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 internationallybestselling 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 can relate to Eva’s grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California with barely any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her first shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast. 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.
Since publication, this novel received 4 starred reviews and has been named:
A Chicago Public Library Best Teen Book of 2015
A New York Public Library Best Book for Teens 2015
A Miami Herald Best Book of the Year
A Spirit of Texas selection
A TAYSHAS High School Reading List Selection
An Oprah Summer Reading List selection
A Junior Library Guild selection
An Amazon Best Book of the Month
A Publisher’s Lunch 2015 Buzz Book for Young Adults
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did. It spoke to me on MANY MANY levels. The blurb for the book makes it feel slightly shallow, but this book has a soul. One that I hated to put down when I had to pack something or clean something for the quickly impending move. It was beautiful!
Eva Roth is a sixteen year old girl who is in love with Romance Books, the historical and oddly/funnily worded type. Eva has been dealing with her dad's death and trying to communicate with her mom, a womanyst and professor who thinks brushing it away is the best way to deal. She meets a guy in tutoring named Will. And falls for him. Hard. And after becoming closer with him, both sharing dark secrets about their losses and families, he moves to Los Angeles. She decides to go visit him and the best way to get there is have her best friend Annie try out for "The Smartest Girl in America", a game show with a scholarship as a prize.
This book touched a lot of emotional places. Eva is experiencing grief for the loss of her father. He died in a plane crash, so it was a terrible shock to her and her mother. Since then, both women are just going through the motions, until Eva meets Will. But then he moves to California to live with his father.
This is where it goes off track. Eva is too young to drive, too young to leave home really. She gets her friend to sign up for a scholarship contest so she can get out there to see Will. It's just childish the things this girl does.
But it's realistic, I think. Who makes the best choices when experiencing deep grief? Add to that a neglectful parent who is suffering from her own grief. Eva was just a girl trying to feel better.
I had a hard time putting it down, even when it was bitterly painful. I'd call this a coming of age novel more than romance.
If one were to dismiss this enchanting and at once heart-tugging and hilarious book as " just" chick-lit or "just" YA, it would not only be short-sighted, it would deprive one of truly appreciating a very special voice in the modern novel.
Accessible enough to be " pop" but intelligently written enough to be " literary" ( The main character cites writing from Edna St. Vincent Millay to Gloria Steinem to Adrienne Rich. ) , this wonderful , sweet book has everything : dramatic intrigue ( because of her mother's inability to demonstrate coping mechanisms, the main character, a teenager, lies that her father died of a heart attack instead of in a famous plane crash) , love ( rarely has the anguish and thrill of teenage love been written with such biting honesty and lack of vomitously maudlin treacle) , a road trip ( the main characters totally communicate that first thrill of seeing different states) , contemporary tropes ( the main character...
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