Author: Christina Meredith
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release date: December 27th 2011
Genre: Contemporary YA; romance
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KissMy rating: 1 out of 5 stars
What Leah did—only she really shouldn’t have—one hot night at a country club party.
What Leah has—only she really shouldn’t have—on the guy with the green eyes, the guy who is not her perfect boyfriend, the guy who does not fit in her picture-perfect life, the guy her sisters will only mock and her mother will never approve of. Not in a million years.
What happens when everything you always thought you wanted—having cool friends, being class valedictorian and homecoming queen—runs smack into everything it turns out you really do want.
Kiss. Crush. Collide.
For Leah and Porter, summer is only the beginning.
To be fair, it's my own fault for reading this book despite the reviews it'd been getting. I'd heard only terrible things about Kiss Crush Collide, and yet I read it anyways, so it's not like I wasn't warned. But, yeah, it really is terrible - it felt like the author made each decision thinking about how she could most piss me off. I'm sorry, I know that sounds rude... but that's how I felt. I almost never take notes while reading, but I have two full pages of notes about what I didn't like about this book because there's so much to dislike! It was even kind of fun to see how many more ways this book (and the main character) would find to piss me off - that's the only reason I finished the book at all, really.
Let's start with our main character, Leah. She alone could have made me hate this book. Leah is the most bratty character ever. She's rich and beautiful and popular and perfect, and she takes it all for granted. She's fully aware that she gets everything she wants without having to work for any of it. Characters that just sort of float through life always bug me, but Leah pissed me off even more because, despite having the perfect life, she complains and whines all the time. (Also, who refers to their boobs as their "goodies"!?) I guess a main character like that would be okay if she showed some character growth, but Leah does not. The situation at the end is the exact same as the beginning, except now she knows Porter.
The family storyline didn't work at all the way it should have. The whole story relies on Leah being forced to be someone she's not by her parents. But... I didn't see it. Sure, Leah's mom is a bitch, but the parents didn't seem that controlling to me. Nobody really tells Leah she has to do the exact same things her sisters did; she just can't imagine doing anything else. She doesn't consider any other options, and instead complains when people can't tell her apart from her sisters. I didn't even get why Leah thinks her parents would not approve of Porter. He works as a valet, so I thought it was because he doesn't have money, but that's not true. He's stinking rich, just like Leah. I don't even know why he's working as a valet. And yes, their relationship isn't exactly traditional (meaning, they get to second base without even knowing the other's first name), but the parents wouldn't have to know that.
Speaking of, I did not like the relationship between Leah and Porter. Porter might have been an okay guy, but we don't really know much about him, and him being with Leah means he can't really be a great person, either. The way their relationship develops is strange. It moves fast, then slow, and their encounters don't even make sense. There is no connection between the two; what they do is almost only physical. I didn't even see a real difference between Shane, Leah's boyfriend, and Porter, other than Leah not being put off by the idea of hooking up with Porter. It isn't even mentioned that what Leah and Porter are doing is cheating until page 214. How can it take someone 214 pages to realize that they're cheating on their boyfriend!? And even then, Leah doesn't think that's wrong - she says it "just happened." And the issue of cheating is never really addressed. Okay, Leah's boyfriend is a tool, but still. Cheating? Not cool. It also bugged me how dependent Leah is on Porter - she's trying to escape her (supposedly) controlling family to be who she wants to be, only she's being controlled by someone else now. And that's not mentioned as an issue, either, that's just how their relationship works.
The pacing is very strange. There are so many flashbacks! And not in a way that would make sense, showing what happened earlier in Leah's life or anything. It just tells the story, talking about what's happening this evening, and then there's a flasback to this afternoon. And from that flashback, there's a flashback to this morning. That might make sense once, but it's like that all the time, and I didn't see the point. That kept tearing me out of situations and dropping me in another one, and then going back, and what!? The whole thing just confused me and wouldn't let me get into the story.
And, to top it all off, there are loads of details in this book that don't match. I know most books have a few of those, and when there's just a few, I don't mind. But in Kiss Crush Collide, there are so many! For example, Leah's sister Freddie is about to go to France for a year. She's been in AP French for all of high school, and she's supposedly some kind of genius at French. Freddie's practicing French in a few scenes, and she's always practicing how to conjugate verbs. And, well, if you're fluent in a language, why are you learning how to conjuage verbs!? You'd learn that in the first few lessons. Also, Leah and Porter are constantly making out while driving. How does that work!? Another example would be Leah's lifeguarding job. The pool hours make no sense whatsoever! Sometimes she opens the pool at 1 PM, sometimes early in the morning, and sometimes not till 6:30 PM. The closing times vary from 5 PM to 9 PM, and not because weekdays/weekends or anything that makes sense. I know, these tiny things don't really make a difference, but there were so many of them that they bugged me. And I know I might be crazy for writing all of that crap down, but like I said, my main entertainment while reading was trying to find as many things wrong with Kiss Crush Collide as possible.
Valerie was the only part of the story that was tolerable. Sadly, she doesn't play too important a role. I would have loved to read a book about her instead!
I'm sorry, I know I'm kind of bitchy in this review. But Kiss Crush Collide pissed me off more than I can remember ever being pissed off by a book before. (Except for maybe Jersey Angel.) The book itself is not something I enjoyed, at all. But like I said, it was kind of fun to spend the whole time finding as many flaws as possible, and it's my own fault for reading a book I knew I'd hate. Obviously, I wouldn't recommend Kiss Crush Collide. (Also, if you stuck with me for this long - thank you! I know the review got out-of-control long. But there's just so much to hate!)