Wednesday, February 09, 2011
REVIEW: Kissing Kate by Lauren Myracle
Kate was Lissa's best friend. They've shared everything for four years. Then one night at a drunken party, Kate leaned in to kiss Lissa, and Lissa kissed her back. And now Kate is pretending Lissa doesn't exist. Confused and alone, Lissa's left questioning everything she thought she knew about herself, and about life. But with the help of a free-spirit new friend, Lissa's beginning to find the strength to realize that sometimes falling in love with the wrong person is the only way to find your footing.
I've had Kissing Kate on my shelves for the longest time. Last year, I knew I wanted to read more YA books with a LGBT slant, but I kept putting this one off. Perhaps in my head, I always knew I'd do a love month event? Maybe?
I don't want this whole month to be about boy-girl love, especially when they are very sensitive and thought-provoking books like Kissing Kate available. I really loved this one, and I really felt for Lissa, she's in a really difficult position. After a drunken incident (on Kate's part), Lissa and Kate shared a really important and life-changing make-out session. But then Kate pulls away from Lissa, starts dating a jerk and ignores Lissa entirely. And Lissa is left on her own, dealing with her feelings for Kate. Not sure where she stands in relation to her own sexuality and to top it all off, Lissa's lost without her best friend to talk things through with.
I really loved Lissa's emotional turmoil in this book. Kissing Kate feels like a very simple and straight-forward story, but there's so much detail and description in Kissing Kate that Lauren Myracle has brought to the attention of readers about how difficult it is to be different from the majority. From Finn's hand, to Ariel's free-spirited nature to Lissa's feelings for Kate - all of which are different to to the 'norm' - whatever that is. You can see how Kate struggles with what her peers will think of her and Lissa does too, to an extent. The descriptions of Kate and Lissa's relationship before and up until the kissing was so sweet and filled with such emotion and closeness between two people, that it was heart-breaking to read of Kate's total rejection of her. I loved the inclusion of Lissa's little sister who spouts a lot of opinions of the other girls about what's 'normal' for young girls and we're able to see Lissa's reactions to that.
With the help of Ariel, a quirky and sort of out-there friend, and with Darlin, her boss who is able to find the strength to be a better and stronger person for herself rather than for a man, Lissa can realise that, while she may be different, it has also taught her to be a stronger person and to respect herself. I think Kissing Kate is a wonderful book for teens to read. There is such a positive message about love and being different and being your own person. I'm thrilled to have read it and can now highly recommend it.