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Kiss Collector

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When seventeen-year-old Zae Monroe gets cheated on by the only guy she’s ever loved, then watches her parents' marriage crumble, she decides to forget about relationships and turn the tables on the boys of the world. It’s time to take what she wants, and what she wants are kisses. Athletes, musicians, poets, and bad boys—their lips are all on her agenda, and it's time to collect.

Zae proposes a contest with her friends to see who can kiss the most boys during spring break. But what starts as a harmless competition leads to a downward spiral she can’t seem to break free of. As family, academic, friend, and guy drama come to a head, Zae is forced to face the reasons behind her boy angst, and starts to wonder if she was wrong about the male race...or at least some of them.

307 pages, Paperback

First published December 18, 2018

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About the author

Wendy Higgins

20 books7,953 followers
Wendy Higgins is the USA Today and NY Times bestselling author of the SWEET EVIL series from HarperTeen, the high fantasy duology THE GREAT HUNT, her independently published Irish Fantasy SEE ME, and her indie NA science fiction UNKNOWN trilogy.
After earning a Creative Writing degree from George Mason University and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford, Wendy taught high school English until achieving her dream job as a full-time writer.
Wendy lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with her husband, daughter, son, and little doggies Rue & Nessie.

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5 stars
257 (27%)
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324 (35%)
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222 (24%)
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85 (9%)
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31 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 182 reviews
Profile Image for Wendy Higgins.
Author 20 books7,953 followers
April 30, 2018
My very first full length contemporary romance novel! It made me cry much more than I anticipated. Lots of the issues were close to my heart--things I dealt with as a teen.
I hope you love Zae and enjoy her journey from young adult to adult as much as I did. Smooches!!

*Update* If you're reading an ARC of KC, we are aware of the "extra-s" copy editing glitch before every ellipses. So sorry!! It will be fixed before the final book publishes.
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
3,009 reviews379 followers
December 3, 2018
So freaking unbelievably good. Review to come closer to release date.

4.5 Stars!
The Kiss Collector is so much more than your average YA contemporary. So much more.

It is emotional and honest and a bit raw. It has diversity and real life problems but most importantly, it's empowering. It's all about family and friends and being supportive of one another, in short, girl power in almost every sense of the phrase.

It truly is an amazing read that I just can't praise enough. I loved every single heartfelt, emotionally charged and sometimes even funny page. It was a breath of fresh air in a sea of overrated contemporaries that pale in comparison.

*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,051 reviews1,050 followers
March 12, 2021
Yeah, yeah, judge me all you want and whisper behind my back about my reading choices. Y'all can go ahead and say "but isn't she like in her mid-thirties?"

Say what you want but this was such an enjoyable, funny, and heartwarming read. Also, look at that cute cover. I had to endure the dirty looks my husband was sending my way when he saw me holding the book but it was all worth it.

In all honesty, it's not at all shallow as I thought it would be. It's actually a very fun and enjoyable read that is more than just your cutesy romance. It's strong on feminism and girl power while the premise, the girls collecting kisses from boys to avenge themselves against those cheating bastards, well that was pure fun.

The friendship among the four girls is also very commendable, none of that secretly jealous over each other crap. They're genuinely there for each other and I really adore the diversity of their group while Zae's relationship with her little brother, Zebby, is adorable. There were even times I sniffled over the pain they're going through because of their parents' divorce.

Towards the end, Zae realizes her mistakes and internalizes that what she and her friends did was wrong and that not all boys are terrible.

'We're all just people- individual personalities, making mistakes and trying to get by."

There’s a mysterious romantic guy writing Zae poems, I missed to mention that. That’s one of the most exciting parts of the book and that ending-swoooonnnn! This would make a really fun movie.
Profile Image for Bitchin' Reads.
462 reviews124 followers
April 14, 2018
Oh my darn silly heart warming at all the happiness at the end of this book. This is exactly what I needed to get out of my reading slump.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,894 reviews
September 25, 2018
Two things:
1.Just an FYI to anyone who received an arc. The author posted this note: *Update* If you're reading an ARC of KC, we are aware of the "extra-s" copy editing glitch before every ellipses. So sorry!! It will be fixed before the final book publishes.

I wish that I had known this before reading this book as it honestly never even remotely occurred to me that this was a typo. Some of the characters are a bit "ghetto" and I thought that the author was using slang. And it drove me crazy! I'm so glad that this was just a copy editing glitch.

2.Also do not look at the table of contents of the e-book closely before reading the book. The chapter name for chapter 41 is a huge spoiler. I always look through the table of contents before reading a book to see how many chapters there are and at what percent the book ends.


This book is a YA contemporary romance. The narrator is high school junior Xanderia Monroe. But she goes by Zae. The story is told in 1st person POV.

The book blurb says that she is 17, although I do not remember that being mentioned in the book. Although since she and her friends are juniors in high school I assumed that they were all 16-17.

Zae lives in the least wealthy and most multicultural part of northern Virginia county. She has a group of girlfriends who she does everything with. They are: Lin, Monica, and Kenzie.

Most of the story takes place during Spring Break. Zae and her friends decide to see who can kiss the most boys during that time.

This book seemed very real to me. I liked that things were not perfect. Zae was disillusioned with love. She did not know what she wanted to do in the future. She had major issues with her parents. And her family had money issues. This book seemed to deal with so many issues that many kids have to deal with in real life.

I enjoyed the realistic parts of the story. Also, I really liked Zae's relationship with her little brother. And the friendship between the four girls.

My biggest issue with this book was the underage drinking and partying. Is it normal for 16/17 year old kids to be allowed to go out partying every night, getting drunk? It was weird to me because these seemed like good girls. I know some high school students drink. And I know that kids go to parties. Maybe if they had been in college, or at least 18, or at least high school seniors. But I didn't really enjoy this aspect of the story.

The romance was the most interesting part of this book. The craziest thing for me was that for most of the book I really had no idea who would end up as her true romantic interest. There were so many possibilities: Dean/athletic guy, Joel/car guy, Elliot/waiter, Taro/skateboard guy. I really thought that the romance was going in a certain direction, but then I was surprised.

Overall, this was a really enjoyable quick read. It read like part realistic fiction, part Young Adult romance. The book was light and charming. But it was also serious and compelling. Also I really liked how the epilogue was done.

Thanks to HarperTeen and edelweiss for allowing me to read this book.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,739 reviews711 followers
November 28, 2018
DNF at 18%

I’m not entirely sure why I requested this one, because when I read the synopsis before starting it, it didn’t sound like something I would read. However, it had a lot of high reviews, so I was hopeful.

Zae has a lot of potential. I love the idea that she’s going to take something back for herself. Sadly, I couldn’t settle into her inner monologue. She sounds much younger than her age.

Plot wise...I don’t know. The small bit I did read was drama filled and the first chapter was absolutely cringeworthy to me. I didn’t even make it to the kissing parts and skimmed a lot of what I did read.

Overall, it didn’t work for me. I’m not rating it because perhaps something would have turned around, but I don’t have the patience for it at this time.

**Huge thanks to HarperTeen for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Cristina.
513 reviews391 followers
December 24, 2018
For 80% of the book, I thought this book was a 3 stars worth book. For the last 20% it was a 5 stars worth book. Making a balance, I think this book deserves 3.5 stars-4 stars. Can’t decide. 🤔
Profile Image for Melanchallina.
196 reviews111 followers
December 3, 2019
Венди Хиггинс "Коллекция поцелуев"

1 из 10

YA, современный любовный роман
POV: 1POV, от первого лица
Геометрия чувств: не знаю
Отличительные черты: всё плохо, очень и очень плохо
Рекомендовано к прочтению, если вам нравятся: -

Никогда не думала, что буду писать отзыв на недочитанную книгу. Я вообще стараюсь не ставить оценки или не писать отзывы на то, что надкусила, но не доела. Но тут уж не могу удержаться, простите. «Коллекция поцелуев» настолько отвратительный роман, что просто нет слов. Точнее слов то в голову приходит много, но сформировать их в одно целое тяжкий труд. Знаете почему?

Потому что в романе плохо ВСЕ. И дело даже не в сюжете, потому что... я даже не дошла до него. Здесь настолько простецкий стиль повествования и поразительно плоские персонажи, мыслящие словно детсадовцы, что я просто сдалась еще в начале пути.

Но да, мои основные претензии к стилю и построению текста.

"Про нашу компашку можно хоть сейчас кино снимать. Веселые, с огоньком, и все такие разные.
А самое главное - мы просто лапочки...
» - ненавязчивый способ героини сказать о том какие они с подругами клевенькие девочки-братц.

«Толпа наших однокласников потихоньку обступила нас, у некоторых было заметно неподдельное сочувствие, другие же просто подошли полюбопытствовать.
- Так ты порвала с ним?
- Да уж, хреново вышло.
- Мне жаль, Зэй.
Затем следуют дружеские объятия, я стараюсь держаться.

Очень реалистично. Я так и вижу, как к каждой девушке, которой изменил парень стягивается ВЕСЬ класс, чтобы приобнять и утешить. Мир, цветочки, радуга и блюющие единороги.

«Не думайте, что я не заметила, как изменился взгляд парней на меня. Будто в мясную лавку завезли свежую тушу.»

Во-первых, сравнение просто огонь, слов нет. Во-вторых, девочка, можешь усмиришь все же свое самомнение? Ты знаешь ли не единственная дива на районе.

Шуточки за триста заказывали?

«- Хочешь, могу взглянуть? - кивнула я в сторону его стихотворения?
- Только если ты дашь мне. - Он моргнул. - Ой, я не то имел в виду.
Его уши покраснели от смущения, пока я заливалась смехом.

так смешно, не могу.

Напоминаю. Героиня старшеклассница. Но почему-то даже в собственных мыслях девчушка стесняется слова «секс». Ой, ли. Серьезно?

«Поговаривали даже, что у них было "это". И не раз.»

Но знаете, что я люблю больше всего? Как автор посреди текста вписывает что-то рандомное, думая что это к месту.

«Уже год мы пытаемся отучить ее от этой дряни. Даже жаловались ее маме и старшей сестре, за что Кенз, наверное, до сих пор дуется на нас. Ее мама – труголик, механизм, который никогда не останавливается. Она такая же худышка, как и Кензи, с той лишь разницей, что Кенз всегда была супермилой, а она – суперсуровой. Другое дело ее сестра, она классн��я и всегда готова помочь.»

ААААААА. Ты рассуждаешь, что твоя подруга ради похудания жрет всякую дрянь. Причем тут вообще тот факт, что ее сестра клеевая а мама суперсуровая. Ты пишешь о том, что героиня рассказала о ситуации семье подруги. И? Где вывод? Что они сделали? Что последовало? Да какому какая разница, лучше я напишу какие они клевенькие. К ЧЕМУ ЭТО ВСЕ?

Честно, меня давненько так не бомбило с книг. Меня давненько не бомбило так с обычных подростковых романчиков. Ну, это ж просто позор для автора у которого была столь громкая и раскрученная серия книг, как «Сладкое зло». Я люблю милые романы, я ОЧЕНЬ их люблю, но милые романы тоже надо уметь писать качественно, блин. Редактор, вы почему своему автору не помогли и так подставили его? Дочитывать не буду, на фиг.
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,543 reviews234 followers
November 26, 2018
After finding her boyfriend with another girl and finding out her dad left the family for another woman, Zae's faith in love was pretty weak. Her revenge on the institution was to kiss and walk away from as many boys as possible during spring break. To make it even more fun, she challenged her three best friends to do the same, and though it was amusing at first, things got complicated quick once emotions played a part.

• Pro: This book surprised me in a good way. I will admit I struggled a little with the beginning, but once it got into the thick of the plot - the kissing, it was fun, like a teen movie, and then it turned into a much more meaningful story, which I really enjoyed.

• Pro: Zae and her friends were a robust and vivacious group of young women. They shared a fantastic friendship, which was tested over the course of this book, but they were also about supporting other women. The focus on the highs and lows of friendship was done well, and a good female friendship will always capture my attention.

• Pro: If you look at the cover of the book, you can tell it included a lot of ethnic diversity, but there was also diversity with respect to family structure, which is something I connect with. One character was adopted and lived in a two parent home, another lived with multiple generations of women in her home, and the other two were from single parent homes.

• Pro: Zae was not only struggling with the changes in her home life, she was also grappling with worries about her future and her feelings of being left behind by her friends. I really liked where Higgins went with this subplot, because it gave the story a good dose of substance, and I loved the way it played out.

• Pro: Even though she was down with love, Zae did find some romance, and I loved the paring and the way their relationship evolved. He was more complex, than he first appeared, and this was a slooooooow burn, but so satisfying.

• Pro: What a great epilogue! Not only did Higgins wrap up Zae's story for us, she caught us up with everyone, who played a significant part in the story. And, let me tell you, there was some super-sweet-awesome stuff that transpired in that epilogue.

Overall: A revenge turned romance turned self-realization story, which made me giggle, smile, swoon, and shed happy tears.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for  ••Camila Roy••.
161 reviews49 followers
June 28, 2018
ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Seventeen-year-old Zae Monroe has had it with relationships. Between getting cheated on by the only guy she’s ever loved and watching her parents’ marriage crumble, she decides to turn the tables and take what she wants, and what she wants are kisses. Athletes, musicians, poets, bad boys—their lips are all on her agenda, and it’s time to collect.

For the longest time, men have been categorized as cheaters and douchebags. There are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr accounts fully dedicated to trashing males (I know because I follow some of them). But have you ever seen an account that exposes women? No, because that will be considered sexist. It’s quite the double standard. Where did we get this idea that girls don’t cheat? It’s happened countless times in the history of humanity, especially in recent years. Not all girls are faithful and not all guys are unfaithful. That’s the truth.

This book is mainly about girl empowerment and giving a twist to gender stereotypes. The main character, Zae, is done with relationships, so she opts for a more carefree, fun and easy lifestyle. It’s all fun and games in the beginning. She assumed that none of the guys will get attached and it wouldn’t turn complicated. But, it’s not long before things get messy and Zae has to deal with the aftermath of what she did.

I was pleasantly surprised by the ending. The overall message is not so much that ''Girls can do the same things as guys'' as I expected, it’s actually ''Girls can make the same mistakes as guys''. If you use and deceive others without having any regards for their feelings, you're a crappy person. Doesn't matter what gender you are.

I would definitely recommend it. It’s a fun, cute story but with a great message!
Profile Image for Susan's Reviews.
1,107 reviews534 followers
March 18, 2019
I enjoyed this fun story about a girl who decides to meet boys (after a terrible break up) on her own terms. Zae is an upbeat, popular, fun high school student who has a secret admirer who puts poems in her locker. I really enjoyed all of the poems.
(Spoiler Alert: Now, I don't want to give out too many spoilers here, but one piece of dialogue still lingers in my mind - I've deliberately omitted the speakers' names to avoid revealing too much:)

"Is it stupid that I'm scared to dream? That I feel stuck here forever?"

"No... I was scared, too, until someone helped me. I can dream for both of us until you get your feet wet. It's easier than you think. You just have to say yes and jump."

This was such a cute, heartwarming read. I don't like sequels, but I wouldn't mind reading a novella on how things pan out for Zae. Highly recommended.

Profile Image for Carrie (The Butterfly Reader).
1,017 reviews97 followers
March 25, 2019
4.5 Stars

Finally! A freaking book that looks down on drugs. I was so nervous when right off the bat, we get to talking about weed and drinking. I love Wendy Higgins but I do have my three strikes rule and I was scared that was where this was going. But no! It's all looked down on by our MC and I loved that so much. I can't even say how great this was. I'm so tired of drinking, drugs, smoking and the like being seen as something that's okay and in some cases being praised in YA books. I don't know when that happened but I hate it. Now, drinking in this novel isn't really looked down upon... even the MC's mum didn't really care that she got drunk. She grounded her for two weeks and that was it... they didn't really talk about it. So it's not perfect but it's so many steps above other things I've read and it makes me so damn happy. Thank you Wendy!!!

Now, onto the actual story. This was a cute novel that actually left me feeling so freaking happy and light at the end. It was utterly perfect. We follow Zae right after she catches her boyfriend cheating on her. I love how she handles it, she's a very strong young lady. Once she finds out that her father cheated on her mum, she loses all hope in guys and decides to treat them the way that she thinks all guys look at girls. I love the lesson learned in this novel, the friendships that Zae has with her awesome friend group and even the good boys in this novel that prove to Zae that not every single guy is a pig and there are good ones out there. It shows Zae coming to terms with her parents and accepting change because things change. Life changes.

I do love how Wendy captured a teenager perspective so well. Zae felt like such a teenager in her actions and how she handled the way her parents were. Also when her mum was crying but she just left her alone instead of going in there to make sure she was okay, total teenager move! So I that was something I know lots of people will enjoy and connect to.

Overall, a cute little coming of age story with a nice romance that I read as quickly as I could. Such a fun time.
Profile Image for Debra Elsner.
1,364 reviews28 followers
January 22, 2019
Kiss Collector was a cute book; a perfect read right after a "heavy" book. Zae just broke up with her boyfriend and is having family difficulties at home. This affects her deeply and not trusting the men of the species, decides to have a kissing game with her friends; who can kiss the most guys during spring break. Zae is going through a lot emotionally, but someone is writing poems about her in English class and she is dying to know who the culprit is. She must make decisions that will guide her into adulthood. She finds who and what she needs at the very end. Lovely read.
Profile Image for Thamy.
489 reviews24 followers
November 6, 2018
I was looking forward to this fun story, but I felt disappointed.

But for the many important themes carefully approached, I think it was still worth it.

Zae has been facing problems in all aspects of her life, her parents constantly fighting, her boyfriend cheating, even the cheerleaders tryouts may become a flunk this year. She has no idea what to do with herself when she decides to take control of things, starting with boys. That's when she and her friends start a competition to see whom will kiss the most boys before they're back to school.

I was ready for something more like Firsts, which had a similar premise although it wasn't a competition there. But what really lacked here was fun. Zae was at a mental state I could only feel pity for her. Things were too serious in this book for me to have fun and all I could do was wait for her breakdown. As you can see, I have myself to blame for wanting a different kind of book and thus feeling frustrated.

Despite dragging, the book managed to approach many important and some not so common themes, such as not wanting to go to a university. To be honest, I don't remember reading any YA's on this, and it's always important to show kids they have so many more options than what conventions impose.

Of course there was much more that would render good discussions for a group reading, so this is surely a recommended book for book clubs and the such. On this, I wish they had approached the idea of girls kissing for fun in a positive way, though. As I said, Zae wasn't in the best place to make decisions, which didn't help this argument. It's a pity, since the author seemed to give serious thought to everything she was proposing, so it'd have been an important situation.

In all, this was just a book that dragged. The plethora of characters, especially boys, coming and going didn't help my getting involved since I couldn't even keep count of the important characters. But I'd still read more from this writer, you can see she has a lot of talent and great ideas.
Profile Image for Hilda.
1,109 reviews143 followers
January 14, 2019
This is different for me from any others I've experienced. I'm lost in the physical sensations but emotionally detached from it.

Like a guy.

And then...

Let's make it a contest to see which one of us can kiss the most boys before the end of spring break.

I should have just DNF this book. I was hate reading by the end but I wanted to know what happened. And well it all fell into place once Zae's mom told her the truth. It was like magic. Honestly, I didn't connect with any of the characters. I didn't really like any of them. I do think it belongs in a high school library though. Young teens need a platform to talk about sexual abuse or almost sexual abuse. It's so important because the "almost" part really worries me. They just glossed over it but what happens when it's not "almost" and he does sexually assault someone. Those almost times are important. Talking about divorce and relationships is important. Books like these are important. I just wasn't feeling this one.

I digress. A kissing competition. A fun silly one would have been cute and even funny. But this book was dark. The main character was so jaded and so immature. She threatened a boy that was messing with her little brother and that was suppose to be cool but I saw it as abuse. She was older and stronger and that was not okay. And the judgment was so hard. She called boys fuckboys but then kissed them. She was a "good" cheerleader not a slutty one. Only her group of friends were good. This was so odd to me. There was so much undercurrent prejudice and stereotypes and the worst part was that she was correct. I'm telling you these characters were awful.

Next time I'll DNF and move on.
Profile Image for Katie Olley.
7 reviews
April 22, 2018
What a fantastic new book, with hot guys galore
I recommend Kiss Collector - it’s worth an explore!

I’ll try my best to give a review that’s not biased
But I love Wendy Higgins, I hold her the highest.

She’s a wonderful author and with her talent she writes
Books I get hooked to, books full of delights

Kiss Collector is written amazingly so,
from the view of the beautiful Zae Monroe

Zae’s having some trouble at high school you see
So to help her recover, here’s her latest theory

She’s seen relationships shatter - ones close to her heart
so she needs a new plan and here’s how she’ll start

She’ll kiss a few boys and not want for more
Boys are just drama of that she’s now sure

She’s kissing to heal her poor battered soul
To forget her heart’s pain, is her primary goal

She’ll kiss athletes and poets and musicians for sure,
She’ll kiss bad boys and skaters, their lips are her cure

She’ll challenge her friends to join in the fun
Of collecting some kisses and when they are done

They’ll smile and say thank you then hold their heads high
As they find their next target, some other cute guy

So there you have it, Zae’s Spring break goal
To have fun with her friends, whilst mending her soul

Can a kiss, be a kiss and nothing more?
A simple challenge with friends and a final score?

Or will hearts be broken? Will Zae need a protector?
To find out the answers...READ KISS COLLECTOR!!
Profile Image for Erin.
579 reviews48 followers
December 29, 2022
Holy crap, that was so FANTASTIC! (With a caveat- see below…)

Okay, this was SO MUCH FUN. It was fun but it wasn’t shallow. It was a lot deeper than I expected, actually. It’s a YA romance but also a coming-of-age story.

First things first, Wendy Higgins is an exceptionally talented author. The first 50 pages broke my heart. I felt the grief like a living thing, closing up my throat and burning my eyes. It was so raw and awful, the wrongness of it. The tragedy. The deep, deep suffering.

That set up the premise perfectly. I understood exactly why she felt the way she did, and why she started to “collect” kisses. By the time she and her friends made their Spring Break deal, I was so pumped!!!! Feeling all the feels. But she comes to realize that she is misjudging life, and that she really does want love- the kind of love that’s give-and-take, that’s made of trust and devotion. Her character growth was fantastic. She started out as a good person that I could really relate to, and she ended as an even better person. *and she didn’t horribly tread on anyone’s feelings during her kissing spree. I appreciated that.

There were SO MANY lines that I want to highlight or pages I wanted to bookmark, but I was reading a paper copy from the public library. :/

I absolutely adored Joel. Even more when the author reveals how he’s a tragic, broken hero who has a vulnerable side that he showed to Zae at the end. He was romantic and sweet and MATURE in his outlook and how he treated people. I just loved him as a character. Their chemistry was HOT. (But lest that sends the wrong impression, there were no sex scenes (implied or otherwise) between them, which I very much appreciated.)

I had a very difficult time forgiving her dad. 17 years had passed, and TWO CHILDREN, since that time and the guilty party was repentant. How he reacted was NOT okay and although Zae was able to finally forgive him, I couldn’t share her feelings. But I was so glad that she was able to let go of the hurt and resentment and find peace. That’s what forgiveness will do for you. What a good message.

I must be a hard nose because I also had a hard time forgiving her friends (their offense was a hundred times more egregious than Zae’s, imo). But again, I appreciated that she forgave them eventually and was able to be happy and enjoy their friendship. I did love the theme of girls supporting each other- both BFFs as well as causal acquaintances. I also like how Zae is good to her little brother. They comfort each other and are sweet friends.

Now for the CAVEAT:

1) Substance abuse- There is a TON of underage drinking in this book. Like every night, every party. One of her friends gets totally trashed at one party (or maybe that happened twice?), and the main character, Zae, gets trashed at another party. In her case it wasn’t premeditated but rather a response to a crisis. She is usually the designated driver and doesn’t drink, and in fact there’s a theme of NOT condoning overdrinking or doing drugs/smoking throughout the book. The next day, she sobs and regrets it, and feels sick and gross.
So although the book highly normalizes underage drinking, the book doesn’t entirely glamorize it, although in some ways it does…
I also like that Joel is a changed boy and has cleaned up his life and no longer drinks/smokes/does drugs.

2) Sex- The book also mentions teenagers having sex. The main characters are virgins but some have done more than just kissing. Some of the boys are experienced. One of Zae’s friends stays the night with her boyfriend and loses her virginity, and since they are a long-haul couple, it’s treated like it’s sweet and okay.

So, I absolutely loved the book with a misgiving about those caveats.

I wish wish wish I could read just another chapter about Joel and Zae. They were SO CUTE together and their chemistry was OFF THE CHARTS. I love those characters and want them to be happy FOREVER! I need mooooore! **** It was sort of a painful ending because the climax was in the epilogue and what I really needed was an epilogue of the epilogue!!!!


Language- some f-words, a smattering of other swears
Sex- see caveat above. No explicit sex scenes.
Substance abuse- see caveat above.
Profile Image for Kelsey.
61 reviews
March 29, 2019
Okay I’m finally able to review this one. My sister just read it after me, and through talking to her about it I was able to figure out my rating. I loved the diversity in this book. I could relate to Zae and Kenzie and I appreciated the diverse friend group. This book did trigger something in me, but it was good and I love Wendy Higgins. I appreciated the view on not going to college when everyone expects you to. I think this book will be a great read for teens.
Profile Image for Jenny Jo Weir.
1,549 reviews79 followers
June 14, 2019
I experienced a wide range of emotions while reading this book. Wendy does a fantastic job of representing the teenage high school years and trains of thoughts. I easily was able to relate by remembering exactly how I felt when I was that young. This books shows Wendy’s diversity and talent in the art of creating worlds one can become submerged in. Oh and yeah, I knew who it was and I approve! Great job Mrs. Higgins.
Profile Image for Dóra.
46 reviews
August 6, 2022
it was unexpectedly pleasant, i related to the main character in sooo many ways. and all the others characters ahhh!! i want that friendgroup. and i want a joel!!! i knew from the start it was gonna be him;))))

so i actually started this similar kissing competition (?) with my friend but he got a girlfriend so i don't have anyone to play with anymore but i guess i won. it's stupid but funny and while reading the book i felt so much closer to the characters bc of my personal experiences

also, if you're reading this, it's so much better if you're listening to such amazing and strong female singers in the meantime like halsey, taylor swift or my personal favourite, marina

all in all 3.5 ⭐
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ceres95.
499 reviews17 followers
December 16, 2018
Zae Monroe has been deceived and disappointed by boys, with her friends they decide to take from boys only the things they love, that is, kisses. On the other hand, her parents separate and when she discovers the reason, she is angry. She's going to try to enjoy life and the boys.
I loved Zae, she is upset about her family but is doing everything she can to protect her little brother. Her best friends are Monica, Kenzie and Lin. Zae absolutely wants to kiss Dean but eventually she will fall in love with Joel. I suffered for her, her friends are not always very nice to her, even if finally she too sometimes gets carried away and doesn't pay attention to collateral damage.
Joel is an adorable boy with a big Bad Boy side that is very appreciable. He's always there to save Zae and I really like the relationship they both have. His family situation is not simple and he tries to get out of clichés.
I loved the lightness of the story and Wendy turned my little heart upside down again. We've all been in Zae's shoes at one time or another, we just didn't have the courage to do what she did. High school is a very complicated time for young girls, boys use and abuse their naivety and the fact that Zae and her friends finally make a decision like this is great.
Quick Word: A funny and light romance that will await you.
Profile Image for Grace P.
352 reviews39 followers
December 18, 2018

I love Wendy's books, and I literally just read this straight through!

While this novel is filled to the brim with drama, most of the drama did not emerge between Zae’s friends but more from interacting with different guys. But, relationship drama is not the only important part of the story. Zae had to deal with many real-life issues with her family, friends, and financial situation. My favorite part of the story was Zae’s relationship with her brother because it was endearing and adorable. I’m so glad Wendy decided to highlight the sibling dynamic. Her entire family was also central to the story. Her parents were facing divorce and a lot of other issues but were ultimately remarkably supportive of Zae.

While the competition was interesting, it was probably my least favorite aspect of the book. All it managed to do was create tension between Zae and her friends. I think the competition could have been the first half of the book and then the last half of the book could have expanded the romance. While Zae kissed several guys, there were a few that I liked much more than the others, and I wish we got to see more of them in the story. I found myself rooting for many of the guys who liked Zae, but I was thrilled with the ending of the story.

Wendy Higgins is one of the first authors I ever met, and I have read all of her books since then. I had high hopes for KISS COLLECTOR, and I am so happy Wendy decided to venture into a full-length contemporary romance. The story is relatively predictable but also a joy to read. I read it on one sitting, and I think that is the best way to do it because it takes place over a relatively short period and the book itself is short. Readers who aren’t a fan of drama probably shouldn’t read KISS COLLECTOR. If looking for a fun, addicting, and quick read, this is the book. I highly recommend this brief but enthralling read.
Profile Image for Morgan Shipman.
84 reviews46 followers
February 25, 2019
Adorable and fast YA romance. I loved the way the author let the story unfold and the MC's journey to finding herself and overcoming the familial and romantic struggles that young people are often faced with. While her methods to putting a bandaid on her hurt and betrayal were unconventional, she managed to find some semblance of peace on the other side. It was a nice storyline with an original concept. Definitely recommend!
Profile Image for Misty.
295 reviews51 followers
January 2, 2019
It's been a while since I gave 5 stars. For a while I think I was just giving em out cuz I liked the book a lot, but didn't really love it, so I decided unless I absolutely loved the book I wouldn't give 5 stars. This is the first time in quite a while. This book was sooooo goood! I laughed, I cried and I was completely immeresed in every detail. It was very relatable and real. It wasn't exactly my high school experience but it certainly reminded me not only of my own but of friends that dealt with similar issues.
Profile Image for Beth.
25 reviews
October 9, 2022
Didn’t love the start, loved the plot and the end but also the later relationship reeled slightly forced but not too much idk
Profile Image for Sarah.
1,791 reviews
November 8, 2018
I received an eARC of this through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Dudes can be the absolute worst. Zae’s boyfriend cheats on her and her parents are getting divorced because of her own father’s cheating ways. She is done being used by the male population, so she has decided to take what she wants, no strings attached. Zae and her three besties compete against each other to get the most kiss over spring break, the only rules are no falling in love and no kissing anyone’s ex. While Zae is struggling with the changes in her life, like moving to a small apartment and working on her tumbling for cheerleading, she finds that she is developing romantic feelings for two guys in her junior class. Too bad one of those guys has his sights set on one of her friends. Will Zae and her friends be able to come out of this kissing completion with their friendship still intact?

This story was rough because the characters were one-dimensional. I wasn’t pulling for any of the guys, because truthfully I didn’t care about what happened to any of the characters. I have no clue what the main character looks like. All she talks about is her curly hair…but what colors are her eyes, hair, skin? Does she spray tan? While there is a great amount of work done to classify/diversify the other characters, I don’t have a clear picture of the main character. I loved the Sweet Reckoning series, but this novel didn’t work for me. However, I loved the fact that the main character was good at and loved languages. I have never seen a character with those qualities before and I think it does give a refreshing outlook. This novel did explore the less popular, but just as awesome options for adulthood…not everyone wants to go to college, and that is okay. I totally appreciated that.
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