Book Review: Sunkissed by Kasie West

Title: Sunkissed
Author: Kasie West
Release Date: May 4, 2021
Genre: YA, Contemporary Romance
Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis

Avery has always used music as an escape. But after her best friend betrays her, even her perfectly curated playlists can’t help her forget what happened. To make matters worse, her parents have dragged her and her social-media-obsessed sister to a remote family camp for two months of “fun.” Just when Avery is ready to give up on the summer altogether, she meets Brooks—mysterious, frustratingly charming Brooks—who just happens to be on staff—which means he’s off-limits.

What starts as a disaster turns into . . . something else. As the outside world falls away, Avery embarks on a journey of self-discovery. And when Brooks offers her the chance of a lifetime, she must figure out how far is she willing to go to find out what she wants and who she wants to be.


Review

I love a classic YA romance that really hits me in the feels and reminds me of what it was like to be a teen. Life seemed so much harder back then, and knowing what I wanted or how to achieve it seemed impossible. In Sunkissed we meet Avery who is known as the “peacemaker” the dependable girl who avoids conflict and is sorta just passively living her life. It’s the summer the of change though and we get to follow her in her journey of stepping outside the box she’s created for herself.

We have so many characters in this book! The camp was the perfect backdrop and actually sounded like a ton of fun. Avery and her sister Lauren had a ton of activities to keep them busy and their parents out of their hair. I adored Marisella and how confident and sweet she was. She was a great friend to Avery but it wasn’t a one sided friendship. The band were a bunch of characters but o truly didn’t see them lasting long term, so the push for them at the end was slightly confusing. The relationship between Lauren and Avery was definitely one of the highlights of the book for me. Taking away their cell service truly made them bond and their relationship reminded me of the one I have with my sister.

Of course the romance was totally adorable. Brooks sounded like the perfect love interest. He was talented, emotional and his sarcasm/jokes matched up with Avery’s sense of humor well. The had the chemistry and I looked forward to their interactions. I felt like he truly saw Avery for who she was and helped to push her out of her comfort zone to help her find herself. So I was a tad confused by the ending when he seemed to have forgotten how she avoids conflict and isn’t the best at standing up for herself. I liked their ending though and wish we had a bit more of it outside camp.

The only reason this was a 4/5 stars for me was the way the conflict was handled with Avery and her best friend Shay. Before leaving on vacation, Avery learns Shay had kissed her ex boyfriend who she thought she would get back together with. We never really get them hashing it out, it was handled kinda passively which really sucked considering all the progress I thought Avery had made over the summer. The girl kissed her ex and it was hinted there might have been more going on before that. I don’t think this is something we should be passing on to teenage girls? It’s not acceptable. The ending also felt slightly rushed and I wish we had some sort of prologue to get that dialogue between them or at least how it played out after summer.

Overall Sunkissed was a cute summer read that read very Dessen-like. I love a good summer of change story and this one did not disappoint. It’s you’re looking for a cute summer romance with a smidge of drama and a ton of music I can’t recommend this one enough!

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