Last Year’s Mistake – Gina Ciocca


Kelsey and David became best friends the summer before freshman year and were inseparable ever after. 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 decided to move away, she couldn’t wait to start over and leave the past behind. Except, David wasn’t ready to let her go…

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 and he shakes up everything. Soon 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 truly let him go. And maybe she never wants to.

Told in alternating sections, LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE is a charming and romantic debut about loving, leaving, and letting go.


This is some seriously good stuff! I LOVED this book!

Ciocca somehow manages to mix just the right amount of tension and angst with happy times and memories. I didn’t feel frustrated that our main couple here wasn’t together for most of the book, which is a huge feat in itself. I suppose I understood why things were the way they were. It was almost tragic, really.

Usually, then-and-now sequencing annoys me too. While I might have actually preferred it in chronological order, I enjoyed it as-is.

I think one of the shining moments of this book was how well-developed all the characters were. No one was 100% good or bad. Everyone had their faults, whether that be shutting someone out over and over, not knowing how to say no (or maybe just being way too nice and forgiving), not taking chances, a touch of insecurity, or wanting so badly for things to stay the same. Now that I think about it, I can see that story folding out over a few different relationships (great foiling!).

My only gripe was that the ending was too abrupt! I needed a heftier conclusion! I needed to BASK in it. For example, I felt like family members played a HUGE role in the story, so it would have been much more fitting to have them involved at the end. Or even seeing where things go a few months down the line. I know that countless things could happen, but the hopeless romantic in me just wanted to see these characters BLISSFULLY HAPPY by the end of it all. Seriously, they are their own worst enemies, and truly put themselves through the wringer.

That being said, I totally commiserated with Kelsey on friendships growing apart and having trouble moving on. And the sadness of illness and misinterpretation. There might be a lesson here that no one truly gets a fresh slate, but I prefer to believe that this story instead proved that there’s value in seizing second chances.

I also felt like our lady Kelsey was a bit of a damsel in distress at times, and I can totally understand why some people hated her. It could’ve been annoying, but at least our leading man admitted that he just didn’t know how to be logical or rational around her. Together, they’ve got some issues. But I still believe in them! It took her a while to sort through her feelings! Give her a break!

This story nearly brought me to tears. Super good stuff!

Related Reading

  • 17 First Kisses – Rachael Allen
  • On the Fence – Kasie West
  • 99 Days – Katie Cotugno
  • What I Thought Was True – Huntley Fitzpatrick

Rating: 5/5


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