The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik

last best kiss

The Last Best Kiss
Claire LaZebnik
4 Stars

I loved LaZebnik’s remake of Pride and Prejudice and I also enjoyed her remake of Mansfield Park so I was especially excited to see that she had done another–this time a remake of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Anna Eliot is the youngest of three girls. Her parents are divorced and don’t really care about what happens with them. When Molly (the oldest sister) goes to college Lizzie (the second sister) has to drive Anna to school. At one point a kid named Finn joins the carpool. Anna and Finn get along quite well. But Anna has some friends that are too good for most other Freshman in high school. As a result her friendship…and then relationship with Finn is kept secret. Then she eventually dumps him thanks to the advice of her friends. Then Finn moves away before she totally realizes her mistake and can take it all back. Fast forward a few years and Finn has moved back in town. Anna wants to get things back to normal (and perhaps get back together with him) but he wants nothing to do with her. Although her group of friends tend to be the place that he wants to be the most…only Anna’s friend Lily is his new girlfriend.

Although a few things are different than the original Austen story (Austen’s Anne was a middle child, Mary/Molly was younger and much, much more annoying in Austen’s tale, etc.) there are enough tidbits that give the story just the right nod to the classic story. Plus Anna and Finn are such great characters that many readers will sigh contentedly at the end of the story. However, there will be many teens who won’t have read the Austen novel this is based on, but there is so much here that teens might want to read the original (or watch one of the many movie versions). With three of the six Austen novels now re-done in high school form, I am anxiously awaiting the next three remakes by LaZebnik. And I hope she writes them soon because I want to read them that much. Love it.

Book Discussion Questions:
Why was Anna persuaded to break Finn’s heart?
Should a person be persuaded to do things? In what instances should you be persuaded and what instances shouldn’t you be persuaded? What makes the difference?
Anna is often frustrated by her family situation. Why doesn’t she fit in with Lizzie and her dad? Does she connect with Molly or her mother?
Compare and contrast Anna’s relationship with Finn versus her relationship with Wade.
What is the most important thing in a relationship? Why?

 

Harper Teen, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-06-225228-9
Reviewed from an Uncorrected Proof
FORMAT: Realistic
AGES: Young Adult

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