(Review) Kissing Max Holden

Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
Pages: 336 (kindle)
Genre: Young Adult
My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis: 
“Jilly. . . if you tell me to go home, I will.”
After his father has a life-altering stroke, Max Holden isn't himself. His long-time friend Jillian Eldridge only wants to help him, but she doesn't know how. So when he climbs through her window one night, she knows that she shouldn't let him kiss her. But she does. When they're caught in the act by her dad, she swears it'll never happen again. Because kissing Max Holden is a terrible idea.
With a new baby sibling on the way, and her parents fighting all the time, Jillian spends more and more time with Max. And not kissing Max is easier said than done, even though she knows he still has a girlfriend. Will Jill follow her heart, and allow their kisses to blossom into something more, or will she listen to her head and stop kissing Max Holden altogether?
My Review: 
Okay. It takes a lot for me to mark a book five stars, but this one got it. It's a perfect amount of heartbreak and swoons and I fell in love with Max Holden a little bit. (Okay, a lot.) 
The synopsis up top is pretty straight forward so I'm just going to get right to characters and such, if that's okay. 

Jillian is a really cool character. That sounds kind of lame, but it's true. She's an avid baker, has her sights set on culinary school, and she's pretty much the perfect daughter. Since her stepmother has been put on bed rest and her father "works a lot" Jillian takes care of a lot of the household things. Well, she's perfect until her dad catches Max Holden in her bedroom.

Max is seriously broken. His father's stroke has taken a huge toll on him, he's in a terrible relationship, and he drinks...a lot. He's also caring and kind and scared. 

Jillian and her friends try to make it a point to be there for Max, but not to try to fix him. They know that it isn't going to be easy, but they want to help him in the best way they can. Besides all of this Jillian's dad has pretty much banned her from seeing Max, even though they live across the street from each other. 

In the midst of everything, Jillian's little sister is born, things with Max get serious, and Jillian's world is turned upside down by her father. Seriously, you'll come to hate the guy. 

This book is a whirlwind of emotions: swoons, anger, and sadness. I loved every bit of it. The characters are impossible not to like (expect Becky, ugh) and you'll want a happily ever after for all of them. 

Good news: this book comes out in August. Put it on your list. 

Gratuitous gif, because. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Swoon Reads for the ARC.