"In that moment, there arose all the resolve I hoped would be with me when I finally met her, and my vertigo turned to exultation. So what if she was married? I had contemplated that long ago, and decided I'd have her anyway."
Joshua Rivers was born to expect great things. A former child prodigy and the son of a lottery winner, he also believes himself blessed with a vision of his perfect destiny and his perfect love.
Now in his early twenties, Joshua already feels left behind by life. His long-time lover Lilian Lau is well on her way to becoming a famous artist, and his former classmates are also racing toward their success. Meanwhile, he waits for the moment, and the girl, that will show him his time has finally arrived. When it does, he resolves to take what is his, whatever it costs him or anyone.
Kiss Me, Genius Boy is the first part of the No More Dreams series: an unusual story about love, ambition, and the problems of being privileged.
Praise for Kiss Me Genius Boy:
"I’ve been telling my friends how refreshing it is to read something by one of my generation, instead of something by someone that's dead. … Above all I admired the pithy, adroit little maxims on the nature of things." —Dylan Thorn, author of I'm Dead
"Uniquely refreshing … particularly erotic in its unabashed candidness." —Madeline R.
"A page turner, very funny and unusually honest and frank … Lily really steals the show. A nymphomaniacal exploiter of men and women, a deeply interesting, entertaining and wild character who lights up every page she is on." —Nicola G.
"Just read Berko scene from KMGB. Kick ASS! That scene just earnt me buying vol 2 when it comes out. Lily needs a cape and skin-tight leather pants. Lily needs her own graphic novel. Lily should be immortal, and probably is. Read KMGB so you can meet Lily. I secretly think she is Joshua's alter-ego. I think she might now also be mine." —Esme F.
"Simple, direct but with subtle, thought-provoking passages about self-awareness and one’s relation to life and others. I can’t wait for the next book." —Aiza C.
"Honestly I love it. It made me realize more the complexities and dimensions of love and loving." —Mary J. T.
It was amazing! It was light, with bits of humor and the honesty of what teenagers and young adults, special or not, are really going through. In fact I could really relate well to Joshua Rivers—his dreams, frustrations and even his views about destiny, sex, love and existentialism. In my opinion, a true genius is someone who takes a complex thing and makes it look simple while the academic does the opposite. I may not be a genius, but I am innately curious about a lot of things. I could not better put into words what Joshua Rivers had said in the story. My favorites are those bits wherein he rebelled against authority, the sense of right or wrong. Also, my other favorite character is Lily. She’s brutally blunt, forward, and fearless. Her promiscuity only makes me love her more. I could sense that there is something to her than sexual acts, like it was just a façade to cover up some inside vulnerabilities. Or whatever. Writing style reminds me a bit of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Simple, direct but with subtle, thought-provoking passages about self-awareness and one’s relation to life and others. I can’t wait for the next book. I’m sure I will not be disappointed reading more about Joshua Rivers and company.
I just finished reading the book and honestly I love it. It made me realize more the complexities and dimensions of love and loving. I haven't had a genius lover but upon reading the book somehow I got an idea how a genius boy would love. <3
Some books contain stories you remember, and others have settings that remain ingrained within your mind for years to come. While the novel ‘Kiss Me, Genius Boy’ by Ben Hourigan has all of these components, what stuck out to me the most was the fact that it is filled with characters I couldn’t stop thinking about even after I read the last word on the final page. What I found so interesting about this novel was the intricate and complex personalities he devised to tell the story. The story was told from the viewpoint of Joshua Rivers, but the character that sings the loudest song is that of Lilian Lau. She is brash, chaotic, brutally honest, overtly sexual and artistically talented. Most of all though, she’s a fully developed human being that comes alive with the words that Hourigan writes.
I loved the way that the novel was set up, starting out in present day and building up to the moment when Josh meets Ellie, his future wife, only to be taken back to his childhood, building the story back up again until that moment of climax. The structure seemed very original to me, and it worked very well as a way to center the story on the dream Joshua once had about who his soul mate would be. By the end of the novel, I felt fully immersed within the stories each character had to tell, and as it left off rather abruptly, I as a reader wanted to find out what was going to happen to Josh next.
“And none of that ethnicity stuff matters a bit, because she’s a force of nature, not a person, and she’ll shit on your rules and expectations wherever you or they are from.” While Kiss Me, Genius Boy is from Joshua’s point of view, it’s Lily Lau who rules the book. Its cover and POV for most of the book is more like a YA novel, but one that is right out there. Its sex scenes and the sexual obsessiveness of teenage boys leave nothing to the imagination – it certainly takes you into the mind of a hapless teenage boy who is (almost) completely out of his depth with the fiery Lily, who takes no prisoners. But the moments of tenderness allay this, as does the familiarity of Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula in the nineties and today. Joshua is like many of us at certain times – adrift, a head full of university education, and absolutely no real direction except for his ongoing certainty that he dreamt of his future wife. This book is the first in a series, and I suspect that Joshua, his ‘future’ wife, and Lily will all be drawn into a tempest. I have to say that despite all the teenage male hormones and longing, I am drawn to reading the second book just in the hope that Lily will win out in the end, in her own inimitable way.
Wow! The embodiment of well written. An authentic and brutally honest account of our generation's upbringing, perspective on life, society and sexual experimentation. The first installment, Kiss Me, Genius Boy is a page-turner providing a protagonist that is relatable and real allowing the reader to connect. It is hard not to have an invested interest in the outcome of each character while reading this book and I can't wait to read the second installment in this trilogy.
This story isn't your average love story. It contains far more truth and grit than most romances. It's about the complicated and messy parts of relationships...not only romantic relationships, but also friendships and parent/child relationships.
There are several very vivid and engaging characters, and Joshua, the main character, immediately draws you in to their meshed stories. I really enjoyed the story and look forward to reading the second book in the series.