BookSeriesInorder.com







Rachael Allen Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

17 First Kisses (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Revenge Playbook (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Taxonomy of Love (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Summer of Impossibilities (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Rachael Allen is an American author of young adult books. She’s a mad scientist by day and a passionate author of YA by night. When not writing young adult novels or conducting scientific experiments, you will find her chasing after her two kids & her two sled dogs, exploring all over the world, sharing stories that make her feel like her soul have been transferred to another person, and making homemade peach ice cream. Harper Teen published her debut young adult book 17 First Kisses in 2014, and since then she’s written more novels geared towards young readers.

17 First Kisses

A standalone novel, 17 First Kisses is the novel that saw Rachel Allen’s triumph entry into the Young Adult world of books. It’s an interesting book and an in-depth examination of friendship.

The book is narrated in both the present and with flashbacks to Claire’s kisses. In the present, she meets with a young man named Luke whom she feels she’s got a lot in common with and takes a liking to him. But there is a problem- her friend Megan also likes Luke. On the other hand, the flashbacks focus on Claire’s kisses: some enjoyable, some uncomfortable, and some the kind you would rather forget instantly. Now with this brief overview, you might be thinking that 17 First Kisses is a novel that revolves all about romance. But that’s not the case. The one thread through all these pieces of the past and present is friends. While Claire has several friends, the story emphasizes her best friend, Megan.

The friendship between Megan and Claire is special and undeniably true. They know each other’s past and present, everything about each other but the friendship isn’t perfect. They love each other, but at times Claire is jealous of her best friend or annoyed by her, and so is Megan. Most friendships are never perfect, and regardless of how you care about each other, there will always be bad days and annoyances but also shared moments. Over the course of Claire and Megan’s story, their friendship almost shatters, but then builds up again and then almost shatters. But despite all the little annoyances, one thing that almost sees’s them break up for good is a boy. You might roll your eyes thinking it’s petty, but in this book, its brought in a believable way.
Love can sometimes break the strongest friendship bonds, especially when friends fall in love with one person. What’s truly interesting about this narrative, though are the messages with within. They include teenage sex and abusive relationships. There is a lot of slut-shaming in this books as well, but it’s not the main character who does that- she is indeed the victim. Even though slut-shaming is something that everyone despises, in 17 First Kisses there’s a message attached to it, a message you can strongly support.

In her debut novel, Rachel Allen tackles a lot of deep subjects about sex, grief, family, and friendship, and despite that, the book is interesting to read rather than sad. It’s a story that will make you think about the good side of growing up and give you the hope of what the future hold.

What makes the novel stand out from the rest of young adult books is the attitude towards sex and romance. You can call it a very sex-positive novel, one that “strongly believes” that a person should have lots of experiences before settling down. With most young adult fiction ending with a couple in happily ever after, Rachel’s book is a breath of fresh air. The story also does showcase all the boys that Claire has kissed, ending with a suggestion that more boys will be kissed before its over. This is real life for most people, and many readers will agree to that.

There’s also a side plot on Claire’s family which is immensely touching. Her parents have both disappeared in their grief due to a family tragedy. Claire’s mother never leaves her bed while her father works long hours and sleeps in the study or the couch. Claire is left to take care of herself and her little sister, Libby. She’s a teenager, and that’s a perfect opportunity to get away with things, and at the same time, she wants her parents back and works to see they both stand on their feet.

The Revenge Playbook

Rachel Allen’s second book The Revenge Playbook follows four high school girls as the plan their way to sweet revenge. Anna, Jane, Live, Melanie and Peyton have had enough of favoritism granted to the football players and swear to get back at them at their own game.

Each of the girls had their reasons for planning this revenge scheme, and that’s what makes the story so interesting to read. We get to the four girls, from different families; cultures and who lead different lives join hands together to put an end to the misogyny they face at school. Just like Rachel’s debut book, The Revenge Playbook tackled a lot of issues, sexism, small-town mentalities, equality, slut-shaming and much more.

The narrative shifts focus between the four main characters. On the other hand, the secondary characters are beautifully crafted and help bring out the main character’s true nature as well as help the readers understand the main character. There’s a mention to a father over here, a mention of another friend over there and much more. However, despite everything, the story is fun right from the first page to the last but more so, especially when the girls are meeting the challenges.

There is the fight against slut-shaming, the struggle for true equality: that where women stop judging each other, because of the ideals of men, a great message for your base public, which are the teenagers and for those not so teenagers who still feel the need to censor others for their sexual behaviors. If you enjoy reading fast paced and richly detailed young adult books, then Rachel Allen books are highly recommended.

—-

Book Series In Order » Authors » Rachael Allen