Review: 26 Kisses

Anna Michels - 26 Kisses
Published: May 24, 2016 by Simon Pulse
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2.5/5 (Eh. Meh.)

Breaking up with her boyfriend is not how Veda planned on starting her summer. When Mark makes it clear that it’s over between them, Veda is heartbroken and humiliated—but, more importantly, she’s inspired. And so she sets out on the love quest of a lifetime: use the summer to forget about Mark, move on, and move up. All she has to do is kiss twenty-six boys with twenty-six different names—one for each letter of the alphabet.

From the top of the Ferris wheel at her hometown carnival to the sandy dunes of Lake Michigan, Veda takes every opportunity she can to add kisses (and boys) to her list, and soon the breakup doesn’t sting quite as much. But just when Veda thinks she has the whole kissing thing figured out, she meets someone who turns her world upside down.

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Anna Michels’s debut is the story of one girl who realizes that moving on from the supposed love of your life means taking a chance—and having the courage to love again.

Such a fantastic premise. Such a botched execution.

Veda Bentley (real name, btw), has recently been dumped by her boyfriend, Mark. They were forever, she thought, but Mark didn’t think so. Veda decides to waste her summer with thoughts of Mark until her best friend, Mel, gives her the idea of the A-to-Z Kissing Challenge. Kiss 26 boys, each with a name from the alphabet. Veda, who has fornicated with only Mark, is scandalized by the idea of kissing another man, but eventually decides to go with it because #YOLO.

Unrealistic fiction, obviously. Who WOULDN’T be up for this? Veda is so prudish and boring, but she does go for it. She half-asses it, though. She kisses a puppy, a few toddlers, her father (on the cheek), and rushes the remainder of the alphabet by the ending. We did get a great kiss out of Gabriel. Literally, the sexysexySEXY of the book. I was slightly bummed she didn’t reach for more.

Veda was so unappreciative of her best friend, Mel. Apparently, Veda had a one-sided crush on Mel’s boyfriend, back when they were preteens. He would tell her “I love you” every day and she’d laugh it off. Because that’s normal. Eventually, it faded when he met Mel, but Veda was always stuck on “how he loved her first.” Not really, girl. He ain't dating you.

Halfway through the A-to-Z Kissing Challenge, Veda falls for a boy she works with, Killian. A name I hate, by the way. It reminds me of Once Upon A Time. Killian was nothing special. He was too judgmental. If I wanna kiss 8000 boys, I can kiss 8000 boys. We. Ain’t. Dating.

Also: Veda’s father and stepmother, Lila, are a strange scenario and it’s bizarre their relationship was never questioned and/or observed further. Veda’s father was temperamental and always growling and everyone would have to dress extra-nice when they visited him. Then, the father would be like: “Lila doesn’t like leaving the house.” and Lila would tend to avoid conversation. Is she depressed?? Is she a homebody??? What is the dilemma??

I was disappointed by the rushed ending. I felt yessed to death by it. We deserved six more chapters, at least. Cute concept, bad finish.


  1. DYING at "Veda, who has fornicated with only Mark, is scandalized by the idea of kissing another man, but eventually decides to go with it because #YOLO" DYING. You make me laugh so hard 😂

    Dad sounds like a legit psychopath too, so there's that. And what kind of friend tries to make their "best friend" feel like their boyfriend "loved" them first!? What even, Veda?

    I think I am going to be passing on this one. Didn't sound like a Shannon-Friendly book to begin with and now I am sure it isn't! Great review!

    1. hahaha yessss, that's what I'm hoping for! *fist pump* Seriously, the Dad was wild. He was so unnecessarily aggressive, and the family always had to calm him down. Literally, the book was wrapped up TOO calmly. I'd be angry if my best friend tried to steal my boo. Veda's best friend handled everything so normally.

      lolol. There's about 3 cute kiss scenes, but that's really it. It might be worth the pass, sadly. Thanks! :D


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