ARC review: The First Kiss Hypothesis by Christina Mandelski

Welcome to my tour stop for The First Kiss Hypothesis by Christina Mandelski!  This book was adorable and I’m so glad that I get to be a part of this tour.


Nora Reid believes scientific laws control everything, even love. With her grandparents’ epic first kiss story cemented in her brain, Nora develops a hypothesis she’s determined to prove: for each person in the world, there is exactly one other person, and at first kiss, they’ll experience an immediate and intense reaction.

But after four years of zero-reaction kisses, she comes up with a new theory: maybe that pesky crush on her stunningly hot best friend Eli Costas is skewing her results.

She needs to get rid of him, and fast.

Eli Costas is an injury-prone lacrosse star with a problem—the one chance he had at winning over the girl next door resulted in the most epically sucktastic first kiss ever. And now she’s…trying to get rid of him? Hell no. It’s time to disprove her theory and show her exactly what she’s missing.
Game. On.

Disclaimer: This book contains a stunningly hot lacrosse player who isn’t above playing dirty to win over the stubborn girl-next-door of his dreams.


Nora and Eli, best friends since childhood, shared one awkward, fumbling, total fail of a kiss when they were in middle school.  They’ve each harbored secret feelings for each other since that dreadful kiss, but Nora’s convinced that her first kiss with her soulmate will shake the earth, so she’s never pursued anything further with Eli.  Eli, knowing all about her theory, has never bothered to pursue anything, either, for fear of the inevitable rejection.

Finally, during their senior year of high school, Nora comes to a realization – maybe her crush on Eli is the reason that none of her recent kisses have been earth-shattering. Her determination to rid herself of that pesky crush makes Eli’s competitive nature flare up, and now’s he’s determined to get her to fall for him and reconsider her theory.

Here’s the thing – Entangled Teen books are always good.  They all have the same kind of vibe to them that makes me remember only the best parts of high school.  The First Kiss Hypothesis is no exception.  Nora and Eli were great friends who I rooted for from the first few pages.  Their friendship felt very natural and I loved how they just fit together.  This isn’t one of those “how are they possibly friends” situations.  Nora and Eli were made for each other.

I liked that this story differed from the typical friends-to-lovers scenarios.  Rather than worrying about “ruining the friendship,” Nora is dead-set on her theory that her soulmate will become obvious upon the first kiss.  And because her first kiss with Eli was gross and disappointing, Nora pushed down her feelings for him and kissed nearly every other guy in her grade, hoping for fireworks.  This was such a great twist on the usual way that this story plays out.

Now, of course, I didn’t give this book a full five stars, so there must have been something that I didn’t like. In truth, there were two things that bothered me.  First, I found it a little hard to believe that these two perfectly good friends could have so much drama in their relationship.  Second, talk about a slow burn!  It took forever for Nora and Eli to get over themselves and get together.

Still, overall, this was a great book and I can’t wait for its follow-ups.  Maybe Abby and Koviak will get their own book next.

Final rating: ★★★★☆

I received a free copy of The First Kiss Hypothesis from the publisher (via Chapter by Chapter Tours) in exchange for my honest review.


Amazon US | AU | UK | CA 🔹 B&N 🔹 iBooks 🔹 Kobo


Christina Mandelski was born in South Florida, where her love of reading was cultivated in a house full of books. Stories like The Little House series, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Island of the Blue Dolphins and The Secret Garden, filled her imagination and fueled her dreams to be a writer. That dream came true when her first young adult novel, THE SWEETEST THING, was published in 2011, and she’s beyond thrilled about her upcoming series for Entangled Crush.  Chris lives in Houston with one handsome husband, two beautiful daughters, and two freakshow cats. She has a fondness for the beach, her family and friends, and she still loves to read (especially curled up with a good cup of coffee!) She also enjoys shopping, traveling and eating, especially cake. Always cake. When she’s not doing these things, you can find her holed in a cozy spot with her laptop, writing. Visit her at


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