Last Year's Mistake by Gina CioccaLast Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca

Last Year's Mistake

byGina Ciocca

Hardcover | June 9, 2015

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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…
Title:Last Year's MistakeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.1 inPublished:June 9, 2015Publisher:Simon PulseLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1481432230

ISBN - 13:9781481432238

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Summer read with LOTS of drama Last Year's Mistake is about Kelsey who has left behind some memories in her old home that she'd rather forget. However, when her old best friend David moves to her new school, the drama increases and old misunderstandings between David and Kelsey are brought to the surface again, along with some feelings. This book was fuuuuull of drama between David and Kelsey as well as Kelsey's friends who end up caught in the cross fire of their arguments and general drama. I enjoyed that it was realistic in how things are misunderstood without communication and the whole emotional rollercoaster that high school can be. The novel flashes back and forth between the past and the present, effectively showing a contrast between their current relationship and their past. It also allows us to watch as their relationship in the past crumbles and their relationship in the present, hopefully heals. David is a really cool guy and I'd definitely take him as one of my book bfs. He's handsome and smart. He's a star baseball player and he cares a lot for his father. He was really sweet to Kelsey and I love their past relationship where they were so close with each other's families that they were all basically one big family. Kelsey is trying to forget David. She's in love with her new boyfriend Ryan and has amazing new cheerleading friends. She's popular for once in her life and she really enjoys it. She also loves that no one knows the incident that happened in her old home that she was made fun of for. She's smart and so real that I had no trouble at all relating to her and thinking that I would probably be friends with this girl. Overall, this book is great as a summer read that's full of teenage drama and some laughs as well.
Date published: 2015-08-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Review from This is the Story of My(Reading) Life Turns out I really felt for the characters in this one. Like totally caught up in the feels. The feelings were real guys. Last Year's Mistake follows Kelsey and David and their friendship. A strong friendship. Where strong feelings are developed. Which unfortunately leads to a lot of misunderstandings and missed opportunities. I really loved the dual time line going on. We got to see from the start of Kelsey and David's friendship and the other time line is the present, which is after they've had a following out and Kelsey moved away. So the past is working towards the present. Teenagers and their lack of proper communication could really cut back on the hurt feelings by opening their mouths. I loved both Kelsey and Daivd. Not only is their friendship a really good one but they are both good people that life decided to hand some tough breaks to. Even though the book is from Kelsey's POV it didn't take away from getting a good read on David's feelings. I could just tell he really wanted to tell Kelsey about his deepening feelings for her on multiple occasions, but kept holding back because Kelsey would pull back. And I was like no. She'll kiss you back. So David seeing other girls made my heart hurt for Kelsey but I couldn't fault him. Also Kelsey was feeling lonely as her best friend had found a new set of friends that doesn't include Kelsey. When she moves, getting the chance to re invent herself is of course a great mood lifter. I just was really pulled into the emotions of the book. I will say that Last Year's Mistake walks the fine line on cheating, but I think because the emotions from Kelsey and David's past run so deep it was for me to understand their actions. Even when they were hurting each other it was never malicious. It was just trying to keep themselves from drowning in their own emotions that won't go away. Like I said, the missed opportunities sucked. As this is Ciocca's debut novel, I think it was a really solid start. The teenage characters had very believable feelings and problems. And their decisions and actions made sense with how 98% of teenagers would react to those situations. Where I was going with that is I think Ciocca has a bright future. I'll definitely be picking up her next book.
Date published: 2015-08-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Decent but not sold on chemistry Told in alternate timelines of then and now, ‘then’ tells the story of Kelsey’s freshman year, her growing friendship with David, and what eventually drove them apart. ‘Now’ is the story of Kelsey’s senior year in a new school, new town, and the new life she’s made for herself where no one knows her past – until David’s family moves to town. Kelsey has to face the events from freshman year and the feelings for David that maybe never went away. I went into this book nervous about the now and then format. Would it be confusing? Would it mean I would easily be able to see any twists coming? It did end up being a bit predictable but it was easy to follow. I liked getting to see the difference between freshman Kelsey and senior Kelsey. She had changed a lot in the few years, she came across as more confident and sure about who she was, but I missed getting to see that growth through the book. I also would have liked to have seen more interactions between Kelsey and her girlfriends instead of it being mostly Kelsey with her boyfriend Ryan or with David. It made the book feel like it was driven by the love triangle. I did like Kelsey’s emotions throughout the book. She was innocent and insecure in the freshman year, more confident in her senior year while maintaining a lot of that innocence. her confusion over what she felt for Ryan and David was very believable and I could understand why she felt torn between them. I also really enjoyed the family interactions, Kelsey with hers, the glimpses of David with his, and both families together. I wasn’t completely sold on any of the romances. None of them really had a chance to grow since the plot was split between the now and then. It felt like more time was spent devaluing Kelsey’s relationship with Ryan and making the blame one-sided than building anything new with David. Maybe I could have gotten more into it if Kelsey and Ryan hadn’t been an exclusive couple or if Kelsey wasn’t always lying to Ryan about her feelings and past with David. Overall, I did like the writing style and the POV format but the characters and their love triangle just wasn’t for me. *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Date published: 2015-06-24

Read from the Book

Last Year's Mistake One Rhode Island Senior Year The first day of senior year, he came back. I should have known it wasn’t over. Nothing ever is. I smoothed my white sundress beneath me as I took my seat beside Ryan, my boyfriend of almost a year, in his Camaro. The air was tinged with last night’s September chill, a reminder that I’d soon be watching summer melt into fall for the second time as a resident of Rhode Island. Sometimes I still wondered if the whole thing was a dream. The Camaro’s engine idled loudly as I pulled down the visor to check my makeup. Satisfied that lip gloss and mascara hadn’t budged on the way from the house to the car, I snapped the mirror back into place. Then my insides went cold. Something was clipped to the visor that I’d never seen in this car before but would have recognized anywhere. “Where did you get that?” “This?” Ryan unclipped the half-dollar-size medal, laughing as he held it out to me. “Keep it. You need it more than I do.” I made no effort to take it from him. “Where did you get it?” The dimple in Ryan’s left cheek disappeared as his smile faltered. “I found it. What’s your deal?” My eyes darted from him to the medallion and back again. When I still didn’t touch it, he added, “Oh, come on, babe. It’s a Saint Christopher medal. It’s to protect you while you’re driving. Or, in your case, running squirrels off the road. Lighten up.” My sister and I were bumming a ride with Ryan on the first day of school because my car was in the shop—the result of an unfortunate incident involving one too many tequila shots and a squirrel. At least, that was the story I’d told him. I tentatively touched the medal, engraved with an image of Saint Christopher and his staff. Ryan thought he was teasing by giving me this, laughing it up over an inside joke. But nothing about it was funny. The car suddenly felt too warm, too small, and memories I’d locked away for more than a year poured into my head like water through a broken dam. Images of smiles and touches and kisses that weren’t his. I stared at the medal in my palm, running my thumb over the uneven surface. “I—I knew someone who had a medal like this.” Not like it. This one was identical to the one in that long-buried past of mine. And now I held it in my hand like sunken treasure churned up from the ocean floor. I rolled the window down a little more, wondering why air couldn’t seem to find its way to my lungs, and stared absently at the wicker rockers on our front porch before adding, “Someone I haven’t seen in a long time.” “I miss him.” Miranda sighed from the backseat. “He was the best.” I whipped around. “Be quiet. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” “Him?” Ryan adjusted the red Clayton High baseball cap sitting sideways over his blond curls. Wistfulness clouded Miranda’s blue eyes. “Our friend from back home in Connecticut. He’s—” “Not important.” I twisted around in my seat again. “Do you want to die on your first day of freshman year?” “Him who?” Ryan pressed. I didn’t look at him when I answered. “Not that kind of him. A friend. One I don’t speak to anymore.” Ryan shifted in his seat. “It’s not like it’s the same medal. Those things are mass produced. You look like you saw a ghost.” If only I’d known how prophetic those words would be. I’d tossed the medal into my purse, and had almost forgotten about it by the time Ryan and I were kissing at my locker half an hour later. “I swear, you two should get tracheotomies so you’ll never have to come up for air.” My best friend, Candy, ­wrinkled her nose as she slammed her locker shut. “Jealous, Candle Wax?” Ryan retorted. I hated when he called her that. Candy’s last name was Waxman, hence the rather dim-witted nickname. “In your dreams, Smurf.” Equally dim-witted: Ryan Murphy. Smurf. Ugh. Candy fiddled with her cell phone, simultaneously running a brush through her pin-straight dark hair. “You guys wanna grab some breakfast? I’ve been dying for one of Ruthie’s egg ’n’ cheeses all summer.” “ ‘Egg ’n’ cheeses’?” I laughed. “Is that even a word?” Candy threw her phone in her bag and tugged on my hair. “Who gives a flying fig? They’re fried, greasy goodness, and that’s all I care about.” Ryan snorted. “Easy, Wax. Too many of those and that bodacious booty won’t fit into your rah-rah uniform.” He gave mine a squeeze and I smacked his arm. Kissing and hand-holding and other tame forms of PDA were fine, but I had no interest in being groped in front of our entire high school. Nor did I appreciate him teasing Candy about her butt. As someone who’d spent the better part of puberty hiding its traitorous effects behind shapeless T-shirts, I didn’t take kindly to body comments. Nothing fazed Candy, though. She and Ryan sparred all the time, and as usual, Candy didn’t miss a beat. Not that I knew what she came back with, because I didn’t hear a word of it. I happened to glance over her shoulder at that moment, right as one of the glass double doors at the end of the hall opened. Bright sunlight shone through, and for a second I could only make out the outline of the person who stepped inside. But it was all I needed to see. My heart froze as I took in his broad shoulders, his dark hair sticking out in all directions. He was taller than I remembered, more built, the angles of his face sharper. Evidence of the time that had passed since I last saw him. It can’t be. I might have said it out loud as I pulled myself from Ryan’s arms, my legs turning to mush beneath me. “Who is that?” Candy said, just as Ryan asked, “Are you all right?” But they sounded a million miles away. My pulse quickened as the person at the end of the hall took a step forward, and even as the words It can’t be repeated over and over in my head, there was no room for doubt. This morning in the car, I’d felt my past shift in its grave. Now the piece I’d wanted to bury deepest stood right there in front of me, breathing the same air. 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. But that didn’t stop me from taking another step forward. And another, until I stood right in front of him, still not convinced he wasn’t some sort of hallucination. It wasn’t until he reached out and slid hesitant arms around my rigid body that I knew he was real. I had no intention of hugging him back, but my body had other ideas. The second my face pressed against his shoulder, every lie I’d told myself for the past year dissolved into the scent I’d know anywhere. I closed my eyes and wound myself around him, burying my nose in his shirt. The stiffness in his embrace melted away, and he crushed me against him. “Hey,” he whispered against my hair. “It’s been a long time.”

Editorial Reviews

“A solid, thoughtful romance with plenty of angst.”