It's All About The Drama: A Kiss in the Dark by Gina Ciocca & The First to Know by Abigail Johnson

Thursday, April 5, 2018


by Gina Ciocca
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: 
Kiss Factor
Amazon - The Book Depository

Well, this was a disappointment. With a cover like that, I expected lots of swoony goodness, but what I got was :

1) Homecoming drama
2) More homecoming drama
3) Even more homecoming drama.

And it wasn't even the kind of drama that kept me glued to the pages. Everything seemed so pointless and easily something that could have been solved with communication. There were a bazillion characters here too and no one was fleshed out as deeply as they could have been. Ultimately, they wound up being bland and unmemorable. I wasn't expecting a deep story or anything, but I was hoping that there would be a good intense romance and an entertaining storyline. The romance was barely an element of the story. There are 3 potential love interests in the book and they were all really uninteresting to me. I honestly don't even have much more to say about A Kiss in the Dark. The writing was decent, I guess? Anyways, this was definitely not the book for me!


by Abigail Johnson
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: November 7th 2017
Source: Bought
Star Quotient: 
Kiss Factor

Now this book had the good kind of drama I enjoy in my stories! Rashika recommended this book to me and because I was feeling like a good YA contemporary, I decided to give it a shot. I have to say, it was a solid recommendation from her because I wound up liking this story!

What I liked the best about The First to Know was how it handled a very delicate and serious topic but the story as a whole managed to be hopeful in tone. I don't think I would have liked the story as much if I had not liked the main character, Dana, as much. I'm usually not fond of characters that keep life-changing secrets, but Abigail Johnson made me care for Dana and she made me understand where the teen was coming from. Dana had good intentions and all she wanted was to do something she thought would be nice for her dad. She didn't expect her whole life to be unpended. I liked that when she found out about the existence of her step-brother that she took steps to make him feel welcomed and loved. I feel like not everyone would react in such an open-hearted way.

I liked the romance here too. It wasn't too in your face, which I appreciated. The romance between Chase and Dana was really lovely. Dana found comfort with Chase and together they made for a sweet couple. I enjoyed watching their bond develop over the course of the book. I also enjoyed all the complicated elements. When Dana found out about her step-brother, she was obviously very much shaken, and we see how that affects all her relationships. I would have liked a bit more closure towards the end and I did wish I had liked Dana's sister a little bit better, but those were my only real complaints about this book.

The First to Know was a story with a lot of heart and I definitely think it's worth a read. Give it a try if you're feeling inclined to! :)

What are some recent YA contemporaries you loved?
Let me know in the comments below!

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