by Margo Rabb
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Publication Date: May 26th 2015
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
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“Wise, inspiring, and ultimately uplifting—not to be missed.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"A hilarious, thought-provoking, wrenching, and joyful quest.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Authentic and complex…This is a smart teen's novel."—Booklist, starred review
Acclaimed writer Margo Rabb’s Kissing in America is “a wonderful novel about friendship, love, travel, life, hope, poetry, intelligence, and the inner lives of girls,” raves internationally bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love).
In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that’s still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who seems to truly understand Eva’s grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.
In this honest and emotional journey that National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr calls “gorgeous, funny, and joyous,” readers will experience the highs of infatuation and the lows of heartache as Eva contends with love in all of its forms. (Goodreads)
The story is about a sixteen year old girl named Eva. Since her father passed away two years before in a tragic plane accident, Eva reads romance novels as a way to cope with his passing. Getting lost in the romance of the story makes her forget for a while her tragic loss. When Will comes into her life, Eva believes she may finally be in her own romance story, until he suddenly moves away with barely any notice. Not willing to lose the one person who she can finally be open with, Eva devises a plan to travel across the country with her best friend Annie, in hopes of seeing Will again.
I love that Eva found solace in her romance novels. I was able to relate to her on this, because there’s nothing like a reading a good love story sometimes to make the world better again. While I don’t read the same type of novels that she did, I still can’t resist a good love story. Eva used them as a way to cope with her father’s death. I can’t even begin to imagine the grief that Eva felt at the loss of her father, especially when she really had no one to talk to about it. Her mom coped with her grief in a completely different way, and it kind of made me angry how she handled it, especially with Eva. I loved Eva’s best friend Annie, she definitely made the book more interesting. There were a lot of interesting secondary characters in the story as well.
The storyline for the book was interesting. I love road trip books, so experiencing that with the girls was super fun for me. The storyline about the fathers passing was sad, and it made my heart ache for Eva and her mother.
Overall; Kissing in America was not what I expected, but was an entertaining and thoughtful read. I really enjoyed the characters and the road trip storyline. I’m looking forward to reading more by this author in the future.