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Kiss Number 8

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,565 ratings  ·  392 reviews
Graphic Novel. "Amanda can’t figure out what’s so exciting about kissing. It’s just a lot of teeth clanking, germ swapping, closing of eyes so you can’t see that godzilla-sized zit just inches from your own hormonal monstrosity. All of her seven kisses had been horrible in different ways, but nothing compared to the awfulness that followed Kiss Number Eight. An exploration ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by First Second
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Laura Ess The story's fairly well resolved by the end , so it's unlikely to have a sequel, since it's about discovering who you are.
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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,565 ratings  ·  392 reviews

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I should have known from the very beginning that this would be a VERY dramatic book, not a romantic comedy like I expected. Rom-com, really? That could not be farther from reality. After all, the cover itself is overly dramatic. Mads’s friend is whispering who-knows-what in her ear while she is blushing and holding a CROSS.

But I had to give it a chance because it’s a GRAPHIC NOVEL and it has LGBTQIA+ themes. That’s a combination that should have worked—after all, BLOOM by Kevin Panetta was abso
It took me some time, but I got into this book.

I love how they are telling the story through who she is kissing. Kiss number 8 is a game changer for our protagonist Mads. She never finds a reason to stay with boys, but she realizes that her best friend might be more than Mads thought. Her friend is Cat, a wild and boy crazy girl. Kiss #8 was not with Cat, but it was a girl and she finds out that it feels right. This is what she has been looking for, or so she thought.

There is a lot of high dram
laurel [suspected bibliophile]
Trigger Warning: Homophobia, Transphobia, the f-word

Mads' parents are strained, and what's worse, she thinks her dad is cheating on her mother with another woman. And her dad won't tell her anything about it. But Mads keeps her thoughts away hanging out with her best friend Cat, and kissing boys. Even if the kissing is...gross. Where's the appeal?

Then everything starts to unravel.

And everything starts to make sense.

Forgive me while I mop up the massive tears rolling down my face, k? This was an
This is not a light, fun kissing book. It's a story about family secrets. I didn't like how coy it was about the religious roots of the characters' bigotry. And it was odd how dated the first half of the book felt compared to the progressiveness of the ending. There was a strange disconnect there.
2 stars for the story, additional star for the artwork.

You may have seen other reviews saying the cover art does not match the interior story. This is true.
You may have seen other reviews saying there are a lot of plotlines in this book and none of them are really given full service, especially the tale of a transman, and the end result is chaotic. Also true.
You may have seen other reviews saying this takes place in 2004 which makes no sense for a book that's supposed to be aimed at contemporary
Kate ☀️ Olson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
McKinlay Dennis
*I received an ARC of this book from netgalley and the publisher. This does not affect my review.*

DNF at page 166

TW: transphobia

I’m genuinely baffled why this has such good reviews that call it “light hearted.” I was annoyed basically from the start. Mads is incredibly disrespectful toward her parents, ESPECIALLY her mom, who she repeatedly calls a bitch AND doesn’t tell her friend to NOT talk about her mom. I get not liking your mom, but there’s a line, okay? You don’t let your friends call yo
Rod Brown
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found myself totally engaged with this family drama despite its fairly slow pace and a possibly triggering amount of (view spoiler). I didn't feel nearly done with these characters by the end, and I'd love to see the last dozen pages expanded to another 300-page graphic novel.
Amy Bruestle
Apr 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This is my first graphic novel/comic book style of writing that was in an actual chapter book length that I’ve ever read. I was hesitant at first because I generally steer clear of this type of writing. The only reason I gave it a chance was because of the topic.

I still don’t think I will ever be into this type of book, and definitely don’t see myself searching out other similar books. However, I was pleasantly surprised about how well the comic book themed writing still read like a normal nove
Jay G
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my youtube channel:

Thank you to First:Second and Raincoast books for sending me a copy of this in exchange for my honest review

4.5/5 Stars

Amanda's best friend Cat is surrounded by drama and loves kissing boys. Trying to fit in, Amanda has had 7 kisses in her 16 years of life which have been...unremarkable at best. But nothing compares to how awful Kiss number 8 was and what follows afterwards. Not to m
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, graphic-novel, lgbtq
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
R Macklin
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels, lgbtq, ya
This is a really hard story to read in places. Many of the characters are blatantly transphobic and homophobic, but that doesn't mean that this work is. Kiss Number 8 is an important coming out story in 2019. These days, we get stories where everything is Dramatic and Bad OR where everyone important to the character just accepts their new identity immediately. There's definitely a place for both of these kinds of stories, but I think Kiss Number 8 exists in a really important gray area. Even the ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, comics
This book has some pretty strong themes of homophobia and transphobia, but they are handled in possibly the most sensitive way I have ever seen in a comic. The ultimate message of the book is one of joyful self-acceptance and of a family which has been divided for many years by fear and prejudice being healing and reunited. The reason I want to state these facts at the very top of my review is that I almost put the book down after about 40 pages, feeling unsure if I would end up enjoying it. It ...more
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I sure love me a solid YA graphic novel!
And this is definitely one of those.

This tells the story of the first few romantic experiences in the life of one Mads, a relatively privileged teen. There's a kid next door who's had a crush on her forever, she has a best friend who has very different impulses from Mads, and then a sequence of events causes her to experience her first few kisses. Eight kisses, to be exact. There's also a family history/trauma plotline. I loved the queer visibility here.
Anna Banana
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

I really loved this!!!
Rachel Sperber
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
mahana (moved accounts. i’m not active stop adding me)
Content warnings: transphobia, homophobia, forced outing, homophobic bullying, f slur

Emma (Miss Print)
I hated a lot of this book! This was the kind of reading experience that I enjoyed a lot more once I got to the end and could read the backmatter where Venable and Crenshaw talk more about the project. That, for me, was where a lot of the pieces finally gelled. But that should have been happening during the actual reading experience. It doesn't make sense to me that the story takes place in 2004 which, to me, largely feels like it's happening because that happened to be when Venable started writ ...more
What a deeply personal, but lovingly moving story about a girl coming into her own with family, friendships, relationships, and who she is-- making mistakes, holding grudges, and having fun all the while. It's reminds me of Tilly Walden's Spinning with it's mood and while there were segments of the story that I felt like I was missing something or they were asking readers to fill in some of the blanks, I kept on and things unfolded.

The main character Amanda aka Mads leads a full life with a lov
Apr 18, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes for this graphic novel since it was labeled LGBTQ+. As most of the reviews have revealed there is a lot of homophobia in this book. While I can understand putting that type of content in a book to create a backstory but it seems to be a little heavy handed and not REALLY sending a positive message out to queer youth. I really liked the graphics but I think the story could have been so much more with a lot less hatred in it's characters.
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To read the full review check it out here.

Wonderfully diverse book, but full of transphobia that got to be a bit much for me. It was important to the plot, I see why it was there, but it was a lot more than I wanted or expected.
Kathryn Kania
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer, comics, ya
Oh my HEART! This is sort of so true to life, I wonder how much was taken from the author's life. It's so brutal. I want to know that Laura is ok though. (brutal in a feelings way, though there are mentions of abuse, there are none on the page and our protag does not undergo physical or sexual violence which is refreshing and sad that it's refreshing for a coming out story jfc).

I only four star because I wish Kiss Number 8 wasn't revealed in the beginning.
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing! I love the drawing, I love the characters, I love the plot, I love the representation, basically everything was perfect.

What I really enjoyed was how realistic the conclusion of the story was. It felt like something that could really happen to someone.

I also thought the complexity of the main character mads was spot-on. There were moments where I wanted to slap her and other moments where I completely understood her.

I need a sequel to this story ASAP!
This was excellent.
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel, ya
This didn't go where I was expecting it to, and I'm glad.
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
*I received this book through a Goodreads Giveaway.*

I both enjoyed this book aaaaand struggled with reading about the negativity of the teen experience (which is definitely part of my reading preferences). The illustrations are great, with expressive faces that, flipping back through, I'm realizing are the majority of the book. So much depends on the faces of the characters and the illustrator centered them, making the scenes flow well in the back and forth between characters and in how emotions
Aliena Jackson
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I kept thinking “gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay” the entire time and THERE IS BI AND TRANS REP AND I LOVE THIS DO YOU KNOW HOW RARE IT IS TO FIND SOMETHING AS PERFECT AS THIS????
•Except not really!!
•Cause I read this is May technically
•Oh wow, it's July now
•Go me.
•I don't think this was very good
•It's set in 2004
•And I admit in some ways it was progressive
•And then in some ways....
•I want to light it on fire
•The people who were villainized for example...
•For example Lacey?
•That's her name right?
•Re: May
•Anyway, she's villainized from the start
•But actually she's coming to terms with her own sexuality
•And when MC and her kiss she jerks back
•But not b
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