author: Janet Gurtler
published: 1 October 2012
publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
genre(s): contemporary, romance
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Janet Gurtler's books have been hailed as "just right for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jodi Picoult" (Booklist) and "reminiscent of Judy Blume" (RT Book Reviews). Her latest contemporary YA novel is by turns gripping, heart-wrenching, and joyous as one teen girl has to find the courage to carry on after a devastating tragedy.
As the new girl in town, Samantha just wants to fit in. Being invited to a party by her fellow swim team members is her big chance...especially since Zee will be there. He hasn't made a secret of checking her out at the pool. Sam didn't figure on Alex being there too. She barely even knows him. And she certainly didn't plan to kiss him. It just kind of happened.
And then Alex dies—right in her arms...
Consumed by guilt and grief, Sam has no idea what to do or where to turn when everyone at school blames her. What follows is Sam's honest, raw, and unforgettable journey to forgive herself and find balance—maybe even love—in a life that suddenly seems to be spinning out of control.
Right from the beginning, Who I Kissed is unexpected and amazing! This book was deeply emotional and moving from just about the first page. Same is the new girl, an swimmer, and your average teen age girl struggling to fit in. Zee is the cute guy on the swim team and the guy she is crushing on. When she goes to a party, just to see Zee, she unexpectedly ends up making out with another guy, with disastrous results.
That moment sets the stage for the entire book and it was a moment that was tragically and emotionally sad. There are so many layers to this book that I have a hard time writing this review because I want to give none of it away. There is not only the struggles of being new, of being a teen girl, but the struggle within herself to cope with what has happened.
This is an amazing story of love, friendship, forgiveness, and choices. The cast of characters, from the main to the supporting, is rich and varied and endlessly fascinating. There were times that I laughed and times that I cried, but it was a beautiful story. There is so much depth, and while this could fall under the category of “contemporary romance,” I listed it as “contemporary fiction” as well because there is so much more to the central plot than romance. If anything, the romantic elements just add layers to the true focus of the story… Sam’s journey.
Things to love about Who I Kissed…
- Everything. I loved the characters. I loved the plot. I loved the theme. I loved the depth.
some quotastic goodness
I certainly hope they aren’t, because the thought that he has a nice butt may have recently passed through my mind (3).
I don’t want to act totally out of character and kiss a boy minutes after meeting him (34).
We’re all judging each other and trying hard to find someone to fit in with (178).
An absolutely moving story that needs to be read to be fully appreciated!