Author: Anna Martin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 Pages
At a Glance: Final recommendation? I’d say go grab it! Overall, it’s a sweet story that I think most people are going to really enjoy.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: and One Time I Kissed Him First
When you realize you want to marry your best friend at age six, life should follow a pretty predictable path, right? Maybe not.
As a kid, Evan King thought Scott Sparrow was the most amazing person he’d ever met. At seventeen, his crush runs a little deeper, and nothing seems simple anymore. Scott is more interested in football and girls than playing superheroes, and Evan’s attention is focused on getting into art school. A late-night drunken kiss is something to be forgotten, not obsessed over for the next ten years.
When life suddenly brings them back together, it doesn’t take much for the flame Evan carried for Scott nearly all his life to come roaring back, and Evan discovers that life sometimes has a strange way of coming full circle.
Review: Ok—so, this blurb and this cover ticked all of my boxes. Friends-to-lovers is a massive fave of mine, especially when they are lifelong, childhood friends. Love, love, love. So, yeah, when I saw this title and this cover, AND that it was written by Anna Martin—whose books I have loved in the past—No brainer. Snapped it right up. And largely, I was happy I did.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the book. Loved it. The way the sections were laid out was fun, and I very much liked the feel of the book in the beginning. Starting out meeting Evan and Scott as teenagers was perfect; obviously old enough to start figuring out their feelings and sexual identities, it was clear that they were extremely fond of each other, and it seemed that their feelings ran pretty deep. Though it was impossible for Evan to be clear on where Scott stood, since right after they shared this amazing kiss at a party at Scott’s house, Scott was back inside with his sometime-hookup, Katie, on his lap. This passage so perfectly described what that would have felt like to teenage Evan:
“The fizzling euphoria had been replaced with the low ache of pain, and Evan didn’t know enough about either psychology or biology to understand how something so incredibly perfect could turn sour so quickly.
He wouldn’t mention the kiss again.
It would be his, the one perfect kiss with his first crush, and as long as he kept it secret, no one could challenge it or poison the memory. It was his. Theirs. His and Scott’s.”
Fast forward to ten years down the road, and Evan is helping Scott’s sister, Lacey, plan her wedding. Evan and Lacey are obviously best friends now, and it becomes clear that something happened between Evan and Scott which was significant enough to end their friendship, and cause them to have not spoken in years. I loved this part of the story. We learn a lot about who Evan is as a man, and his friendship with Lacey was absolutely fantastic. Our guys see each other the day of the wedding, of course, and the pull that is still there between them is impossible to ignore.
The next part is ‘the first time,’ and it is so cute and heartwarming I almost couldn’t stand it. Seven-year-old Evan meeting seven-year-old Scott, and knowing from day one that they would be best friends was the most precious thing. And, I’m not going to ruin anything for you, but the end of this section is cuteness overload of the very best kind. In fact, I just had to read it again so I could ‘Awwwwwww.’
From here we jump to the third, fifth, and then final kiss in the book. It was in this second half that I started to have issues. That’s not to say that there weren’t still good things to love, because there were. It was simply that things got a little messy, or drawn out from time to time, in these last three sections, and I noticed a few little inconsistencies. Not enough to screw up the story for me in any huge way, but enough that I noticed them and took pause. I didn’t feel like the huge rift that occurred between Scott and Even was ever fully explained, along with a couple of other things that were somewhat glossed over. I also felt like the last quarter of the book was a bit drug out and could have used some tightening.
Like I said at the start, though—for the most part I really enjoyed it. Martin always brings such a sweetness to her stories and her characters, and Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me is no exception. I adoooored Evan. Scott was a bit tougher sell. His character didn’t seem consistent, and some of his reactions threw me for a loop. Perhaps seeing some of his POV would have helped develop some more rapport. The rest of the Sparrows, especially Scott’s siblings, Lacey and Tom, were wonderful, and I absolutely loved Evan’s mom and how close she and Evan were.
Final recommendation? I’d say go grab it! Overall, it’s a sweet story that I think most people are going to really enjoy.
You can buy Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me here: