3 ½ out of 5 stars
(I really wish Goodreads would let us give 1/2 star ratings!)
I was given an e-ARC of this title for my fair and honest review
Elle has never been kissed. She also has harbored a secret crush on bad boy Noah Flynn, the older brother of her best friend, Lee, for years. She’d convinced herself she was over him. She was wrong. When Elle and Lee decide to create a kissing booth for their school’s carnival—they have no idea how much it’s going to change everything. Feelings long pushed aside bubble to the top when Noah pays to kiss Elle at the kissing booth and the “chaste peck” outlined in the rules of the game turns into a rock your socks off, mind blowing first kiss. And that one kiss turns Elle’s…and everyone’s…world upside down in unimaginable ways.
This is a hard review for me to write. I’m torn on this book. I really liked the premise, but there were some flaws that I couldn’t get past and I’m not sure if it’s fair for me to point them out, because, while they bothered me throughout the book, they might not bother other readers.
First, I really liked the characters. Although, I thought they could have used some more depth, especially, Flynn. He was supposed to be a huge “player” but we never see that side of him. In fact, there is only passing references to it. Then there’s Elle. She’s sixteen and she’s never wondered why boys haven’t paid attention to her? She’s never wondered why she hasn’t had a date…a kiss…a boyfriend? Come on!
Elle’s father is another character I had a problem with. He seemed to have no issue with his sixteen year-old daughter engaging in underage drinking, nor spending the night at a motel with a guy (a known “player”), but admonished her younger brother for use of foul language. Really?! As a parent, I’d pick my kids saying a cuss word or two over drinking and having sex any day.
I must admit, I didn’t read much about the author before I read the book, so I don’t know where she’s from, but I can say with almost certainty she isn’t American. That, of course, doesn’t bother me at all, but some of the terms/words in the book were so obviously not American and sometimes the dialogue was stilted and stiff. Not many American teenagers use the words trousers, jumpers (sweater), motorbike, or queue (line). Also, don’t think I’ve heard many say, “Shall we, then?” unless they were joking around, and those are just the ones I can think of. There were many more. I think a little tweaking could have been done for the American release. It really wouldn’t have needed much.
Finally, as far as the writing goes, I was really thrown by the amount of adverbs used in the text. Girls chirped happily, people grinned sarcastically—There were just too many of those pesky “ly” words editors are always warning about. I never really understood what the big deal was until I read this book: warily, smugly, dryly, pleadingly, disbelievingly, messily, hastily, shakily, haltingly, playfully, challengingly, teasingly, angrily, flirtatiously, doubtfully, cheerfully, curiously, threateningly, and on and on. I found myself rewording the sentences in my head in a way that would not require them to rely on the “ly” adverb, which pulled me from the story. Like I said, I’m not sure if this is a valid point to make because it is very subjective. While it bothered me a great deal, it may not bother another reader at all.
That being said, I really enjoyed the book. It was a sweet story about a young girl’s first kiss blossoming into her first love and a bad boy’s realization that true love with one girl is worth more than a string of girls with no emotion attached.3 ½ out of 5 Stars