Caroline's Reviews > Kissing Kate

Kissing Kate by Lauren Myracle
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Jun 26, 10

bookshelves: favorites, lgbt, young-adult

This book is very simple and short, but it is so beautifully written that its meaning is very powerful and feels just right. It happens often that in the moment you need your friends the most because of how much you struggle with your identity, they reject you or don't know how to talk to you, and you end up feeling more alone than you could ever feel. And often, help and advice comes in the most unexpected manner from a most unexpected person. Even though the subject is very serious, I found that the story gave hope.

Lissa struggles with her sexuality after she and Kate kissed at a drunken party, and it hurts her even more that Kate ignores her whereas she is the only one whom Lissa could talk to about these things. Kate, after the kiss, seems very concerned about what people could think, how they could find out. As if they did something wrong. And she prefers denying those feelings rather than trying to understand them.


One of the main things I liked in Lauren Myracle's book was the doubts and interrogation Lissa felt after what happened between Kate and herself. I found it very touching and it was very well brought up in the book.
Lissa says at one point that she can't possibly tell people in high school: they would either laugh at what a freak she was, avoid her, or make nasty comments about two girls going with a guy "if they were hot enough". That is what many people usually get when they mention their sexuality. Being a teenage girl is already very hard on Lissa, because she never felt like she belonged before, and now it feels like she is doing something bad. I found that the relation between Lissa and Kate before and after the kiss was incredible. Because no matter how people are "ok with homosexuality", it is still a very "not in my backyard" kind of ok. I also found it interesting how Lissa interacts with her sister about issues of growing up, and how she takes the place of her Mom to help her little sister throughout her teenage years.


I like the character of Ariel *weird people rock*. And I love how Lauren Myracle writes about different people. As in people who are different. I am not saying this to say that it's good to have those characters as a "diversity quota", it is just that in many YA books that I read, I find that diversity is practically inexistent. People are white, healthy, have no important physical and intellectual issues, and reading Kissing Kate felt like a breeze of cool air on a very sunny day (not that we would know what this feels like in the UK). Lauren Myracle invents and describes characters that exist everywhere and yet are highly overlooked in fictions. They might be seen as boring, too loud, not funny, hardly pretty, have a lazy eye and wobbly knees but they are way more common than the flawless-perfect-hair-perfect-body-perfect-bank-account girl types you read in other books. And they're the only characters worth reading, but that's just my point of view !
I also found that the adult characters were very sweet and well described, especially the singles' club.


It is such a wonderful book ! I think that even if you are not questioning yourself about what you like, or having a tough time at school, you should read this book, it is fascinating and makes you look at things from a different perspective. But more than that, the book is an ode to people in general with all their little habits and flaws which make them irresistibly human.
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