Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Kiss It by Erin Downing

Published: June 15th 2010 by Simon Pulse
Paperback, 256 pages
ISBN: 1416997008
ISBN13: 9781416997009

Chastity Bryan has never been shy about going after what she wants. And when sexy, mysterious, so-not-from-this-town Sebastian walks into Chaz’s life, she knows in an instant that what she wants next is him. Chaz has no intention of playing for keeps—but she most definitely has intentions. Who needs true love when you’ve got true lust?
Sebastian has no idea what he’s in for—but maybe neither does Chaz...


With the ironic name of Chastity, this main character like no other gets her rocks off by big-mouth talk about her "experience" even though she is eighty percent pure. Chaz likes to say things straight-forward and gives off this attitude of "If you want it, beg." that I admired in a character. She tries to act tough with her "don't mess with me" but once faced the values and norms of reality, can be sympathetic. Living in a small Minnesota town, where her graduating class promptly consists of thirty-four, Chastity feels the desperate need to escape her home and get far, far away. Without a real goal towards her future, Sebastian seems like an easy enough escape from her small town for a while. He may be just passing through, but maybe that's exactly what Chaz needs right now. Some escape from her religious mother and release from dramatic issues happening all around her twenty-four seven. Teen pregnancy, cancer, self-analysis. So many things happening around Chaz that she needs some form of distraction. What better than from a mystery guy who's only staying for winter break? Will she get what she wants, or will she find that there's more to the guy with the "puffy black Patagonia jacket" than she suspected?

I have to say that Kiss It is one of the most daring novels in the YA genre I have read yet. This close-to-vulgarity novel was a delight to read and a damn good sexual refreshment to YA novels everywhere. The blunt murmurings of sex in the beginning of the novel wore a shock to my senses and couldn't keep myself from flipping those pages. Downing took a great risk with this one--a novel I'd compare easily to Judy Blume's Forever...--and it payed off in sparks. Kiss It is no ordinary contemporary read, it deals with real life issues and wasn't afraid to tackle them. Downing expertly intermingles the equality of sex and love in a blooming relationship; describing different aspects toward previous mistakes. 
Though, this book is not without it's faults too. I had a hard time relating with most of the characters, mostly because they seemed to be peckish-ly annoying. I believe the author might have made that intentional, but I would have liked to know more about the characters' past before I start judging them. There also rarely seemed to be any facial/body descriptions, that left the book a little bare and up to the readers imagination.

In the end, I believe that the book's favorable qualities more than leveled Kiss It's faults. That is why I recommend Kiss It as an enjoyable read that will stimulate you with its detailed lust-scenes.

Grade: B-

More about author Erin Downing:

This Advanced Reviewer Copy was sent to me by the publishers at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.