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Kissing Max Holden

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,539 ratings  ·  319 reviews
Kissing Max Holden was a terrible idea...

After his father has a life-altering stroke, Max Holden isn't himself. As his long-time friend, Jillian Eldridge only wants to help him, but she doesn't know how. When Max climbs through her window one night, Jill knows that she shouldn't let him kiss her. But she can't resist, and when they're caught in the act by her dad, Jill swe
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Swoon Reads
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Katy Upperman You can find it at many libraries! If yours doesn't have it in circulation, you can always request it. :-)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,539 ratings  ·  319 reviews

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Jasmine from How Useful It Is
About: Kissing Max Holden is a young adult contemporary written by Katy Upperman. It was published on 8/1/17 by Swoon Reads, an imprint of Macmillan, hardcover, 304 pages. The genres are contemporary, young adult, romance, and fiction. This book is intended for readers ages 13 to 18 and it is the author’s debut novel.

My Experience: I started reading Kissing Max Holden on 11/12/17 and finished it on 11/20/17. This book is a fantastic read! I like the mention of Disney World’s Space Mountain becau
Riley Edgewood
Oh man. This book. THIS BOOK.

This book gracefully broke my heart. And then triumphantly pieced it (mostly) back together. Upperman's created a beautifully complicated story full of romance and complex characters and heart achingly hard situations--but without ever allowing a reader to lose hope.

The main character, Jillian, is strong from the start. She knows what she wants and how her world works and she's had her sights set on a prestigious culinary arts school for as long as she can remember.
Erin Bowman
My official comments: "Full of wit, humor, and spine-tingling smooches, KISSING MAX HOLDEN combines the classic themes of contemporary romance with riveting family drama. … I literally could not put this book down and would buy a physical copy for my shelf in a heartbeat. I can't wait to read what Katy writes next."

My unofficial comments: 2017 can't come fast enough!!! I can't wait for everyone to fall in love with Jill and Max!!!
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this one! Katy Upperman gives us a realistic story about two teens dealing with impossible family situations who can't deny the magnetic pull they feel toward each other.
Rebecca Ross
This book has been on my radar ever since I first saw the title (kissing? YES PLEASE). So I was extremely happy to get my hands on an ARC.

First things first:
Before reading this, make the best homemade cookies or brownies or cakes or tarts that you can. Or go buy some from a bakery. I promise that you are gonna want something sweet and delicious while you read this, because our heroine Jilly bakes some incredible treats throughout this book and I was pining after them.

Secondly, don't plan to read
Tracey Neithercott
Second read and, yep, still love this book. I'm going to write a longer review closer to the pub date, but bottom line: It’s a sure bet for contemporary romance fans, but above that it’s a story packed with really beautiful writing, rich characters (who aren’t perfect but who you root for anyway), and family dynamics that add depth to the story. Best to read it with a sweet treat—Jilly’s baking is going to make you crave cake and cookies big time.


I was lucky enough to read an early draft of K
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
BFF to more is one of my favorite tropes and even though I wasn't thrilled with the girlfriend aspect, I was excited to read this book.

I love love loved Jillian. She's strong and loyal and one hell of a baker. I enjoyed how passionate she was about pastries and my mouth was watering over all of the things she made. Max was cocky and sweet and so so so infuriating. Together they were adorable.

Plot wise, there was a good amount of push and pull between Jillian and Max, but I could overlook a lot
Liz Parker
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I had the opportunity to read MAX when it was up on Swoon Reads this November, and after I read it I told EVERY person I could think of to read and comment. The world NEEDS this book.

Katy's prose is beautiful and fun, both heart-wrenching and comedic. Her characters jump of the page as real, fresh, and raw. From Max's first appearance at Jillian's window through their growth throughout the book, I was sold. I actually couldn't put it down once I'd started.

I can't wait to see how Katy and the Swo
Monica Murphy
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED THIS BOOK. Max Holden was so freaking angsty, gah. But in a good way. Highly recommend!
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Second read - the ARC. Loved it just as much the second time around.

I was able to read this when it was up on Swoon Reads and it's amazing. Can't wait to be able to hold this book and read it again.
alice (arctic books)
2.5 stars.

I wasn't a huge fan of this novel when I first started it, due to the girl-on-girl hate and slut-shaming, and upon finishing it, I'm still thinking of bumping this rating down. Essentially, the plot revolves around Jill and Max, childhood best friends, becoming a bit more after they kiss while Max has a girlfriend, Becky. Drama ensues, and some stuff happens, basically.

This novel made me mad in a few ways:
- Max talks about how he broke up with Becky: "She's humiliated - she made that
Jul 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I didn't want this to end! The story is deep and layered, and holy hell with that twist at the end! I did not see that coming! I think what I loved best were the characters, each flawed (some way more than others) but perfectly believable. Jillian and Max are perfection. I adore them separately but especially together. What a great story to curl up with on a weekend. Now I only wish I could get a few of Jillian's dessert recipes...
Karole Cozzo
***THE book for readers who adore stories about broken boys (that aren’t too far gone) and the girls that love them (but know when to say when).***

There’s nothing I love me like a brooding broken boy. I consider myself somewhat of a brooding broken boy connoisseur if you will, and so when I say Max Holden won me over in chapter 1, I don’t make that statement lightly. In truth, all of Upperman’s characters won me over quickly, perhaps because I found them so authentic and charming from the get-go
Kaitlin Bartlett
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
2016, I’m sure you’ll be a great year and all, but can’t we jump straight to 2017 so I can get my grabby hands on a physical copy of KISSING MAX HOLDEN? I was lucky enough to read this book when Katy posted it on SwoonReads, and I became instantly obsessed with Jillian and Max. The story has perfect pacing and delicious descriptions (many of which relate to Jillian’s love for baking), and the romance is spot-on. The mix of romance, family, and friendship strikes the perfect balance. Katy’s prose ...more
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When high school junior Jillian Eldridge shares an unexpected kiss with her long-time neighbor and friend Max Holden, she never expects it morph into something more. But when it does, and when attraction turns into genuine affection, Jillian is left to grapple with these unfamiliar, and deeply unexpected, feelings. A delightful, swoon-worthy debut! Highly recommended.
Mandie Baxter
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read KMH when it was up on Swoon Reads and complete adored it. Katy is such a talented, beautiful writer.

Just finished an ARC of KMH and it was even better than I remembered. Can't wait to hold a finished copy!!!
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
I had some issues with this one... full review to come....
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, ya, arc
ARC from Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for a fair review


Kissing Max Holden was not your average boy-next-door trope. It is much more real, dramatic and heartbreaking. Jillian kisses Max, unfortunately, he's already got a girlfriend. Then what happens? Well, a LOT. There's kissing, crying, lying, betrayal, OH MAN, life freaking happens, and my heart hurts so hard from this book.

The Romance-Really, boy next door is usually fool proof for me. I will always re
Kissing Max Holden really took me by surprise, I went into the book expecting a light, cute, fluffy read, but I appreciated the depth and serious issues that Upperman dealt with. Jill and Max have been friends forever, although they’ve sort of drifted apart at school, they’d never imagined something more than their friendship until one night, they end up kissing. It comes completely out of the blue, as Max has a girlfriend and with everything being chaotic for Max at home, maybe it was just the ...more
{you can read this review on my blog as well}

Do you know those books where you feel like you shouldn’t read but then the devil on your shoulders goes all, do it, punk or something? Because that was kind of what happened with this book. I knew this was something I shouldn’t pick up—the synopsis basically gave away the reason why! And yet. Here I am, writing my (late) review of the damn book.

Okay, I’ll be straight up: this entire fucking book starts off with cheating. And it does.
★ Belle The Bibliophile ★
Is this what young adults are reading these days? In that case, I'm better off.

The cheating is one thing, but the unnecessary girl on girl hate trope is incredibly toxic. We need to unlearn this.
Samantha (WLABB)
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary, arcs, romance, ya
I simply loved this boy next-door romance.

Kissing Max Holden was one of my most anticipated reads for the second half of 2017, needless to say, I was ecstatic when Kiersten brought this one back from BEA. It was a wonderful boy next-door romance, that hit all the sweet spots for me.

These two had such a deep bond, which was cultivated through a decade of friendship. I always love when the MCs share a past, and Jillian and Max had such a wonderful and storied history. I really enjoyed those peeks
Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}
I was expecting Kissing Max Holding to be a much fluffier read then it was. There was a lot of depth to characters and story beyond the romance. I really enjoyed all the parts of the story both light and heavy.
– The Boy Next Door Trope is one of my favorites and really worked for me.
– I liked Jill and Max and totally felt their chemistry.
– I didn’t love the mean girl antics that were involved but it still seemed like it could happen.
-There were lots of different family issues happening with bo
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this story on SwoonReads and absolutely loved it.

When Katy announced she had sold her book I got incredibly happy for her. Not only is she a great person, she's also an insanely talented writer.

'Kissing Max Holden' was an electric, sweet, sexy and meaningful read. I loved everything about it: from the complexity of the characters, Katy's beautiful writing, Jill and Max's cutest, heart-stopping romance and the poignant drama permeating the whole story.

I can't wait to read more novels by
Kissing Max Holden is very slow and very sweet. I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for quite a bit, and while I did have some issues with it, it was still a cute and meaningful read.

Jill and Max’s friendship has never been easy. They fall in and out of love with each other faster than people change underwear, but the timing has never been right. So when the story starts out with a full-on make-out session between the two, it’s the perfect launch for a helluva lot of drama. Exhibit A:
Gillian Berry
First off--this book is about a girl named Jillian who stress bakes and had her first kiss with a boy named Max. My name is Gillian and I am a girl who stress bakes and my first kiss was with a boy named Max. SO. LIKE, KATY UPPERMAN, STOP HIDING IN MY BUSHES. Okay then. (Obviously, it was not hard for me to relate to Jill in any way.)

I really enjoyed that! I know this won't be everyone's cup of tea--the central ship involves a looot of cheating--but I read this book in like one sitting and was t
Tanya (Girl Plus Books)
Let me cut to the chase and say right up front: Kissing Max Holden is an amazing debut novel that checks all the boxes for what I want when it comes to contemporary YA. Realistic characters, dialogue that rings true, complex family relationships... and plenty of swoony moments with cute boys. Kissing Max Holden delivers all that and more.

Jill was a character I liked from the start. Things at home are tense, her father's and step-mother's arguments are escalating, going to New York for culinary s
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Because baking was on my brain the entire time I read this book, I'm going to sum it up in one word: delicious! Katy Upperman weaves in brilliant breaths of air into her prose that swept me up into Jilly and Max's world. I stayed up way past my bed time telling myself "you can read just one more chapter"... for many chapters. Yes, there are a lot of sizzling smooches, it's called Kissing Max Holden for a reason, but there is a ton of heart at its core. Kissing Max Holden is about family and the ...more
I read this one when it was up on the Swoon Reads website and I can't wait for 2017 so I can read it all over again! The combination of romance and family drama reminded me of Sarah Ockler's books, so you'll want to keep an eye out for this one, especially if you're a contemporary fan.
Katie Harder-schauer
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Swoon Reads, through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'm going to start this review by saying that I enjoy drama, at least watching it unfold. You offer me a ticket to a relationship train wreck, and I'm going to jump on board because it's entertaining. And that's what Kissing Max Holden was, a months long relationship train wreck. Reading this book was almost like watching a mini soap opera. Trying to figure out who was hooking up w
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