Heffernan and Isabel Rose.”

“Kelse.” David’s hand covered my cheek, turning my face back toward him. “They don’t matter to me. They never did.”

“Really? Then which one did you sleep with? Or was it both?”
And cheats on her boyfriend.

In every YA story, in order to be realistic, we have to like and relate to the main character. I can't find a thing about the main character that's likeable. She inflates every situation, and blows everything out of proportion. She is clumsy, foolish, her dialogue isn't so much "she said" as "she cried" because she seems to make a big deal out of every tiny little situation. She's clumsy? EVERYONE IS LAUGHING AT HER AND OUT TO GET HER. Her hysteria makes everything worse, and I can't find it in myself to feel any sort of sympathy for her situation.

Honestly, I can't even keep track of who's dating who in this book. There's so much petty jealousy, so much crying and wailing and overdramatic exclamations over silly little relationship drama without any true emotion.
“Why are you still seeing Isabel?”

David’s head whipped toward me. “What?”

“Isabel. Why are you still hanging out with her? If she never mattered to you, and if I was the one you wanted to go to the dance with, and if you never would have bothered with her if you’d known what a bitch she was, then why are you still bothering?”

He stared at me with a confused look on his face. “Who said I’m still seeing Isabel?”

“Why else would you go back to Connecticut? Are you cheating on Violet?”
There is so much girl-on-girl hate in this book, Kelsey thinks every girl in the entire book is a boy-crazy ho. She constantly demeans other girls, and there is no other female character other than the stereotypical Mean Girl in this book...other than her best friend and sister, both of whom she blissfully ignores. Every girl is portrayed as a dumb, bouncy bitch who would talk trash.
“She has a mustache,” Isabel’s friend said with a shudder. “There’re, like, things you can do for that. Fucking do it already.”
“And she’s a moron.” Isabel stopped texting long enough to wave her hand in disgust. “I’ve heard the place you’re conceived affects the person you become. Her parents must’ve done it on a toilet bowl, because she’s dumb as shit.”
And it's not like Kelsey is any difference.
She and her friends practically hissed at me every time we passed in the halls. In return, I called her Sloppy Ho behind her back.
She constantly and consistently blames other girls for having the hots for the guys she likes, shaming them, making them seem like slutty bitches for their interest. The guys are never mentioned because surely it's not their fault they're just too attractive for their own good.
No wonder girls like Amy Heffernan and Isabel Rose turned into doe-eyed tramps around him.

I knew what she was doing. Trying to wind her slimy tentacles around him and pull herself back into his good graces. Again.

“Hey, David,” Isabel said with an unmistakably flirtatious lilt. I pretended to brush off the sled as I rolled my eyes. Ever since things with David and Amy had cooled, Isabel had been eyeing him the way a hungry vulture eyes fresh roadkill. Apparently she’d chosen her moment to swoop in for dinner.
This was an awful, headache-inducing book without a single moment of pleasure.
Profile Image for Gina Ciocca.
Author 3 books288 followers
April 26, 2015
Hi there! I wrote this book for so many reasons, the biggest being that the experiences and emotions I went through as a teenager in high school have never stopped resonating with me. I wanted to take all of those feelings and tell a story about two people who find a way into each other's hearts, only to part ways on bad terms, and what happens when they think they've put their feeling aside and are forced to face them.

It was important to me to do this in a way that felt true to the high school experience, at least the way I remember it. Which means there is some swearing, kissing, references to sex and underage drinking, and most of all, flawed characters who tend to be ruled by emotion. I realize that this means my book is not going to be for everyone, and that's okay. But if you'd like more insight into why I write teens who act like teens, please check out the blog post I wrote about it: http://writersblog-gina.blogspot.com/...

Happy reading, everyone!
500 reviews2,413 followers
August 6, 2016
For more reviews and bookish fun, check out Deadly Darlings!

*Possible spoilers, although I wouldn't call them full-blown spoilers just because of the sheer predictability of this book on its own.

My initial thought after reading the book was simply oh, how nice, but after much self-deliberation and intense thinking, I've come to the conclusion that this book was absolutely frustrating.

You don't understand how much I wanted to hit Kelsey across the head. To say the least, I'd describe her as a slut-shaming snooty brat. That may sound harsh, but unfortunately, it's the truth. She even went as far as to call her ex-best friend a slut. She also seemed to think that the world revolved around her, and that no one else's opinions matted if they weren't related to her.

The romance was not-so-great, either. There wasn't anything particularly remarkable about it, and it was just your typical I've loved you for ages! type of romance with a shitload of angst thrown in for good measure. There weren't really any twists that would wow you--this was just your typical dramatic contemporary romance.

Oh, I forgot to mention that this book has a love triangle. Yes, it's one of those cases where the main character actually has a perfectly nice boyfriend but is clearly obsessing over someone else. And then boyfriend eventually fucks up and girl chooses the guy she's pining for. Again, nothing new here.

The only saving grace of this book was the writing style. I found this book so easy to get into and so easy to read. I just kept flipping and flipping pages--Ciocca's words just flow so cleanly. (Although dialogue between characters was sometimes cheesy.)

So I wouldn't really recommend this book to anyone, unless you're a hardcore contemporary romance fan. If you're okay with an endless amount of tropes and cliches, then go ahead and pick this book up.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,725 reviews1,277 followers
March 26, 2015
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Simon Pulse and Edelweiss.)

“How dare he breeze back into my life in his stupid green T-shirt that clung to his ridiculously sexy chest and try to act like the last year had never happened?”

This was quite a slow YA contemporary romance, and it didn’t hold my attention well.

Kelsey was a girl who seemed to want to hide that she had known David before he started going to her school, even though she had history with him, and whilst David had sweet moments, he also did some things that he shouldn’t have been proud of. Ryan (Kelsey’s boyfriend) was a bit of an ass, and when we later found out that he had assaulted someone, I disliked him even more.

“No, Ry. He didn’t bother me today, or the day before, or the day before that. Like I keep telling you.”

The storyline in this was basically all about the romance, and it all seemed a bit jumpy because it kept jumping between two different times as well. While I normally don’t mind this, in this book it confused me because the book didn’t hold my attention well. I did find this story quite predictable though, as it seemed obvious from the start that Kelsey and David were at some point going to have a relationship, because they were both crazy about each other.

“I love you, Kelse. I always have.”

The ending to this was again, quite predictable, but it ended happily enough. This book was just missing something for me though.
6 out of 10.
Profile Image for Booknut 101.
849 reviews921 followers
June 13, 2015
I tried so hard not to cry reading this...I really did.
crying photo: Crying - Ariel tumblr_lqh06kpXGr1qdlkgg.gif

But I failed. Terribly.

Last Year's Mistake though, is not a book I want to connect emotionally with. I want to be totally disengaged so I can say without a doubt that I didn't like it! And while this may sound like total crazy-talk...just hear me out.

Have you ever read a book with characters so dumb that you just wish you could fling it at a wall? Or someone's head?
throw book photo: Rigoletto Throwing a Book Rigoletto-Book-Throw.gif

This is one of those books. I wish I could write:
(A) A review about how it was truly amazing
(B) A review about how it was truly terrible

But I can't write either of those reviews. Last Year's Mistake was a mixed bag of emotions for me. I hated the characters, but I rooted for them. I hated the romance between the main characters, but I cried like a baby when they weren't together. I am so confused!!
confused photo: Confused??? luffy-animated9.gif
confused photo: Jay confused tumblr_lmupsmI7rM1qdqggg.gif

There were so many good things about this book. Some of the secondary characters (shout out to David's father!) were totally badass and I loved them to bits. I liked the exploration of a friendship blossoming into love and how sometimes the timing when it comes to love isn't always right.

But the main characters...oh, the main characters!
facepalm photo: facepalm fpariel.gif

I don't know who I disliked more - Kelsey or David.

Points against Kelsey:
- She doesn't want to date David...but she gets pissed when he's 'just friends' with her (MAKE UP YOUR MIND, GIRLFRIEND!)
- She makes out with her new boyfriend...but she gets pissed when David starts dating (*cough* hypocrite *cough*)
- She thinks it's fine to lie to her boyfriend
- She thinks it's fine to kiss David when she's dating said boyfriend
- She has no idea what she wants that girl needs help ASAP
what do you want photo: tumblr_ltiu4zdSNN1qgj4zoo1_250.gif

Points against David:
- He dates...a lot. But he's supposedly sooooo in love with Kelsey.
- He's never actually told Kelsey, though. She's just meant to knooooooow. (*insert eye-roll here*)
- He believes the stereotype of a mean girl over his best friend/love of his life
- He dates said mean girl even though he knows his best friend/love of his life hates her!
- He takes a long, long time to ask Kelsey out...but two seconds to ask every other girl in this book out at some point.
- He asks Kelsey out the day before she's leaving town. Gees man, great timing.
- He's fine with breaking up with his girlfriend for Kelsey...and then he isn't. And then he is...and then he isn't.
- He's an asshole to a sick girl. That's, like, a total crime in YA fiction. You didn't see Augustus ditching/being extremely rude to Hazel in TFIOS!!
TFIOS photo: Okay Nope tumblr_ms3pzfpXN91qc1ol9o1_500_zpsbe7e5290.gif

Points against them both:

They're like The Spice Girls. Or a kid in a candy store. Or me at my local bookstore.

They were honestly just really dysfunctional and overall, annoying - I wanted to like them, but I couldn't. I wish I could say that not liking them meant that I didn't cry like a baby, but I did. But maybe I'm just a softie when it comes to romance ;)
Profile Image for Aditi.
920 reviews1,333 followers
May 20, 2015
“A lifetime isn't forever, so take the first chance, don't wait for the second one! Because sometimes, there aren't second chances! And if it turns out to be a mistake? So what! This is life! A whole bunch of mistakes! But if you never get a second chance at something you didn't take a first chance at? That's true failure.”

----C. JoyBell C, an American author

Gina Ciocca, an American author, penned her debut YA novel, Last Year's Mistake that centers around two high school teenagers and their relationship drama with a chance to start all over again. In short, this is a simple-no-fuss-high-school-relationship-drama, but the author have managed to blow it out of proportion.


Kelsey and David became best friends the summer before freshman year and were inseparable ever after. Until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke, and everything around her crumbled—including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey's parents decided to move away, she couldn't wait to start over and leave the past behind. Except, David wasn't ready to let her go...

Now it's senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David's family moves to town and he shakes up everything. Soon old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey's second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never truly let him go. And maybe she never wants to.

Well, the storyline is very realistic and the issue sounds believable and I bet, almost every high-school teenager can relate to the issues addressed in this book, like feeling awkward towards an ex, best friend dating your ex, still having hots for your ex, couldn't let go, starting over, dating hot guys, etc. PS: This book will be ideal for those who love to read about cheesy no-fuss high-school romance since apart from the romance part and love-triangle, there is nothing much interesting in the storyline. But, I can bet that whoever reads this book will have a good and fun time.

The story revolves around Kelsey who broke up with her boyfriend, David and who is now dating the baseball champ, Ryan in some different town, away from all those drama with David, she was happy, until David threatens her chance to be happy with Ryan, by moving to Kelsey's town with his parents and what's worst, Kelsey still have the hots for David and she can't let go of him.

The author complicates and twists the whole drama with a hell-lot-of embarrassing moments between Kelsey-Ryan-David. Yes, the author threw quite a number of challenges on David's and Kelsey's path to test their feelings for each other.

The writing is absolutely crisp and articulate and the author have layered the plot with witty moments that are surely going to crack you up. The narrative style is very catchy and the author have featured it in an alluring manner with shifting narration between Kelsey and David and that let me see through the two protagonists' minds. The pacing is also good, since it's a very light read with not much complicated themes.

The characters are the best thing is this book which the author have portrayed in a realistic manner. It felt like the author have embodied herself into the shoes of teenage high-schooler who is going through all the relationship tantrums in her life, and the author have undoubtedly captured her pretty vividly. Unfortunately we fail to see past through Kelsey's vicious yet understanding demeanor, due to lack of back-story about her and David's relationship.

There is a lot of high-school drama that centers around teenage romance and how teenage couples trying to figure out their feelings for one another along with friendships and insecurities. Well, for me, it was like taking a trip down to the memory lane when I was in high-school and when I was pretty much in the same puddle of relationship drama. Overall, the book is thoroughly entertaining, if you don't mind those irritatingly-sweet-and-cheesy-high-school-moments.

Verdict: This book will appeal to almost all the young readers who prefer reading YA contemporary romance.

Courtesy: I received an e-copy of the book, in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lucia.
733 reviews804 followers
February 9, 2017
I feel like this was just waste of my time :/
And I was truly looking forward to this novel.
Guess I am too old for this level of high school teenage drama.
Full review later
Profile Image for Shannon.
386 reviews141 followers
February 6, 2017
Some people are going to love this book and some are seriously going to hate it. If you can make it to the halfway point, it does get much better.

In general, I loved the flashback chapters that took place during Kelsey and David's friendship, but kind of hated the present chapters. The writing is solid and definitely packs a punch, but Kelsey wasn't a terribly likeable heroine.

Oh the angst though. Love it!! Will check out more from this author in the future. <3


Profile Image for Anabel.
287 reviews926 followers
May 21, 2015
DNF'd at 46% because nobody got time to continue reading a book that they're not enjoying :)
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews838 followers
June 9, 2015
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: June 9, 2015
Rating: 3 stars
Source: ARC sent by the author

Summary (from Goodreads):

Is there anything that electric chemistry can't overcome? The past may be gone, but love has a way of holding on in this romantic debut novel told in alternating Before and After chapters.

The summer before freshman year, Kelsey and David became inseparable best friends - until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke and everything around her crumbled, including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey's parents decide to move away, she can't wait to start over and leave the past behind. But David's not quite ready to be left.

Now it's senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David's family moves to town. Old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey's second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never let him go. And maybe she never wants to...

What I Liked:

I know what you all are thinking. Literally my last four reads have been contemporary, and all four of them were three-star reads. I'm doing a week of YA contemporary reads - starting with Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler, The Devil You Know by Trish Doller, Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca, and finally, P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han.I don't enjoy YA contemporary, so this was a mini challenge for myself. I'm totally rocking my challenge, but not liking these books very much!

This novel is told in alternating chapters of past and present. Kelsey and David were once inseparable, best friends, platonic relationship. Then Kelsey moved with her family, and things went downhill with David just before they moved. Now in a new place, Kelsey is living a different life without David. But when David shows up in her life again, things change. David moves into town and Kelsey can't stop thinking about what could have been.

I have been looking forward to reading this book for over a year now! I'm not at all a contemporary fan (unless it's adult contemporary romance), but I wanted to give this book a shot. It sounds love-triangle-y, and I knew this from the start, but I had high hopes for this book. I could say I was a bit disappointed in some ways, but at the same time, I'm really glad I read this one.

I liked how this book was told. Every other chapter alternated between past and present. If you didn't pick up on this (how could you know, the time is clearly marked at the beginning of each chapter), then you'd be a bit confused. But I like how it was two stories being told at the same time. We discover the past as we discover the present. Ciocca does a really great job of paralleling both stories, including parts of the past that correspond and coincide with parts of the present.

I think I liked the characters, though I'm not sure I fully connected with Kelsey (more on that later). I liked reading about her relationship (past and present) with David. The two of them make an interesting pair, and have such a nice but sad history. Their present relationship, for a lot of this book, was really heartbreaking!

Also - yay for a positive sister-sister relationship! Miranda is years younger than Kelsey, in her first year of high school, but it's obvious that they have a great relationship. Love!

I liked the ending of this book! It wrapped up way too quickly (she makes a decision within the last couple of pages), but it's a good ending. I feel like Kelsey doesn't actually learn and grow until this very point, when she makes a decision to go back and find the boy. Character development is slow in this book, but everything, in the end, ends well! On to dislikes.

What I Did Not Like:

I haven't mentioned the romance yet. Here it is: yes, there is a sort of love triangle in this book. Meaning, Kelsey has a current boyfriend who she really cares about, but she's been in love with David since they were young. When he shows up again, she remembers that she loves him, and pretty much falls for him all over again.

I didn't mind this love triangle as much because I knew for a fact who Kelsey would choose (it's obvious). The other boy, Ryan, is a great boyfriend, but we can see who Kelsey really loves. It's all about the journey. I hate love triangles, but this love triangle was "okay". Still hate them, but this one was tolerable.

The thing that really bothered me about this love triangle was kind of how the triangle was "taken care of". Why does one boy have to be a terrible person, or do terrible things? Why is that the deciding factor, the last straw? Is that how love triangles work in real life - a girl loves two boys but then one of them screws up so that automatically means she goes and chooses the other boy? I'm not saying Kelsey loved both of them - but she only went to one over the other after she finds out about something important that one boy did. Huh.

That type of resolution just seems so cliche, especially when it comes to resolving love triangles.

I mentioned that Kelsey's character development doesn't really feel complete until the very end, when she makes a decision with one boy. This book moves at a very slow pace. The story is slow, the dual plots are slow, the romance is ridiculously slow. Despite the fact that the cover is very steamy, the romance is not. The character development is slow, and I feel like Kelsey doesn't really grow up until the last few pages. If she grows up at all. Does she? I don't like A LOT of her decisions in this book. But I won't spoil anything (hopefully I've kept things vague) so I won't say anymore!

Also, point of confusion - I'm still confused as to why David moved to Kelsey's "new" town. And then he's moving again... why are they moving so much? I'm not sure I understood this.

In any case, I was a little disappointed in this book because I think I wanted a steamier romance and less of a love triangle, but I'm glad I gave this book a shot!

Would I Recommend It:

Despite all that, I'd recommend this book, even to love triangle haters like myself! It was a decent YA contemporary novel, not too bogged down by the past and angst and issues. I'll definitely be looking out for more of Ciocca's books, despite not loving this one (like I had hoped).


3.5 stars -> rounded down to 3 stars. This one would be a solid 3.5 stars though. It was good! I enjoyed it and didn't stop reading until the very end. I just wish certain things were better written, and certain things were more present.
Profile Image for Marla Mei.
537 reviews292 followers
Shelved as 'not-sure'
August 5, 2016
April 11, 2018
Welcome back to... Gaaabbbbbbeeeesss booooooooook review:

This was a very bad book, I would not recommend it. It is through the eyes of a woman named kelsey, she's in high school. Her old friend, soon to be boyfriend came from his high-school after moving. He had asked her out, and she rejected him, even though she liked him. It really didn't make sense, why not break up with her current boyfriend, and get with him. I did not enjoy this book, there was a certain lack of logic, and empathy. 3/13 STARS
Profile Image for Jay.
514 reviews369 followers
Shelved as 'could-not-finish'
May 9, 2015
Not a fan of books that start off with the main protagonist in a relationship but throughout the book some other guy is getting her attention and cheating happens and the poor boyfriend is left clueless until he finds out or she breaks up with him. I'm DNF-ing it for sure. It is my fault, I will analyze he synopsis of contemporaries from now on to make sure a such a theme isn't present
Profile Image for Allison.
398 reviews79 followers
October 19, 2015
DNF @ page 58.

This book is so bad that I'm going to do something I've never EVER done before. I'm going to actually try to return it to the bookseller.
197 reviews166 followers
July 1, 2015
Want more reviews, discussions and fun-filled posts? Check out my book blog, Out of Time.

I gave this one half a star ugh.

Me and this book certainly had disagreements. And that's putting it lightly. Bluntly, I couldn't agree with anything or anyone in this novel. I found the relationships to be unhealthy and the characters in need of a dose of reality. - Nova @ Out of Time

Jeez, this book. I was very disappointed in the beginning and downright angry at the end. In my opinion, this is such an unrealistic and petty way of viewing romance and how a relationship should work. I'm not an expert, never having a boyfriend but let's talk about love for a second. Regardless if it's a significant other or family, it's still love and I think all of us have felt love sometime or other. Anyway, this book described love as "keeping your feeling quiet and then getting mad when the other person moves on." I don't know how many times it happened because it was more than once. Even worse! The book is told from past and present, meaning that while three years went by between the past and present - the characters continued to make the same mistakes and had no growth.

There is nothing cute about treating the person you "love" like shit and then getting angry when they get angry. I thought if you like someone, you tell them and ride off into the sunset [that or get your best friend and tubs of Ben and Jerry's.] 

The main characters, Kelsey and David felt very stupid to me. Both of them were on awkward terms in the present because of something that went wrong a few summers ago. When we found out what went wrong, I can't say I'm surprised. While some might've expected a deep and heartbreaking reason, it was basically Kelsey making a stupid decision that hurt everyone.
In the "present," we're told that Kelsey's moved on, she's got friends and a great boyfriend. She's worked so hard for this and though I don't know why anyone wants to be friends with her. Kelsey likes to slut shame [her friend] but it's perfectly justifiable because she's... "jealous."When her friend shows interest in David it's like:

David is no better - playing hot and cold the entire time. They're both stringing each other along, being nice to each other sometimes and then for whatever reason, having a mood swing and stabbing the other in the back. David is also supposed to be really "nice" but he hung out with the people who bullied Kelsey even though he's her "best friend." If someone treated my best friend like shit, I know exactly whose side I would take.

Something else that really bothered me was how David used a girl to make Kelsey jealous. Near the end, he was dating this girl and Kelsey said, "don't date a girl to make me jealous." Obviously, David got defensive. A few days later, he'd gone to Kelsey [or she went to him - I forget] and they made up the last time. The girl he used was sent to oblivion, now dumped, she had no relevance to the story. And that bothered me. People got hurt because Kelsey and David couldn't just say, "I like you. We should date."

I don't recommend this book at all unless you're into this kind of stuff. However, checking Goodreads, I'm not the popular opinion so if you wanted to check this one out, go for it and then we can discuss!
Profile Image for nick (the infinite limits of love).
2,120 reviews1,348 followers
June 20, 2015

I've been pining for Last Year's Mistake ever since I saw the original cover. While not without its flaws, the book turned out to be very hard to put down. I wouldn't call it the most memorable read, but I can't deny that it had entertainment value.

I think the biggest flaw when it came to Last Year's Mistake was Kelsey for me. She's not very easy to like from the get go, mostly because she came across as extremely judgmental. I also took issue with the way she slut shamed every female character who seemed to be involved with David, her love interest. I'm not usually one to notice slut shaming in books, but it was so blatantly obvious in this book because of how frequently she made these catty comments about other girls in the book. That being said, I can't deny that the author did capture what it's like to be a teenager in a realistic way through Kelsey. I was a teenager not to long ago and yes, I admit to being as angsty as Kelsey was. I can't say I was in love with David's character either. I just felt like we didn't get to know him as well as I wanted to. He was a little bit all over the place with his actions and I never had a good grasp of his intentions. I felt the same way about the secondary characters too. The author relied too heavily on stereotypes and cliches in order to craft them and that made for some unexceptional secondary characters. I particularly hated how Kelsey's boyfriend, Ryan, was made to be this evil juvenile douchebag just so we wouldn't sympathize with his character.

Last Year's Mistake was also told in the past and present chapters, which I thought was one of the strongest points of the book. I found myself more interested in the past chapters because I liked the characters more likeable there. I also liked seeing the slow progression of Kelsey and David's friendship to romance storyline. It was sweet and gave me the butterflies. As for the present chapters, I knew I wanted Kelsey and David together, I didn't particularly appreciate all the emotional cheating going on, even if Ryan was a douche nozzle. Kelsey did eventually make the right decision by the end. There's also no doubt that Gina Ciocca's writing is fantastic. Like I said, there was something very addicting about it that made me want to read on and on. Last Year's Mistake was dramatic at times and angsty. I also thought Kelsey's reasons for being upset with David were a bit over the top, but she was a teenager and teenagers make a big deal out of everything, especially when it comes to matters of the heart.

Overall, Last Year's Mistake might not be the best book out there, but it's a fun book that's pretty impossible to put down. I'll certainly be checking out Gina Ciocca's future books because her writing is very readable.
Profile Image for Meghan.
561 reviews66 followers
April 14, 2018
Every once in a while a romance novel comes along that makes you believe in love again and believe that people who are meant to be together always find a way to be together in the end. That was not this book. I don't even know where to start, this whole thing was awful in my opinion, and honestly, I don't see myself reading anything by this author again. I hated Kelsey, when I say hate I truly mean hate. She was the type of girl that I have long hated, the girl who doesn't recognize the feelings that she is having for a boy and toys with him instead, using him when she wants to and getting angry at him for doing literally nothing wrong, because he doesn't know how she feels because she's too busy pushing those feelings down. I loved David up until the end of the novel. He was my only saving grace throughout most of this novel and the even towards the very end I thought he was going to be the only thing I liked about this novel, until he made a stupid decision and I lost respect for him. These are two characters who should have never been together and should never have got together, I have never read a more toxic relationship in a young adult novel.

Longer review coming soon
Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,640 reviews1,232 followers
March 23, 2015
There were things I liked and things I didn't...mostly all related to stupid teenager-type stuff. Sorta felt like reading my journal from high school, which is both a good and bad thing, lol. One thing, though...after reading this, I really wish they would've kept the original cover...kissing in the rain is relevant, both to my interests and the story.

Full review to come.


An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts are my own.

This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

I was really looking forward to this novel when I first discovered it on Goodreads months ago. I kind of adore best friends romances, and the fact that the main characters fell out of favor with each other and had to work their way back to that point intrigued me immensely. Even with the possibility of a love triangle on the horizon.

Okay, so I know this novel isn't aimed at my age group. So I can look past the immature dialogue. Honestly, that aspect felt just like reading my journal from high school. So, as juvenile as some of it seemed, it was actually pretty genuine. Realistic, even. Not that that endears it to me any but I feel like points are earned for authenticity. Even if authenticity means self-absorbed teenagers making stupid decision after stupid decision.

I tend to appreciate a novel that starts in the present and sends us back in time to try to piece together what happened. Mostly because that makes it more difficult to guess what led to the divide in the first place. Last Year's Mistake is no different, except that due to all of the suspense-building, I fully expected some massive reveal. Instead, I was left disappointed by the big "misunderstanding" that led to Kelsey and David parting ways.

The issues in their relationship could have been resolved with a simple conversation, but instead, they let their imaginations run free, resulting in a lot of unnecessary drama. And they hurt other people in the process. Still, there were moments where the feels got to me, and in those moments, it was the story I was hoping for: one of friendship, loss, and second chances.

Last Year's Mistake is equal turns frustrating and adorable, and I'm still kind of on the fence about it. I liked it, but it failed to impress me as I had hoped. I think the summary set me up for failure, though, as I don't think it's the best way to portray this story. But I'm sure it's easier to sell that to readers than "angsty teenage melodrama". For what it was, though, I found myself pretty entertained.

GIF it to me straight:

I mean, it didn't wow me, but I kinda liked it anyway.
Profile Image for Danielle.
396 reviews65 followers
June 24, 2015
A love story about a pair of hypocritical cheaters.

Kelsey, who's not like those other girls, is living the high school dream of dating an alcoholic bully and yucking it up with a pair of cheerleaders she doesn't respect or particularly like. Suddenly her life is flip turned upside down when her ex-best friend shows up at her school. She wants to be cool, but David's all up in her face and alkie bf is totes jealous and it's a big thing and what's going to happen to Kelse's fresh start? :(

The only nice thing I have to say about this novel is the alternating time periods, (summer before Junior year and the present, Senior year,) did keep the pace up and stopped me from DNFing. Other than that, it's an unrealistic nightmare of the most mundane drama that could be solved by speaking.

Kelsey can't go one chapter without slut shaming someone. She hates every girl David has ever looked at. She hates her own friends. Every single girl in this book is a ho or a tramp. Not that the narrative disproves it; girls claim other girls are faking suicide attempts to steal boyfriends.

David's not actually a nice guy. The entire rumor mill is his fault and while Kelsey is paranoid and hysterical about it, she's not actually wrong that he should have stood up for her. I also wouldn't take a declaration of having loved me "forever", (from someone I've only known for two years, btw,) very well from a guy who's had two serious girlfriends in those two years and never told me he was interested and later stalked me to a different state. When David wants to be with Kelsey, he's perfectly willing for them both to cheat on their significant others, but when Kelsey finally admits her feelings, he won't break up with his girlfriend because it wouldn't be "fair". So basically, he only wants her when he's chasing.

The love triangle is pathetic, Kelsey's health issues only matter when the plot calls for her to be vulnerable, the prom/St. Christopher medal thing is ridiculous. The whole thing is a no.
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,312 reviews51 followers
July 10, 2017
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more reviews!

Here we have another (fantabulous) addition to my 5-star streak of 2015. Not that I'm sighing, taking deep breaths, or am acting depressed in any kind of way. None of that. Instead, THIS IS THE MOST ASTONISHING THING TO HAVE HAPPENED TO ME FOR YEARS AND MONTHS AND CENTURIES AND... you hopefully get what I'm trying to say. Last Year's Mistake is the most cute novel that I've read this year and I can't simply get enough.

Before we actually get deep into my precious thoughts, I'd like to mention that this equals summer. Ciocca throws us in back and forth with alternating views (but both Kelsey's) and a lot of this has to do with the cutest things possible: summer vacations, bike riding, spending summer nights in the backyard. Agh. And then, I highly recommend taking a peek at the cover, BECAUSE THAT IS BEAUTIFUL. Chemistry between models, check. David and Kelsey's look, check. The gorgeous car, check. I don't know anything more about it, but it's certainly a reason why I went ahead and wanted the book, so badly.

"I took a step forward, and he stopped. He'd seen me, too. The beginning of a smile curved his lips. Lips I knew all too well. Lips I hated." (ARC, page 6)

Where can I possibly begin without bursting into tears, longing for that kind of relationship? This may start of seeming to be like a typical contemporary-romance with no bit of fluff and fuzz that readers adore. Kelsey and David were best friends, and have been close since the summer before freshman year, where they met in Rhode Island. They then discovered that they'll both be going to the same Connecticut school, and live right beside each other, at least a few streets over. And then, things happen. Kelsey finds out that she'll be moving to Rhode Island, and then the secret is exploded out by David. THEN HE SHOWS UP AT HER SCHOOL A YEAR LATER.

*sounds the depressing, scary music* You must be thinking that this is cheesy and possibly with a ton of use of clichés to throw the romance in and make it sound real. But you can't even imagine how real this is. Ciocca adds in tons of realism, friendship, family issues, and issues of being a teenager just to add a second chance for Kelsey and David's characters. I loved the subject, and although I haven't ever been in love (no empathy for me, here), I feel like I can connect to the characters so well and their story spoke to me.

I have to disagree with the negativity spewing around. This is not CHEESY. Is is not humanly possible for a boy and girl to be best friends, and then something else comes out of that relationship? I've heard that story many times, and this works. The main issue and climax coming from K + D's perspectives is them struggling to mend their relationship back together. And the worst thing for them is: their families are both super close with each other, and they're kind of forced to spend time with each other. (WHICH MAKES EVERYTHING SOOOO MUCH BETTER FOR THEM.)

"For a moment it was like no time had passed at all. The entire year melted away, and we were back in the woods. How I wished I could relive that night, when it was just me and my best friend, finally acknowledging something else between us. Before we'd broken each other's hearts." (ARC, page 245)

From page one, I couldn't honestly let this one go. It wasn't like there were tens and hundreds of cliffhanger moments that I just needed to keep going. It was more of the addiction that I got from reading Ciocca's writing. It's such a simple story, but it was the right read for me at the moment. Destiny threw in a read for me that would mend my heart, let me shed tears without caring, and realize what it's like to be in love. Books don't usually do that for me, and I can only wish for that kind of feeling. In this case, it was truly possible, and I believe in the gorgeous love stories that occur like this. There is not a moment in this book where you feel regret or hatred to something that is written—you just want to keep reading and hope for the best for the characters. Happiness equals heart-squeezing moments. I completely understand why people have noted that they were crying.

The story does get sadder and sadder as we read on, because of the loss of hope. You just want everything to happen so easily, but life never goes like that, and we have to get through the rain to see the rainbow. Thankfully, our great batch of characters realized that, especially by having to get through the stupidity that life putted them through.

Kelsey is everything that I wanted from a protagonist in a contemporary-romance. After she had to leave David back in Connecticut, she kind of lost herself and who she was. She turned to the things that she obviously didn't need in life—drinking, partying, showing off. Thankfully David came back into her life at the perfect right time or else she'd turn into someone who she wasn't completely. He is right about every word he says about her—though I loved them both for everything. She puts her family first, always having love towards them although life became tough for her to follow.

David now equals the role of my new book boyfriend. (Ryan was so adorable as well, poor guy!) These days in YA, we rarely find a love interest who's so caring and selfless, doing amazing things for his love! THEY'RE THE POWER COUPLE OF YA LIT. I can't speak of anything of their romance without falling apart and dying, because they were so adorable and I can't get enough. Chemistry in relationships is real, people!

This ending came out with a BANG. Although readers may have seen it predictable, this novel certainly wasn't about the plot or the structure of it at all. It's the gorgeous, special moments in between that makes readers obsessed and wanting more. It's about making mistakes and learning from them, realizing what the special things in life are. Last Year's Mistake is definitely on my top-ten list of favourites for this year, I can't possibly recommend it enough. Now, don't make a mistake, GO GRAB YOURSELF A COPY... OR TEN.

*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much!*
Profile Image for Brina.
1,951 reviews119 followers
February 20, 2017
Obwohl "Last Year's Mistake" schon etliche Monate auf meiner Wunschliste stand, war ich dennoch ein wenig skeptisch, da mich die Kurzbeschreibung nie so ganz angesprochen hat. Dennoch wollte ich dem Buch eine Chance geben und bin froh, dass ich nicht enttäuscht wurde, denn die Geschichte ist weit weniger oberflächlich, als es auf den ersten Blick scheint, besitzt aber dennoch die ein oder andere Schwäche.

Man muss zwar sagen, dass die Autorin mit der Geschichte nicht das Rad neu erfunden hat, allerdings habe ich hier dennoch eine nette und unterhaltsame Geschichte vorgefunden, die mir gut gefallen hat. Da die Geschichte sowohl in der Vergangenheit als auch in der Gegenwart erzählt wird, erhält man hier einen sehr guten Einblick in Kelseys Leben und lernt sie ausreichend kennen, sodass ich mich größtenteils in sie hineinversetzen konnte.

Kelsey gehört zwar zu der Art Protagonistin, bei der es etwas länger dauerte, bis ich mit ihr warm wurde, allerdings fand ich sie letztendlich doch sehr sympathisch. Anfangs empfand ich sie als sehr oberflächlich und somit fand ich zunächst keinen Bezug zu ihr, allerdings merkte ich im Lauf der Geschichte, dass sie doch tiefgründiger ist, als ich erwartet habe und somit wurden auch ihre Gedanken und Gefühle für mich zugänglicher. Mit David konnte ich mich dagegen von Anfang an anfreunden, denn dieser ist nicht nur sehr vielseitig, sondern auch sympathisch und hat das Herz am richtigen Fleck, sodass Kelsey und David für mich ein tolles Duo sind.

Dass die beiden ein tolles Duo sind, ist jedoch nicht immer so, denn Kelsey hat ihr altes Leben hinter sich gelassen, zu dem auch David gehört hat, denn sie möchte noch einmal von vorne anfangen und lernt auf ihrer neuen Schule nicht nur einen neuen Freund kennen, sondern auch einen komplett neuen Freundeskreis. Allerdings trifft sie erneut auf David und muss sich erneut mit den Gefühlen auseinandersetzen, die sie für ihn empfunden hat und sich gleichzeitig die Frage stellen, ob David noch Platz in ihrem Leben haben kann...

Zugegeben: Die Geschichte ist stellenweise ganz schön klischeehaft und vieles kommt einem so vor, als hätte man es bereits in anderen Büchern gelesen. Dennoch hat mich "Last Year's Mistake" nicht enttäuscht, da ich trotz kleinerer Schwächen gut unterhalten wurde und mit den Figuren mitfiebern konnte. Hätte die Geschichte allerdings etwas mehr Tiefe gehabt, wäre ich wohl noch begeisterter gewesen.

Das Cover ist nicht nur sehr hübsch anzusehen, sondern passt auch hervorragend zur Geschichte. Gleichzeitig finde ich es sehr gut, dass der Verlag das Originalcover beibehalten hat. Bei der Kurzbeschreibung war ich dagegen zunächst sehr skeptisch, da sich diese doch sehr klischeehaft liest, allerdings wurde ich letztendlich dann doch positiv überrascht.

Kurz gesagt: "Last Year's Mistake" ist eine nette Geschichte für zwischendurch, die mit vielseitigen Figuren und einem netten Plot daherkommt. Zwar ist die Geschichte alles andere als neu und behandelt die typischen Teenieprobleme, allerdings kann man hier durchaus unterhalten werden, solange man sich voll und ganz drauf einlassen kann.
Profile Image for ~Tina~.
1,092 reviews159 followers
May 13, 2015
Last Year's Mistake, is told in a before and after alternating chapters as we start off with senior year and Kelsey Crawford's life is just about perfect. Things at home are good, she has real friends and a boyfriend who adores her, but that all changed the minute she saw David Kerrigan walking down the hall at her school. Back up to the summer of freshman year and we see a younger David and Kelsey meeting for the first time at Kelsey's uncle's summerhouse. They become fast friends, best friends for the next three years, that is till something between them changed everything they had and the two haven't spoken to one another in more then a year. Two worlds collide from the past to the present as this story of first love and second chances unfolds. The heart wants what it wants, no matter how much they try to deny it.

Drama, drama drama! Man, this book is crazy with the drama and angst, but you know what? I actually enjoyed this because of it. This is a book that is filled with all kinds of stuff that would have me rolling my eyes and banging my head against the wall. We've got jealousy and head games and hateful and hurtful things said one minute only to go wistfully down memory lane the next. But despite the hot and cold and back and forth and the push and pull and the sole fact that I wanted to shake these characters straight from the minute we meet them, I still have to admit, this was crazy entertaining and I was absolutely compelled to see how everything would play out.

I've always been a huge sucker for best friends-turned-romance and second chance love and man, did Gina Ciocca ever nail that intense, uncomfortable and awkward energy but still manages to bring on the emotional feels and warm moments that pulled at my heart strings. She does such a fantastic job delivering complicated characters in a realistic, exhausting and heartfelt way. It made me remember that, this is what first love felt like. This is the stuff that makes young love what it is. It's messy and flawed and its tied up with moments of stupid mistakes, haunting regrets, the uncertain heart and the intangible what if's. It's twisted and unsure, crazy and perfect all wrapped up in one giant pulsing bleeding heart.

I really enjoyed all of these characters. They were easy to relate to and connect with, even if they did manage to frustrate me half the time.
Kelsey and David are great individually but stronger together. But dame if they didn't give the reader a helluva time. I loved seeing their history leap off the pages and I was so anxious to see where it all went wrong cause Kelsey and David were some solid besties that knew each other better then anyone and were there for one another in good times and bad. Seeing them now in senior year wasn't always easy, but weather they were ignoring it, fighting it or hiding it, they still had some of the best sizzling chemistry evah. Granted they had there share of issues and not with just each other but I couldn't help root for them throughout the story and love the sweeter and warmer moments that made my heart flip and grin a stupid grin. I also liked the secondary characters as well. Ryan was indeed an ass, but I liked that he always treated Kelsey like gold. You could tell he really did love her. I though Violet was a bit of a flake but Candy and Matt were good people and I loved what Kelsey's family and David's dad brought to the storyline.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It does have it's ups and downs, but I love how realistically it portrays the high school years and teenage trouble. This brought me back to my younger days and reminded me that even then, love is worth fighting for especially at it's messiest moments. A great debut and a fun escape. I look forward to seeing more from this talented author.
Profile Image for Jasprit.
527 reviews747 followers
February 24, 2016
I’m always a huge fan of second chance romances. I always love that anticipation of our characters paths crossing once more and that dread in the pit of your stomach of not knowing how things are going to work out this time, but enjoying the slow build up of possible things that could be. For some reason I didn’t realise that Last Year’s Mistake was based around a second chance romance, but I’m so glad that I gave it a go, as the romance was done beautifully.

Kelsey and David became fast best friends over a chance meeting whilst Kelsey was spending her summer at her uncle’s. What started off as a summer friendship, developed into so much more when David ends up at the same school as Kelsey. I love how Ciocca gave us the build up of Kelsey and David’s relationship through alternating chapters between the present and past, to be honest I didn’t really care about past chapters earlier on, as so much was kicking off in the now, but then there were so many unanswered questions flying about and so much hurt and heartbreak coming through, that the past chapters became a pivotal point in understanding everything that was going on and honestly I couldn’t get enough of the story. I had my suspicions of what had gone down between Kelsey and David, but I don’t think I could have been more prepared for it. I could understand the reason Kelsey reacted the way that she did, she was scared and confused and had been put through so much, with her best friend really not on her side. But I sort of could see it coming, the slow build up to their romance was done beautifully, but I just wish someone had the guts to say something sooner and maybe a lot of heartache could have been avoided along the way.

But I’m hugely grateful that David had a second chance to be part of Kelsey’s life. When I found out the way things had ended, I knew they deserved their second chance and to finally make amends. Kelsey could be a stubborn person when she wanted to be, and I really wanted her to push that aside and be honest about her feelings and about what an amazing guy she had right in front of her. There were a lot of ups and downs along the way, misunderstandings and obstacles which really made me think their relationship will never be, but underneath this I had the hope that things would end up as they were meant to. I ended up devouring Last Year’s Mistake in one day, it was that good, and the way Ciocca developed the relationship between Kelsey and David made me connect with them that much more, made me feel the heartache and pain they were going through too, the frustration when things finally seemed to be going right, only for things to go back to or be worse than before (the back and forth really became real pain at times), but for me the time Kelsey and David spent together and the beautiful relationship that evolved from it really made up for it.

Overall I adored Last Year’s Mistake, it really could have been my first five star read in a year, but Kelsey’s indecisiveness kind of took that away from me. This minor gripe aside, I think readers will fall in love with Kelsey’s and David’s story, it really was one done beautifully.

This review can be found on: The Readers Den
Profile Image for Carrie (The Butterfly Reader).
1,016 reviews93 followers
October 8, 2018
I loved the back and forth in this book. It follows two story lines, one from a few years ago and the current one now. So we get to see both stories play out at the same time, unless you're that freak like me that read the back story first because I just HAD to know. I couldn't wait and so I read the back story first and then the main story.

I liked this book, it was fun, cute and at times sweet but it also had some cheating and some parts just made no sense to me, like the whole reason she's mad in the first place and the ending... I like to believe it will all work out but judging from life and how people grow and change, it's kinda a bittersweet ending and that makes me sad.

Overall, it's a cute book, while I was reading it, I was in love with it and then after it, I kind of forgot about it rather quickly.
Profile Image for Bri Martinez.
247 reviews46 followers
September 14, 2017

Here we have yet another YA contemporary romance surrounding emotionally immature teens who refuse to communicate and instead decide to date and sleep with other people rather than face their feelings. NOPE.

This was a quick read, but it was chock full of genre tropes and cliches. It was easy to see where the story was heading, and with little to no emotional ties to the characters, I was bored for most of this read.

Others have said this already, so I won't hash it out too much. This is just another book to add to the pile of mediocrity that currently makes up the YA contemporary romance genre.
Profile Image for Rachel Solomon.
Author 12 books5,642 followers
February 2, 2015
A strong romantic debut, LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE chronicles Kelsey's complex relationship with her best friend/enemy/love interest, David. The story unfolds non-linearly, one timeline showing how the two become best friends and struggle to remain close until Kelsey moves away after a mysterious incident. The other shows how they come back together a year later. Both timelines are packed with ups and downs, and each chapter ending made me hungry to turn the page.

When Kelsey and David meet again during senior year, Kelsey's reinvented herself quite a bit; because of ridicule at her old school, image has become important to her, and she has the cooler friends and highlighted hair to prove it. Of course, David can see past this, and I love how the book touches on this truth of love: that those who care about you can see beyond the superficial.

Kelsey and David are the heart of this book. Their push-pull relationship crackles, even (and sometimes especially) when they're fighting with each other. What I particularly loved were the early chapters, where Kelsey and David shyly navigate their new friendship and grapple with the changing feelings they have for each other.

Another thing I loved about this book is how flawed the characters are. Kelsey and David both make mistakes, sometimes hurtful ones, but they never act out of character. Kelsey makes judgments about other girls that I worry reviewers will dismiss as "girl hate" -- but the author isn't writing sanitized teens, which I appreciated. These are real teens with real teen thoughts making real mistakes.

Overall, a solid debut, and I can't wait to read Gina Ciocca's next book!
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