Sep 29, 2012

ARC Review: Janet Gurtler - Who I Kissed

Janet Gurtler - Who I Kissed

• Pub Date: October 1, 2012
• Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
• Format: Paperback/ebook, 312 pages
• Age Range: Young Adult
• Source: ALA

She never thought a kiss could kill...

Samantha didn’t mean to hurt anyone. She was just trying to fit in...and she wanted to make Zee a little jealous after he completely ditched her for a prettier girl. So she kissed Alex. And then he died—right in her arms.

Was she really the only person in the entire school who didn’t know about his peanut allergy? Or that eating a peanut butter sandwich and then kissing him would be deadly? Overnight Sam turns into the school pariah and a media sensation explodes. Consumed with guilt, abandoned by her friends, and in jeopardy of losing her swimming scholarship, she’ll have to find a way to forgive herself before anyone else will.

First of all, this cover really does the book no justice. I have to say this because I had the TOTAL wrong impression of what this book was going to be about! I feel like I have to always say this, but more often than not I tend to pass on reading the description of books. I just genuinely like to read, and covers generally draw me in. This book looked very interesting at ALA, and I got it signed by the author. I thought it was more of a light teen romance, but that's definitely NOT what this book is. At all, really. Even with the title.. but I was so wrong.

And that turned out to be okay! Since it took a total turn for the "I have no idea what's going to happen next," I was able to stay much more interested than I originally thought. Well, I probably would have been just as interested in a teen romance since that's what I thought I was getting myself into. But this book is about death, grief, forgiveness. There's a bit of the romance stuff in there, but this book is about Samantha's journey after a significantly sad event occurs in her life.

Sam is strong but totally broken after the "event." She basically gives up, tortures herself by going back to school, and tries to get lost in a relationship that is barely even there. She has to work through her emotions with the help of her father, her kooky aunt, and some pretty good friends. Some things we just need to fix on our own time, I guess. I don't know how I can relate this story to my own life, but I can definitely feel myself inside Samantha's shoes. She had something horrible happen, and getting through it must be just like she describes it. It sounds awful, but I think most people would react the same way. That makes this book a little enjoyable in a way.

I really enjoyed this. I read it in a few hours because I couldn't put it down. Not because I had to know what happened to Sam, really. More because I liked being inside their lives. They were a fun group of people, and I'd like to read more about them for sure. Check this book out if you're ready to be so deceived by this cover, if you like a a bit of darkness in your YA, and if you need a book to pull you out from anything that's dragging you down.

Bottom line: Read it! It's fresh and emotional.


4/5 book sharks

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