Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kiss Crush Collide

Kiss Crush Collide by Christina Meredith
Greenwillow Books, 2011
313 pages
YA; Contemporary
4/5 stars

Source: Received an ARC through Amazon Vine.

I wanted to read this book due to its comparisons to Sarah Dessen's writing and I can definitely see echoes of that in this book. There needs to be some work to create more depth in the characters and plot but the possibility is there. I also see some Jennifer Echols in regards to the love scenes; I feel that Echols writes some of the best for older readers and that skill is a large part of my four star rating here.

Leah spends a considerable amount of the book either making out with or thinking about it doing it with Porter, a boy who is not her boyfriend and who does not fit her mother's idea of the picture-perfect life. Despite the fact that she has a boyfriend and feels basically no guilt over cheating on him (and little intention of dumping said boyfriend), I still got very involved in the steaminess of those scenes. Leah and Porter also don't have much character development (what do they see in each other?); they mostly just make-out but I could deal with that in this case.

I also felt there was promise in the familial dynamics situation. Leah is the youngest sister, part of a color scheme and one of three in her mother's eyes rather than an individual person in her own right. I love sister stories and there were places to explore those dynamics in the story (eldest sister is getting married, middle sister is studying abroad in France) but it felt very shallow overall.

Actually most of the book felt that way. I think this book might be an example of why some people don't like contemporary YA; compared to a dystopia, for example, which has the MC awakening to her situation and fighting back, Leah doesn't do much and the book largely meanders. I kind of like that so this book worked better for me than others although I still don't really like Leah and her entitled, privileged, cheating self.

Overall: Love scenes as their own contained situation are great but the rest is a bit of a mess.


  1. I think you're right--I have trouble with a lot of contemporary YA if I can't relate to the characters and if the author's writing isn't compelling. Thanks for the honest review.

  2. I wish I liked this book more than I did. I had a hard time liking Leah and the comparisons to big name YA authors didn't help this book. I do think I prefer YA fantasy or dystopia to contemporary fiction because the characters usually have some kind of hardship that causes them to act more like grown ups (Katniss in the Hunger Games for example) rather than realistic teen behavior (though I don't think Leah was exactly like a typical teen). When we remove those major obstacles found in other YA genres, we are left with life/romance in high school and for adult readers of YA I think a lot of us are not into that as much.

    Great review! I think your comments were insightful. I do think the author shows promise and has similar writing talent to authors like Simone Elkeles and Jennifer Echols when it comes to romantic scenes anyway. She just isn't quite there yet.


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