Goodreads Synopsis: Acclaimed writer Margo Rabb’s Kissing in America is “a wonderful novel about friendship, love, travel, life, hope, poetry, intelligence, and the inner lives of girls,” raves internationally bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love).
In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that’s still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who seems to truly understand Eva’s grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.
In this honest and emotional journey that National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr calls “gorgeous, funny, and joyous,” readers will experience the highs of infatuation and the lows of heartache as Eva contends with love in all of its forms.
Commentary: I had my doubts about this book and I was right. I received Kissing in America at Yallwest earlier this month. I didn’t have high expectations, but I didn’t think it would be such a bad a story. I couldn’t believe that Eva, the protagonist, was sixteen. Let me tell you, the girl is a bit delusional. I thought she was in middle school, not in high school. She falls head over heels for Will, a weird popular guy, who becomes her friend and something “more”. She instantly falls in love with him and they kiss, but only Eva believes that they are a couple. Will has to move to California, and she decides to find a way to be with him. Even though it would be convenient to take a plane from New York to California, she can’t because her father died in a tragic plane accident. Anyways, she convinces her best friend, Annie, to enter the “Smartest Girl in America” contest in order to be closer to Will. Annie is skeptical at first, but then decides to enter the contest. After making it to the California, Eva finally meets Will, but he apologizes for ruining their friendship. At that point, I disliked Will. He made it seem as if he were interested in Eva. He led her to believe that he liked her. I just don’t understand why he didn’t tell her that he saw her as just a friend. Ughs. Now, this story was rather annoying for me to read. I mostly wanted to knock some common sense to the protagonist. Will felt a little boring to me. There wasn’t anything unique about him. I wasn’t a fan of the romance either. There were some cute moments in the story. Overall, I mostly felt sorry for Annie, who ended up losing the contest because Eva was not there for her (she was with Will, when she should have been in the television studio). I still feel that the whole road trip was to see Will, and not for the contest. It wasn’t my favorite, and it wasn’t memorable for me. Lastly, that the title of the book is a bit misleading…
Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️
On Sale: May 26th, 2015