Kissing Max Holden

Katy Upperman


5 ★ – Delicious, Swoony and So Full of Heart!
Published by Swoon Reads August 1,2017
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: Hardcover 304
Buy: Barnes and Noble, Amazon


I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Swoon Reads (Macmillan Children Publishing Group), via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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?

O.M.G. This BOOK! I LOVE this book so much I don’t even know where to begin. Kissing Max Holden is just so raw and real and beautifully written.


I’ve been on a YA contemporary romance binge lately so when I saw the cover and title, I was super excited for a cutesy teen love story. I definitely did some major swooning and there were many mind-blowing kisses that gave me all the FEELS…But my heart was not prepared to be torn in pieces. My emotions are seriously all over the place right now… but in the best kind of way.

Max and Jilly are so perfect. I absolutely ADORED them and rooted for them so hard. They’re next door neighbors and longtime friends, but drifted apart after a life-changing misfortune. That is, until one very steamy KISS. A kiss that sparks an unexpected attraction they both can’t ignore. And damn THAT KISS was hot… Actually all the kisses were sizzling and lit my senses on fire! Oh and the chemistry between Max and Jilly –RIDICULOUSLY AHH-MA-ZING!! I honestly could not get enough. They are just so darn cute together!

The plot is so well written, realistic and deeply moving. The characters are complex and flawed, but you love them anyway because they’re so real and relatable. Most of them are dealing with some of the most difficult life situations that you just can’t help but feel for them. Katy Upperman definitely does not shy away from showing you the hardest parts of life. But, amidst all the pain and heartaches, she also gives you that sense of hope that life can and does get better. And just in case you were wondering, there were definitely some tears… I love it when a book can make me cry.


This book holds such special place in my heart and I’ve absolutely fallen in love with Upperman’s gorgeous storytelling. She does such a great job delivering an unforgettable heart-wrenching story about first love, heartbreak, tragedy, forgiveness and hope. I seriously can’t recommend this book enough and I’m so excited to read whatever she writes next.

Sincerely Karen Jo

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