Friday, 16 November 2012

Kiss - Jacqueline Wilson

Sylvie and Carl have been friends since they were tiny. They’ve always played together, eaten with each other’s families, called each other boyfriend and girlfriend… They even have a fantasy world that belongs to them alone. But as they become teenagers, things are starting to change. They each have different friends. Sylvie would still rather spend all her time with Carl. But Carl has a new friend, Paul, who is taking all his attention. And he seems much less happy to be called Sylvie’s boyfriend. Sylvie can tell his feelings have changed, but can she guess at the true reasons behind it all?

Sylvie and Carl like many other pre-teens are finding their feet romantically. Though they have only ever been close friends they have always called each other ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’. This had never been put to the test until Sylvie finds herself telling white lies in the girls toilet, and soon she realises that she wants nothing more than that lie to be true and Carl to be her real boyfriend. Then Miranda -despite their startlingly different personalities- becomes Sylvie’s best friend, and she’s after Carl too- despite believing Sylvie and Carl are together. Carl has a new friend too, Paul likes football and bowling and is nothing like Carl either. The everything comes to a head in a game of spin the bottle, but will anyone’s dreams come true, or will they all be smashed to smithereens?

I think that this book is a great example of feeding kids some good morals through reading, it’s accurate, interesting, hard-hitting and emotional. However I do believe that for anyone over the age of twelve this book may get you cringing like nothing you have read before. Sylvie’s obsession with Carl is frankly toe-curling at times and in some places she is hopelessly naive. I think with homophobic bullying at an all time high, it is great for pre-teens but to see another book on a similar subject aimed at a higher age group would be fantastic. Bringing sexuality into a pre-teen/children’s book was a daring move but in this case it really did pay off well. Overall I found it enjoyable, but not the best book i’ve clapped eyes on.

The cover is classic of Jaqueline Wilson’s books, brightly coloured with a prominent title. On an orange background a red heart shape is surrounded by broken glass, above it ‘kiss’ is written in large red letters.

Two stars
* *Kiss by Jaqueline wilson

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