The Last Best Kiss

When it comes to love, is there such a thing as a second chance?

Anna Eliot is tired of worrying about what other people think. After all, that was how she lost the only guy she ever really liked. Back in freshman year she was too embarrassed to admit to her friends that she liked skinny, nerdy Finn Westbrook. Then his family moved away, and all Anna had left was regret.

Now it’s senior year, and Finn is back. Anna can’t believe her luck—maybe now she’ll get the chance to relive their last kiss again (and again and again). But he obviously hasn’t forgotten how she treated him, and while this newly confident, adorable Finn is happy to flirt with all of Anna’s friends, he makes it clear he has no interest in having anything to do with her.

Anna keeps trying to persuade herself that she doesn’t care about Finn either, but even though they’ve both changed since they first met, deep down she knows he’s the guy for her. Now if only she can get him to believe that, too . . .

Gr 9 Up—Anna Eliot has had the past three years to regret her treatment of Finn Westbrook, at the time a fellow freshman, geek, and Anna’s secret boyfriend. When confronted with her friends’ opinions of Finn, she pretended not to know him and broke his heart. Now he’s back, and Anna hopes to get a second chance to apologize and maybe something more, but her former beau is no longer interested. The protagonist has more to worry about besides her romance troubles, however. Her sisters Lizzie and Molly are both off to college, and she is left living with her narcissistic father, who may or may not be dating one of Lizzie’s friends. Then a weekend musical festival changes everything for Anna and Finn. A modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Anna’s first-person narrative is filled with humor and honesty. While the pair’s love story is the main focus, plotlines involving secondary characters are woven together well. References to drugs, alcohol, and sex make this suitable for teens looking for a realistic YA romance novel with relatable characters—especially fans of LaZebnik’s previous Austen updates.—Natalie Struecker, Rock Island Public Library, IL

“The Last Best Kiss is an adorable YA contemporary that’s got a lot to love. With an appealing romance that delivers on the swoon, laugh out loud moments between friends, and heartwarming and heartbreaking family moments, you’re in distinct danger of reading this book in one sitting like I did.” Paper Cuts


“Where to start, where to start – firstly this is a read in one sitting book so be warned you won’t want to put it down until that last page is turned. I cannot tell you how much I love this book – Claire LaZebnik manages to capture the themes from the original classic while presenting it in such a refreshing way as to make it more attainable to today’s teens.” Book Angel Booktopia

“Of course, a major theme of The Last Best Kiss is second chances: If they should be given & how. I really liked the exploration of this theme. It could have felt cheesy or cliche, but it never did, because Anna and Finn behaved like real people. I could see the intense and vulnerable conversations Anna and Finn had in The Last Best Kiss happening in real life. In the end, though, The Last Best Kiss was just adorable. It was a tad more serious than LaZebnik’s other retellings, and it was always happy or cute, but on the whole it was just an adorable story.” Book.Blog.Bake.

Available now.



29 responses to “The Last Best Kiss

  1. Pingback: Last Best Kiss, by Claire LaZebnik (book review) – can love overcome memories? | BooksYALove

  2. Hi! I just finished reading your book! This was such a great book to read and it gave me some good perspective on how I want the voice of the character that I’m writing to sound like! Thanks SO much!

  3. Claire

    Thank YOU for writing! I’m so glad you liked it.

  4. Bookworm

    Hi! I love your book! I can really relate a lot of things with Anna. I love this book and hope their is a sequel! 🙂 ;

  5. Claire

    I’m so glad you like it! The book is close to my heart.

  6. Janica

    Hello Claire!! I love your books specially this one! I’m kind of enthusiastic at this moment and I can’t stop smiling while typing this! See? I keep on using exclamation points! Haha. I just finished reading it yesterday and I don’t know why i feel like i’m heart broken or something. I don’t understand. I like Finn, no, i love him. And because I feel like kind of lost and hangover from the book I have this urge to make a fan art for it(maybe to help me move on, i think.) I;m so happy your open for receiving emails! I hope i could start with the fan art so i could email it to you and well also to write you mooooooooore! This is getting to long. You don’t mind, do you? I love you. 🙂 :*

  7. Claire

    Oh, Janica, you totally made my day! That’s the loveliest comment ever. I’m so glad you love Finn–I love him too. I would love to see your fan art! I can’t remember if my email is somewhere on this site (I think it is) but if not, send it to me at And let me know if I can share it on my author page!

  8. Anonymous

    I love your book

  9. Nicnic

    the books is amazing. I hated Anna because of what he did to Finn but I also hate Finn for what he’s doing to Anna when he came back. But I love them both. I love their confessions.
    This book makes me laugh and cry too. It was something worth reading for.

  10. Claire

    So happy to hear that! Thank you for taking the time to tell me!

  11. Mikaela

    I read this book in an hour, it’s amazing! Last year, out of the nine hundred students in my grade, the school gave me an award for reading the most books every year. It might sound strange, but I count each time I complete a book, haha and I have read 12,678 books in my thirteen years of life and to be totally, 100% honest- this was the best book yet, no lie. It was addicting from the moment I laid eyes on the first page. I, too am in love with Finn Westbrook! Haha. While reading this, it is scientifically, literally impossible to put it down until you’ve reached the end! However, now that I completed the book, I’m sad and don’t want to read anything else! Haha, Claire, you’re brilliant and I’m very pleased to say that “The Last Best Kiss” was my 12,679th book! 🙂

  12. Claire

    This may be my favorite comment of all time! You clearly know your books so I’m honored you enjoyed mine so much. Thanks for letting me know! Keep reading–it’s my favorite thing to do too.

  13. Hi! I just finished reading your book and i can tell, it was beyond great! PS you got me fall in love with Finn Westbrook. 😂❤️

  14. Claire

    Yay! I fell in love with him, too, when I was writing it!

  15. juliaina francois

    This the best book i have ever read, i will read it forever my grandchildren will read. Thank you so much for writing you, its truely an amazing book

  16. juliaina francois

    This the best book i have ever read, i will read it forever my grandchildren will read. Thank you so much for writing you, its truly an amazing book

  17. Jordan

    I must say I love this book it has inspired me.

  18. Carana

    Hai😋 I just finished reading this book. I loved it!!!! This is the first time I read one of your books and guarantee i will read your other books. I hated Finn for not giving Anna another chance but once they got back together, I fell in love with him jaja this is one of my favorite books!! ❤️

  19. Claire

    So glad you liked it!

  20. Dallaslover321

    I loved your book! It had just the right balance of love and friendship and I thought it was great!!!

  21. Claire

    Thank you! I hope you’ll try my other novels! Happy New Year!

  22. I just finished the last best kiss and it was a wonderful read, I loved it! Persuasion is my favourite Austen novel, and I was so happy to be able to revisit it in such a fresh and lovely retelling with great characters 🙂 Thank you!

  23. Claire

    Thank YOU for letting me know! I love that book too.

  24. I love that book so much and I was wondering if you could send me the ”trouble with flirting” or ”the epic fail” and please write me back at or thxs so much love ur books Claire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Anonymous

    This book is one of my favorites. Your books have inspired me and gave me some good tips on what to do and what not to do. I feel like this book is one of the best. I am in eighth grade and i will be in high school for the next four years. I have kept tips on this book because it leaves an understanding point of view.

  26. Lexi Campbell

    This book is one of my favorites. Your books have inspired me and gave me some good tips on what to do and what not to do. I feel like this book is one of the best. I am in eighth grade and i will be in high school for the next four years. I have kept tips on this book because it leaves an understanding point of view.
    Keep writing more books!
    -Lexi Campbell

  27. Claire

    thank you! I have a new one coming out in March!

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