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 swears it’ll never happen again. Because kissing Max Holden is a terrible idea.
With a new baby sibling on the way, her parents fighting all the time, and her dream of culinary school up in the air, Jill starts spending more and more time with Max. And even though her father disapproves and Max still has a girlfriend, not kissing Max is easier said than done. Will Jill follow her heart and allow their friendship to blossom into something more, or will she listen to her head and stop kissing Max Holden once and for all?
Books that deal with cheating and infidelity always have an ew factor to them. And Kissing Max Holden is no exception.
First of all, I was reluctant to read this one in the first place because of that, its imprint (Swoon Reads has had a lot of misses for me), AND its hideous cover and title. However, I found myself oddly liking and hating the book at the same time.
In the end I gave it a middle of the road rating, though it’s more of a higher middle of the road than lower book because it was ridiculously readable. But God, was I frustrated with the characters throughout reading this book. Seriously, I wanted to scream at every single one of them for being repugnant assholes.
I think the cheating is the obvious factor. But the cheating was more of a result of really weak characters who had a lot of issues. At least I guess I should give them props for having issues, rather than being perfect caricatures. But God if not everyone in this book was an asshole.
Asshole Number One: The Title Character
I did not find how Max Holden was this guy that everyone wanted. Throughout most of the novel, he was a mess. I really don’t know what Jill found interesting about him other than the fact he probably looks like a young Captain Hook via OUAT. Because seriously, dude is a disaster for most of the book with him being constantly drunk, having a girlfriend, and just being a dope in general.
He drives drunk twice in this book.
That in itself should make him unattractive. He also cheats on his girlfriend who we’re told is a bitch so that makes it okay, but no it doesn’t.
Asshole Number Two: The Main Character
She knowingly cheated with Max (multiple times) and is super judge-y. Also, she’s a hypocrite.
Asshole Number Three: The Main Character’s Father
He is a controlling dick throughout most of this book. He also is a hypocrite. AND did I mention he drained the main character’s college savings account so that he and his new wife could undergo fertility treatments.
If you do not have enough money to pay for fertility treatments and have to use your other child’s money in order to pay for such treatments, you don’t have the money for a second child.
Those actions were just too repugnant of me not to be outraged for the MC. And no, MC don’t try to downplay it by saying when you looked into the baby’s eyes you melted into a pool of baby love. It just doesn’t work that way.
That’s your future.
If that was my father and stepmom I’d still be pissed and I’d probably be resentful of my $10,000 petri dish sibling.
But hey, I’m a Slytherin so…
Asshole Number Four: Stepmom
See money on fertility treatments rant. But she can apparently afford fancy dinner parties, Pottery Barn nurseries, and Nordstrom maternity wear.
Need I say more.
Asshole Number Five: Becky
Becky is the girlfriend that Max cheats on. She is depicted as an asshole, so that the cheating between Max and Jilly didn’t look too bad.
Note, it didn’t work.
Honestly though, even though everyone and their mother seemed like assholes in this book, I did enjoy this one. I don’t know why exactly. Looking at it post read, I should’ve liked it a lot less than I did since everyone was annoying and honestly I don’t think the character really developed or Max changed enough where the ship was tolerable.
And I’m trying to think about something good to write now. Because really the book wasn’t that realistic. The way infidelity was handled her was sort of confounding. It was okay for one party, but not for another party….I don’t know, it sort of left me with a weird feeling.
But again, when I closed the book I didn’t hate it. It was readable and even though I didn’t like the character or thought that certain members acted a little unrealistic, I still found it to be an enjoyable enough read. But I don’t exactly know why.
If you don’t get mad by infidelity and double standards, you could foreseeably pick this one up. Like I said, it’s not that bad. It’s just full of assholes.
Overall Rating: A B-