EVANGELINE LOGAN WANTS a kiss. A spectacular, heart-stopping, life changing kiss. Somehow The Crimson Kiss (a romance novel she’s become obsessed with) and Four Steps to Living Your Fantasy (a self-help book she’s reading) have fused in Evangeline’s mind and sent her on a quest for a kiss. But the path to perfection is paved with many bad kisses—the smash mouth, the ear licker, the “misser.” The phrase “I don’t kiss and tell” means nothing to the boys in her school. And worse: someone starts writing her name and number on bathroom walls. And worst of all: the boy she's just kissed turns out to be her best friend’s new crush. Kissing turns out to be way more complicated than the romance novels would have you believe . . .Goodreads
Review -On face value this book sounds like a delightful afternoon read. For many people it will be. As for me, what sounded like a great premise melted into a pot of steaming anger, frustrating and confusion.
Evangeline could be described as well rounded if she weren't so perpetually dim. No one, well a girl at least, can't run around a school pashing guys left and right without developing a reputation...unfounded or not. It shocks me that the character never considered this when in search of a kiss that only exists in the romantic novel where she got the idea in the first place. Of course she was never going to get her crimson kiss from an anonymous snog...the whole point of romantic novels is that it means something more than precise tongue action and a good handle on one's saliva. Ugh.
I am rushing through this review because I can't be particularly diplomatic. I hate coming across as a shrew but this novel calls out for it. The minor story of her anger towards her father is excellent until they resolve it. A daughter has every right to be righteously angry at her father for cheating on her mother. Her own behaviour, whether it parallels it in any way (I don't agree that it did) has no bearing on the way he disregarded their family in his selfish choices. Maybe I am projecting too much onto this novel but it just flat out angered me.
As for the protagonist's amazing ability to cut and colour someone's hair to perfectly suit them? Don't ask or you will get a tirade.
Side note - I loathe when a character's old school music preference is used to make them look a) retro cool and 2) wise. I am guessing that was the intent here but it lost me when not one song title, but sometimes three or four in succession, were listed. It just came across as a middle aged author unconvincingly depicting a young person with retro leanings. It played false.
I wanted this book to be better, to be more. It disappointed me greatly. Somewhere in there was a great novel but it was swamped by the ridiculous and I couldn't get past it.
Format: Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Random House's Children Books