Thursday, 8 November 2012

A Review for Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler

Who I Kissed
Posted by Donna
Release Date: October 1st, 2012
Finished Date: October 19th, 2012
Publishers: Sourcefire Books
Source: For Review 
Format: Kindle 
Pages: 312
Buy : Amazon UK / Amazon US / The Book Depo

Samantha is new at school and just recently joined the swim team.  She’s been flirting with one of her teammates, Zee, who invites her to a party and just as quickly dumps her for another girl.  Hurt, but pretending not to care, she turns to his best friend, Alex, and gives him a kiss.  And he dies—right in her arms.  Alex was allergic to peanuts, and Samantha had eaten a peanut butter sandwich right before the party.  She didn’t know.  Overnight, Samantha turns into the school pariah and a media sensation explodes.  Consumed with guilt, abandoned by her friends, and in jeopardy of losing her swimming scholarship, she will have to find the inner-strength to forgive herself for the tragedy.  Critics are already applauding the author’s insight and her ability to make her “character breathe with life” (Kirkus Reviews). Skillfully capturing the raw, honest emotions of her teen protagonists, Janet paints them into a searing portrait of a tragedy that uproots the lives of everyone it touches.

The Review: Who I Kissed is a powerful and emotional story – one about life, loss, grief and hope. Samantha is a teenage girl who is dedicated to her prospective swimming career. She spends countless hours in the pool training and many hours trying to keep her school grades up. Sam’s not one for parties but she wants to let her hair down and hopefully can catch the eye of Zee – the guy she’s been attracted to for ages. While at the party, Sam ends up kissing another boy – to make Zee jealous, and unfortunately for her, it ends in a disastrous result and the boy, Alex ends up losing his life. 

Talk about the kiss of death huh? Wow, this story was such an eye opener for me. Food allergies aren’t really a priority for me. I don’t have any allergies nor do I know anyone with food allergies so, you can see why I don’t think about them often. However, while reading this book you can see why I’m so intrigued about it. I didn’t even realise food allergies could be so bad – having to watch what other kids eat at school in case something happens to your child. If my daughter had a serious allergy then I’d do anything I could to protect her and as a parent myself, I think we should help others who have allergies too. So I loved how much awareness this story brings to us as readers because I now know the lengths of how serious allergies can be. 

I have to admit, I was very hesitant to start this story because I wasn’t sure where the author could take it. It’s a very serious situation and a heart-breaking one at that. We see the characters struggle with grief that it almost consumes them and we see them trying to break free and move on with their lives. The author really takes you on a journey of surviving and it makes this story such a gripping and heart-wrenching read.

I really liked Sam. She’s a teenage girl with her whole life ahead of her and then something as simple as kissing a boy, turns her life upside down. My heart went out to her and I’m glad she had the support of her family there to help her. I also really liked Zee, I didn’t always agree with his choices but from the start you know there’s something about him that you just love. And then of course, there’s Alex – the boy who died. It was such a shame because Alex seemed like a really nice guy. Again he doesn’t always make the right choices but a nice guy nonetheless. 

My favourite part of Who I Kissed was definitely the ending and it honestly left me with tears in my eyes. I was praying for a happy ending and I wasn’t sure if that it could fit with the story, but Janet Gurtler really does it well. I take my hat off to her because this was definitely a difficult story to write but she really makes it work and I’d highly recommend this book to anyone.  

A big thank you Sourcefire Books for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

1 comment:

Maji Bookshelf said...

aww im glad that with all of this there is at least a happy ending. This is a serious situation and i also don't have food allergies or know anyone with food allergies so I love how she raised awareness about it.

Great review!
- Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf