OPINION: 4 STARS
The Short Version:
Flirty with a good amount of depth as well, The International Kissing Club blends both close friendships with learning to do things your own way. With four well developed protagonists, and four different settings that help add a lot of life to the book, this one builds each story line in a smooth way without confusing readers. Filled with voice, and hitting on plenty of emotional elements, this one is a great mix of feel good romance and coming of age.
The Extended Version:
Most notable about this book is the friendship and bond between the four girls. They are all truly best friends, each with their own unique aspects they bring to the table, without much needless cattiness between them. Though they certainly have their differences and occasional battles, from start to finish they are close. Even still, the trials their friendships go through, and the stark differences between who they are as a group and who they start to become on their own is a great aspect of this book.
While it may seem ridiculous for the girls to make an entire Facebook page just to air their kissing to the world, the fun nature of it, and the way their friendships are when they decide to it help ease the blow of it. The anonymous element goes far to make it seem less vindictive and more of a fun way for them to interact because in truth, the way each girl handles their individual situations and the kisses they may or may not go after helps build their personalities. Even as things start to grow tense, there is an underlying element of deep friendship in everything these girls do, making them highly likeable characters.
Written in third person, there is a somewhat similar voice element even though the chapters shift focus between the girls. Despite this, there is a flirty and fun note to the writing. Adams does a fantastic job of building each different setting in a way that will pull readers in, make them feel as though they are there, without it overshadowing the events of the book. While the various dialects don't come through quite as strongly, the differences between each girl and their chosen country goes far to build who they are, and their individual mentalities.
With a great blend of fun and emotion, friendship, trials and romance, The International Kissing Club puts a nice twist on kissing and telling. Despite the four different story lines, the chapter switches are smoothly transitioned, and each story line is easy to follow. Centered around four characters who are as much a unit as they are individuals, and without hitting onto stereotypes for any of them, this book is cute and enjoyable.
Source: ARC received from author in exchange for an honest review
Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Around the World in 80 Kisses: Smooch Stop #5
The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams is the story of four best friends: Piper, Cassidy, Mei, and Izzy--the misfits of Paris, Texas. Their whole lives, they’ve dreamed of escaping small-town life and seeing the world. So when Piper is the victim of an embarrassing prank that goes viral online, she gets the idea that the girls should escape via the school’s international exchange program, in search of fun, love and internet redemption.
Ivy Adams is the psuedonym for three friends and writing partners: Emily McKay, Shellee Roberts and Tracy Deebs. They shop, gossip and watch movies in Austin, Texas.
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