Friday, June 5, 2015

[Review: Kissing In America by Margo Rabb]

"Kissing In America"
Author: Margo Rabb
Series: None
Pages: 400
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Date Published: May 26th, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via Edelweiss) for honest review


In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that’s still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who seems to truly understand Eva’s grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.

In this honest and emotional journey that National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr calls “gorgeous, funny, and joyous,” readers will experience the highs of infatuation and the lows of heartache as Eva contends with love in all of its forms.

 My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To Kissing In America,

You're darling! I do have to admit that it was a bit odd to read you while flying on a plane, but what are you gonna do? The ironic thing, of course, read a book that deals with a plane crash while on a plane. I think that Eva and I would get along well is all I'm saying. 

-The White Unicorn

This book is one of the best contemporaries that I've read all year. I'm so excited to read more books by Rabb, that it's not even funny. She has a modern voice that I just connect with. She's snarky and funny and also knows how to pull on all the heartstrings. What more could you want from a contemporary writer? 

This book looks like a romance novel, it sounds like a romance novel, but it's so much more then a romance novel. Sure, the feelings of first love fly off the page and smack you in the face, reminding you of what that first crush felt like, but so much more is going on in Eva's life. The book is really about learning how to live with a deep grief, and trying to see the bright side of life when everything seems to be going wrong. 

I loved Eva. She's a really honest teenage voice. So many female contemporary characters have a similar voice, but I felt like something about Eva was different. In a good way. I'm not sure what it was, and I can't put my finger on it, but I found her to be refreshing in all the right ways. Plus, on top of everything, she's hilarious, and has this dark humor streak that is perfection. Plus, her angst levels were spot on, and not overpowering. 

I also liked that this book, while dealing with grief also touched on complicated mother/daughter relationships. Eva and her mother don't have it easy, and I liked that Rabb decided to write a family dynamic like this one. Because you understood it, and no one was the bad guy, even if things weren't perfect. 

It was also nice that so much of the book dealt with female relationships. Eva and Annie meet so many interesting women on the way to "The Smartest Girl in America". And let's not forget about Eva and Annie's friendship on top of it all. These are the things that stand out in the novel. 

Will, the love interest, plays such a small role in the book, but a much needed one. He's not my favorite, but I get what Eva saw in him. I think we've all been there before. And the romance was real, even though Eva would have preferred for it to play out like one of her romance novels. 

If you want a good road trip book full of girl power then look no further. This is the book for you. And remember to grab some tissues as well, because you'll have tears in your eyes a few times.

4 Unicorns = Close to perfect!

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