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KISS by Jacqueline Wilson

KISS

By Jacqueline Wilson

Age Range: 12 - 14

Pub Date: April 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59643-242-0
Publisher: Roaring Brook

Small for her age, bright 14-year-old Sylvie is only just experiencing the first longings of puberty. Sylvie hopes her lifelong friendship with Carl will blossom into something more like what her bold new friend, alpha girl Miranda, means when she says “boyfriend.” But Carl’s object of desire is a boy at his new school, a soccer star on whom he has an intense crush, and he is moody and withdrawn with Sylvie. Wilson competently gets inside the world of younger teens and displays her usual sure hand with details (Miranda’s cheerful theft of her parents’ vodka, the quirks and foibles of parents), but there’s some predictability to the plot. Paul is furious when he discovers Carl’s feelings for him, and Carl takes out his subsequent humiliation on the Glass House sanctuary he and Sylvie have shared for years. Miranda’s audacious response to Carl’s classmates’ homophobia is a bright spot at the end, as is Sylvie’s recognition of the value of simple friendship; Carl’s parents’ bland suggestion that he might be going through a phase seems awkward and unnecessary. Mixed, but diverting. (Fiction. 12-14)