The bonbon factor is high in this collection of splendid YA authors writing about the inexhaustible subject of kissing. Spiced up with lists like "the top ten worst pre-kiss foods" and quotations from the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Joey Adams, they range from funny to touching to gross while maintaining their lighter-than-air confectionery quality. Nikki Grimes offers a hilarious little poem, and Jon Scieszka writes even more hilariously and then lets you know that, "*All names have been mangled by time and memory." Paul Ruditis offers a scrap of Shakespeare-inspired dialogue, in which Mercutio and Romeo discover they want to kiss each other. Roz Chast is in fine form; David Levithan submits a mini graphic novel, with pictures by Nick Eliopulos, asking, "What exactly IS a first kiss?" Alyson Noël has the best title in "Tattooed Love Boys," but the most delicious story is Shannon and Dean Hale sharing a he said/she said about their first kiss with each other. Donna Jo Napoli almost overbalances the whole collection, because her "So Many First Kisses" is so powerfully erotic, it unashamedly focuses on how that kiss makes you feel in your blood and bones. Should have enormous appeal. (Anthology. YA) Read full book review >
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