Book Review: Kissing in America
By: Margo Rabb
Published By: Harper
Publication Date: May 26, 2015
Page Count: 400
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary
Eva Roth is a 16 year old girl in NYC whose father died in a tragic plane crash. Since then, she has found comfort in reading romance novels. Eva realizes she has a crush on Will, who is a senior at her high school. Will comes to her for tutoring with his college application essays. They discover they have some things in common, including an understanding of the different types of grief each of them is experiencing. Eva falls hard for Will, and after one romantic evening, Will announces that he is moving to California to live with his Dad. What would any rational 16 year old girl do in this situation? Find a way to take a summer road trip across the country with your best friend to visit him.
There are some funny moments (her aunt's STD lecture is exceptionally awesome!), and some very serious/sad moments. There are also some moments when you want to slap Eva upside the head. Thankfully, she is able to pull it together by the end of the book.
The title of the book is a bit misleading. Throughout reading it, I kept trying to figure out how the title fit the book. It does have some kissing, and Eva takes a trip across America...and that's as far as I got. The novel is not a romance. It's a coming of age story and Eva's character does a lot of maturing in the book. She has to work on her relationship with her mother, her best friend, and her aunt. I do wish we could have gotten to know Will a little better. It might have helped to explain some of his bizarre behavior.
I enjoyed Kissing in America. It was hard to switch my expectations once I started reading it, though. You might think the story is headed in one direction, but then it takes a completely different turn. So if you're in the mood for a bumpy ride, get yourself a copy of Kissing in America!
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.