Confessions of a Serial Kisser by Wendelin Van Draanen 

I think the best way I can describe this book is by calling it cute.

And I don’t mean that as a bad thing! Sure, there were some things that I could do without that annoyed me, but in the end the good certainly outweighed the bad. This story was just a nice little filler novel for me- nothing to get to serious or excited about, but pleasant enough to finish and fill a couple of hours with. I really didn’t have any expectations when I started to read it, so I was lucky to find myself pleasantly surprised by the end.

First, I want to get the bad things out of the way… that way we can ficus on all the good it has to offer!

So here we go…

The bad:

  1. The reader doesn’t need a play by play of Evangeline’s music collection! Every time she did chores, did a makeover, or went to the record store, the author would list te title of every damn song that played as it was happening.  She puts Aerosmith on while cleaning the house… that’s all I need to know. Don’t waste a page telling me that She listened to ‘Mama Kin’, ‘Dream On’, ‘Same Old Song and Dance’, and ‘Seasons of Wither’ played while Eva cleaned the kitchen, and then ‘Walk This Way’ and ‘Sweet Emotion’ played during the bathroom cleaning session, and then ‘Last Child’ and “Back in the Saddle’—- see? Gets pretty annoying, right? WE GET IT. YOU LIKE AEROSMITH. MOVE ON.
  2. Constantly throwing the names of legendary singers into the storyline just seems like a desperate cry to prove that Eva is coooool… she doesn’t listen to that new wave garbage all the 16 year old kids listen to these days, bro! Nahhh she be vintage rock and blues, all the way! …. WE GET IT ALREADY. YOU’RE HIP AND COOL IN A CLASSIC WAY! MOOOOOVVVEEEE ONNNN !
  3. As you wish…………………………..                                                                                           We all know what this reference is, correct? Even if you’ve never seen the movie or read the book, YOU KNOW THIS REFERENCE. It’s iconic! Saying you don’t recognize this phrase is like saying you don’t recognize ‘to thine own self be true…’ or ‘frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.’ or ‘I’M KING OF THE WORLD!’ or ‘May the force be with you.’ ….. even if you haven’t seen these works, you should know where they’re from because they’re referenced all the time. So the fact that Eva didn’t recognize what Brody meant when he said ‘As you wish….’ really bothered me! Brody’s sister Adrienne  (who is also Eva’s BFF) had to tell her about The Princess Bride, and then made her read the book to discover that those three little words actually meant I love you. DOES EVA LIVE UNDER A ROCK!?!??! THAT’S GOLDEN CINEMATIC HISTORY RIGHT THERE! And even if we cut her some slack, I still find it hard to believe that someone so obsessed with the eighties rock lifestyle would not know what The Princess Bride is. Sure, it’s a movie and has nothing to do with rock and roll, but the movie was a BIIIIIGGGGG DEAL when it came out in the eighties… she should know about it in some form! 

OK,  so I’m glad that’s over with. Clearly the bad were just personal peeves of mine.

Now on to the good:

  1. I actually enjoyed how fast pace it was. Normally when a book has chapters that are only 2-4 pages long, I find that it reads too much like a diary. But Wendelin was smart to simply keep her chapters simple and to the point. She didn’t drag things on, both in the physical world and in Eva’s emotional world. She wanted to kiss someone? BAM! Done. She felt confused? Here’s a five sentence paragraph as to why, no moving on! This kept the storyline very fast pace which a appreciated since I wanted this to be a simple, dont-want-to-think type of read. This is probably a negative aspect for anyone in the mood for real depth and substance, bit at least I’m warning you now! This book is certainly for those who just want instant gratification; no messy, confusing text that leaves you pondering. Just to show you how quick it is, here’s a simple page synopsis… first three pages Eva finds a romance novel A Crimson Kiss, another handful of pages she decides to find her own crimson kiss, by page 25 she’s kissing someone… let the serial kissing commence! 
  2. The descriptions of the kisses are hilarious! Robbie attacks her, almost chipping her tooth, pouring his tongue down her throat, making her gag. She describes this as giving mouth to mouth with a mackerel! Haha hahaha!  The coffee shop hottie is described as a bulldozer! Justin holds her hostage with a crooked/cockeyed kiss that he totally misses, and as she tries to pull away she ends up falling over and thrashing in trash! There are plenty of other embarrassing kisses for you to enjoy… and maybe you can even relate to some of them? Maybe you’ve kissed a mackerel or two? Haha!
  3. The fact that her serial kissing actually has consequences is fantastic! And I don’t mean that in the slut-shaming way as one might predict (although she does get a bit of a reputation…). No, I’m referring to the fact that she actually hurts some of the boys she kisses. Brody loved her, but she doesn’t live him back in that way; he’s an older brother figure. And poor Robbie just wants to date the girl who seemed to be interested in him (after all,  she kissed him!), but she rejects his nice words and gifts, hurting his feelings. And then she kisses Paxton, who is actually in love with Adrienne! Way to put a guy in an awkward position… how do you tell the girl you’re crushing on that her BFF already planted her lips on him first? Eva really didn’t think her kissing spree was doing any harm to anyone other than herself (her reputation…), but she was blind to the wake of destruction she left behind. it was nice that she made the time in the end to properly apologize to each person individually, boys and girls alike! (Adrienne for kissing her crush, and Sunshine for kissing Robbie while he was still technically dating Sunshine… and then for the aftermath that followed since Robbie’s attention moved to Eva).
  4. The fact that her relationship with her father was not fully mended by the end was very realistic! Even though she is talking to him again and trying to let her anger go, she firmly stats that she will never forget what he did. Their relationship will never be as it was before, but she’s willing go find a new way of approaching it. Her family isn’t perfect by the end… it’s just a little less broken.
  5. I LOVEEEEE the fact that Eva doesn’t end up with a boyfriend in the end. Instead, she is simply working harder at getting to know the people in her life better, specifically Brody and Robbie. Brody and Eva continue to be friends/siblings, but they talk more about deeper things and express their true identities. And Robbie wants to get to know Eva better as a friend, and possibly more some day. He’s not pushing anything on her, he’s just sticking around. He tutors him, and they talk more often. It’s actually really sweet how he asks her to the prom, she says no thanks, he says maybe next year, and then he doesn’t ask anyone anyone else to prom. It’s a simple paragraph at the end of the novel, but it speaks volumes! Robbie is sticking around… 

So overall, I would recommend this book to any Book Baby in need of a cute, simple read to get them through a hard day. It will put a smile on your face one way or another, and it’s easy to get lost in the pages to forget your own busy or stressful life. 

Happy reading, Book Babies! 

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