Book Reviews

Kissing Kate by Lauren Myracle at Speak

Genre Lesbian / Contemporary / Young Adult / Fiction
Reviewed by Rachel on 12-August-2013

Book Blurb

Kate was Lissa's best friend. They've shared everything for four years. Then one night at a drunken party, Kate leaned in to kiss Lissa, and Lissa kissed her back. And now Kate is pretending Lissa doesn't exist. Confused and alone, Lissa's left questioning everything she thought she knew about herself, and about life. But with the help of a free-spirit new friend, Lissa's beginning to find the strength to realize that sometimes falling in love with the wrong person is the only way to find your footing.

Book Review

Lauren Myracle makes an interesting story with her first novel, ‘Kissing Kate.’ In the book, the main character Lissa had been best friends with Kate for years. Then at a party, where Kate was drunk and Lissa sober, the girls kissed each other. But afterwards, Kate ignores Lissa, and when they resume their friendship briefly, Kate refuses to acknowledge what has happened. Lissa however is left confused with her feelings for her best friend, and wondering if she is really a lesbian.

Myracle creates a book with honest soul-searching, mixed feelings and a cast of funny and symbolic characters. Lissa becomes acquainted with a free-spirited misfit Kimberley, a.k.a Ariel. At first, Lissa is annoyed by Ariel’s cheerful personality, and shows no interest in being friends. But as the novel progresses, Lissa begins to warm to the energetic girl. Other interesting characters surface as well: Ariel’s sarcastic friend Finn, Lissa’s little sister Beth, and her shy Uncle Jerry. Jerry’s girlfriend Sophie is another addition with her hilarious stories, and Darlin, Lissa’s boss in her catering business, Entrees on Trays, also provides comic relief.

Along with the comedy comes a mystical touch, as Lissa wants to control her dreams by turning them into lucid ones. She has a recurrent nightmare she can’t find meaning in, and this slowly becomes clearer throughout the story. It is this dreaming that gives Lissa the tools she needs to move on with her situation with Kate.

The novel also flashbacks to happier times when Lissa and Kate are friends. It is through these that the sense of their growing feelings becomes apparent. And throughout the book, Lissa’s fears of being gay rings true, what with society’s negative view on homosexuality. When she at last begins to acknowledge that part of herself, Lissa must also confront Kate and what their kiss at the party meant.

Lissa’s journey through her fears and questions reflect the pain real gay teens go through, and her coming to terms with her identity shows how liberating it can be to not be ashamed of it. As the novel wraps up, Lissa begins to let Kate go and find her own way of living. Other subplots are resolved too, like Beth’s friendship with a snobby girl, Darlin’s breakup, and Lissa’s growing friendship with Ariel.

‘Kissing Kate’ is not a romance, but is a very well done story of self-discovery, acceptance, and being who you really are. The mix of dreams, love, and colorful characters leave a YA novel that is a step towards understanding of gays and lesbians.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 208 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 19-April-2007
Price $7.99 ebook, $7.99 paperback, $16.99 hardback
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