Aphrodite kissed a mortal once by the light of this moon, many thousands of years ago. It drove him crazy. The next person that he kissed – boum. The craziness travelled like this …
So Delilah is told by the gorgeous French guy in the sand dunes on the edge of the Mediterranean. When their lips meet the kiss lives up to the hype.
Back home from holiday in the UK it’s time to get sorted for the new challenge of tertiary study, but life doesn’t seem to be going the way she plans. With the memory of that kiss lingering, she urges best friend Tabitha to live a little instead of settling down with new boyfriend Sam, which only ends up making them both miserable. Her carefully saved cash has been used up way faster than she realised, so she has to find a job to make some more. The guy at the bar where she’s hired is hot, but every girl’s eye is on him, and even if he seems interested in her, how can she trust anyone after what happened with her ex?
The Kiss* is a romance where circumstances and personalities conspire to keep both the two main characters, Delilah and Jem, and the secondary couple, Tabitha and Sam, apart. Delilah is the first-person narrator, a well-rounded character with flaws that keep making difficult situations worse, but still caring, loyal and likeable. Tabitha and Jem have enough depth for the story, and there’s an interesting assortment of minor characters that add flavour. My personal favourite is Oz, Delilah and Tabby’s boy-friend from school, a little overweight and never popular with the girls, who becomes the go-to man for parties and what’s happening socially.
I wouldn’t describe this book as hilarious or a rom-com as the blurb says, though there is humour. The blurb also emphasizes the effects of Aphrodite’s kiss, and that’s only a small part of the plot – and could have been written out without changing a lot of the story. It’s really about transitioning into young adulthood and new relationships, and what’s important in those relationships. It does that well.
A subplot involves the staging of a musical production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, and there seems to be some inspiration from it in the story, including Jem’s friendship with a dodgy character and an incident where he sees Delilah in a situation and mistakes what is really happening.
The Kiss is well written and is a good read when you don’t want to work too hard, but still want a story with emotional engagement and a believable plot in a contemporary setting. You might get frustrated with the protagonist’s choices, but when doesn’t that happen? Courtenay keeps a number of subplots running, and brings them together well for a satisfying resolution.
- I received an e-copy of this book for review through Netgalley.
The Kiss by Lucy Courtenay
Hachette Children’s Books
Published: 2 July, 2015
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