Title: Biggest Flirts Series: The Superlatives #1
Author: Jennifer Echols
Release date: May 20th 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to participate in the Blog Tour for the release of this title. The tour is being run by Shane over at Itching for Books, and for in exchange for an honest review - Edelweiss was kind enough to provide a free e-arc for me to read.
Biggest Flirts is a YA Contemporary Romance novel, which focuses on the story of Tia Cruz and Will Matthews. Tia and Will are high school seniors, about to embark on their final year of high school in Florida. Tia, who has lived in the area her whole life, comes from a broken family - a family with issues that result in a fear of commitment and responsibility. Tia has trouble picturing, wanting or trying to plan a future for herself. Will, is new to town and has always been the "perfect" guy - having recently been uprooted, he's attempting to figure out how to reconfigure his life and his plans. When Tia and Will meet, there is an instant attraction, and a flirtation develops. Can Tia and Will be more than friends? Can they move forward together?
This was my first read of a Jennifer Echols book, but I have had her on my radar for awhile now - and I was very excited to give her a try. I'm happy to report that I wasn't disappointed - I very much enjoyed reading Biggest Flirts and I finished it in one day. I'll definitely be checking out her other titles - though I am most excited for the next book in the Superlatives series (and hope that it will be titled Most Likely To Succeed). I think this book is definitely a read for fans of Echols, or those who enjoy Contemporary YA novels that are relationship oriented.
I happen to really enjoy Contemporary YA books, and I enjoyed the approach of this one. Although I didn't like all the choices the characters were making, it was part of what made them relatable and real to me. I found the characters to be true to life in that they were flawed and they were making impulsive choices, they didn't always use sound judgement or reasoning, and they were very focused on the present. To me that is high school - you are very focused on the social aspects, the present, and worried about what comes next. Everything feels so big and important. You make impulsive choices, you make mistakes, you create regrets - emotions rule and not everything you do or say is well thought out or executed.
I liked Tia, she was very flawed and relatable - I thought her choices made sense with what she had experienced. I was happy to watch her develop, fail and grow during the story. I enjoyed learning her backstory, and I enjoyed seeing her interactions. Did she make some choices I didn't agree with? Sure, but she's seventeen and we all make some bad choices at seventeen, and we all used some weird justification and logic too.
I also really enjoyed Will - he was interesting to get to know, I liked seeing his struggle with moving and what that meant. I enjoyed seeing how he interacted with Tia and how he changed over the story and learned about himself. Additionally, I also really enjoyed all of the secondary characters in the story as well.
To me, this was a fun, light, summer read. Not to serious, but still with a nice balance of the more serious issues too. I enjoyed how the story was written, and watching the characters develop and change. I also liked seeing another side to each character as the story went on and revealed more about them.
One big wish I had was the timeframe - I wish the author had chosen to present the story over the course of the school year or several months at least. That part felt a bit rushed to me, although at the same time I do know that things move quickly when you're at that age. One day you're friends, the next you aren't - they could be dating one day, exes the next, etc. Part of the drama of high school.
I know some might complain about the insta-love - but to me in rang kind of true. I remember in high school being instantly attracted and/or infatuated with a guy. I know how quickly relationships can develop and how important/big and all-consuming it all feels at that time. I think when you're young it is easy to confuse love and infatuation, and we do fall quickly and hard for people.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I went into it wanting a fun, light, romantic spring read - I wanted something that would take me away and distract me, wrap me up in the world of the book. This book did it for me, it made me think: about the characters and their choices, about high school, about my own experiences, and about how things feel as an adolescent. I enjoyed getting wrapped up in the characters and their high school experiences- I read the book over the course of a day and when I finished I was satisfied. I know I enjoyed my experience over all, and I will definitely try other titles by this author.
Perfect You - Elizabeth Scott
Lock and Key - Sarah Dessen
Something Like Fate- Susane Colas anti
My Life Next Door - Huntley Fitzpatrick
Taking the Ex Out of Ex Boyfriend - Janette Rallison
4 out of 5 Doxies - Definitely worth a read, I can't wait to try another book by the author!
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