Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Review: The Kiss by Lucy Courtenay

Publication Date: July 2nd 2015
Publisher: Hachette Children’s Books/Hodder Children’s Books
Length: 336 pages

Huge thanks to Netgalley and Hachette Children’s Books/Hodder Children’s Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

'Aphrodite kissed a mortal once by the light of this moon, many thousands of years ago. It drove him crazy. The next person that he kissed - boum. The craziness travelled like this from person to person. It travelled through time. Everywhere - boum! Tu comprends?' 'Where did it end up?' I whisper. His lips are on my cheek now. 'It ended with me. And now I am going to pass it to you. You will like that, mermaid?' Imagine the perfect kiss. A legendary kiss that makes people crazy with love. Imagine a summer's night, on a moonlit beach in the South of France, as French boy Laurent kisses 16-year-old Delilah after the best chat-up line she's ever heard. BOOM! Delilah is pretty sure the Kiss is fiction, despite her head-spinning holiday fling. But with all the sudden crushes, break-ups and melt-downs happening back at home, the Kiss starts looking a little too real for comfort. If only Delilah could keep track of where it's gone ...Who knew one kiss could cause this much trouble?

This is another case of a blurb not doing a book justice. I was curious based on the blurb, but not sold. And then I read the first few chapters and the dialogue was so cringe worthy that I very nearly put the book down and moved onto the next one. But it was a quiet Sunday so I figured I would persevere and see what happened. And you know what? I am so glad I did.

The first few chapters were not great, and they were almost enough to put me off, and sadly I think enough to put a lot of people off. However, get beyond those to when Jem is introduced and suddenly the book gets a whole heap better. The magical properties of the kiss take more of a backseat and the book becomes focussed on Delilah’s life, her problems, her friends, and how she tries to juggle/fix everything whilst it falls apart. I found that aspect much more interesting than the kiss, which fades into the background and then makes a reappearance right at the end. However just because the book gets better when Jem is introduced, don't assume that the romance is all there is to this book. It's a great story about problems faced by most teenagers that include love, friendships, money and bad relationships as well as finding yourself and being the best possible version of you.

My three gripes were the terrible first few chapters and the occasional lapses into truly cliché and awkward dialogue, and how the adult characters weren’t fleshed out at all. For example Delilah’s father loathes that she wants to get a college education – why? We never find out why, what the backstory or motives for that were and that really frustrated me.

However I loved Delilah, how she was a control freak desperately trying to keep her and her friends lives together and forced to take a step back and start again when it all fell apart. I loved her friendships and I loved the romance. Jem was a truly fantastic love interest. And I loved how she pulled her life and mistakes back together at the end to have a truly fantastic finale.


This is a fantastic quick read that once you get past the stumbling block of the opening is a wonderful summer romance. This book definitely surprised me and whilst I was skeptical going in, I am so glad I stuck with it.

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