Maia's Reviews > Kiss Number 8

Kiss Number 8 by Colleen A.F. Venable
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it was amazing
bookshelves: comics, lgbtq

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 is very, very worth it to read through the slightly rough opening to the beautiful story it unfolds into.

The lead character, Amanda, is a baseball-loving, church-going high school senior at the local Catholic high school. She has two best friends who couldn't be more different: sexually active, confident, bad-girl Cat and law-abiding Laura. When Amanda overhears a furtive phone call made by her father that seems to suggest he's having an affair, Amanda tells them both. But the family drama is much older, bigger, and stranger than she could ever have predicted. When she gets a letter from an stranger with a photo of a lost relative and an inheritance check for $30,000, she starts to investigate. On the way she uncovers family lies and personal truths which change her life forever- and for the better. The art is absolutely gorgeous, done in traditional inks with light washes. This story is set in 2004, and I appreciated the "historical details"- flip phones, AIM chat, Bush/Cheney signs, etc. Very well done, and highly recommended.
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Reading Progress

March 23, 2019 – Started Reading
March 23, 2019 – Shelved
March 26, 2019 – Shelved as: comics
March 26, 2019 – Shelved as: lgbtq
March 26, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Carolee Wheeler Thanks for your review and the mention of the problematic themes. When I blurbed this for the bookstore where I work, I added a CW for transphobic characters to the card. I thought the resolution was uplifting while still taking into account the generational bigotry/lying/biases the characters have to deal with. Great review!


Maia I'm glad you recommended it at your bookstore, and I think a trigger warning is appropriate. I don't want that aspect of the story to ruin anyone's reading of this book, because it's really a good story!


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