"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

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. ---Goodreads

When I was a young teenager, like our heroine Eva, I was obsessed with romance novels. They were very tame by today's standards. For example I recall the description of a passionate kiss as, "the man and woman kissed hard." These books provided a little titillation to my imagination and used to devour them. When I read the above description of Kissing in America by Margo Rabb I immediately thought of my younger self and wanted to read this book. Here, in Eva, is a character I think I'll relate to.

Eva and her friend Annie are not the coolest kids in school but both of them dream of true love and spend a lot of time watching other students around the school. Both are good students, Eva in English and Annie in Math and Science. Eva volunteers as a tutor. This is where she meets Will and they discover that they have something in common---they have both had a close family member die. With this tenuous connection they build a friendship which looks like it is getting ready to turn into something deeper when Will abruptly moves to California. With thoughts of true love in her head, Eva drags Annie across the country on a zany road trip. She is sure once she gets to California her life will end happily, just like the endings in all her romance novels. As you can imagine, all does not go as planned.

I was pretty irritated by Eva by the end of the book...she was such a...teenager. Woops! I get it. I am not a teenager and as an adult I more easily play the role of the crabby mother than the loved-crazed girl. Actually, on reflection, I'm sure my teen readers will like this book and will relate with Eva and Annie and their half-baked schemes to find true love.

You will have to read the story to discover for yourself if Will and Eva eventually did "kiss hard."

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

30 books Summer Reading Challenge

7 / 30 books. 23% done!


  1. When I was in high school (I'm "celebrating" my 35th class reunion this summer) I was obsessed with "trashy" romance novels. I've gone back to read a couple -- they are NOTHING compared to what is in teen books these days. I can't believe I used to blush reading those books. And I'd hide the covers... This sounds like a good one. Thanks.

  2. Ha-ha! I remember once throwing the romance book I was reading across the room when my mother came in the room because I didn't want her to see me reading it. What a dead giveaway that I was doing something that made me feel gulity.


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