Monday, April 19, 2010
Terra Elan McVoy's striking second novel examines the power of one kiss and its many ramifications. After the Kiss alternates between the points of view of the two characters: Becca's perspective is told in many lovely, inventive, and diverse poems that are fun to read and showcase McVoy's talent nicely, while Camille's portions of the story are more emotionally grabbing. They are in second person, and she lacks capital letters. This style is unusual, but it embodies Camille's confusion and her detachment as a coping mechanism perfectly.
Though the girls have very few physical encounters throughout the book, their stories flow together seamlessly. Becca's new job, which forces her apart from Alec, helps her mature and the experiences she faces help her to obtain the confidence she needs to talk openly with her mother and plan for her future. In a world where everything is interchangeable--homes, schools, friends--Camille wanders around without any sort of purpose, but she finally learns to open up to others and slowly comes to the realization that goodbye for now doesn't necessarily mean goodbye forever. Each girl's journey is entertaining and profound, and the best part is that McVoy doesn't force you to take sides. Instead, she demonstrates that people are never what they appear to be, despite their actions and what little information you may know about them.
After the Kiss isn't so much about romance and Alec as it is about growing up and all the problems and triumphs that come with that process: figuring out your own problems, coming up with the appropriate solutions, and making peace with others. This is an extraordinary novel about letting go and holding on that you won't easily forget.
Cover Comments: Though this cover gives you the impression that the book will be lighter and more romantic than it really is, I love it! The pink on blue is very pretty, and I like the how the candy hearts and the title all gravitate toward the bottom of the cover. It's a very fresh, neat effect!
After the Kiss will be available on May 4th, 2010!
ARC received from publisher.