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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Book Review: The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles

School Carnival: Fact or Fiction?

I want to know. Can anyone enlighten me? I read about this phenomenon a lot and have seen it on TV or in movies, but not one school I have ever attended has had a school carnival with rides and everything. I think our fund raisers basically consisted of car washes and bake sales.

There are a lot of carnivals and festivals in Japanese manga as well. I will have to ask my stepfather if that is true, but he will probably not answer as usual. Doesn't he know I need to know these things?

In the Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles, all the trouble starts with, well, the kissing booth. I don't see that happening around here in any event. They used to have a Kissing Bridge at the NY Renaissance Festival where festival workers would accost people crossing the bridge and wouldn't let them pass without giving up a kiss. It is still the Kissing Bridge, but no one guards it anymore and patrons to the faire can kiss at will. It's all voluntary.

For those of you who have not attended a Renaissance Festival, there is a movie out called All's Faire in Love which stars Christina Ricci and it is basically what it is like. I know Netflix streams it.

But to the matter at hand.

Book Description (From Amazon):
Publication Date: April 9, 2013

A cool, sexy romance novel written by seventeen-year-old British sensation Beth Reekles.

Meet Rochelle “Elle” Evans: pretty, popular—and never been kissed. Meet Noah Flynn: badass, volatile—and a total player.

When Elle decides to run a kissing booth at her school's Spring Carnival, she locks lips with Noah and her life is turned upside down. Her head says to keep away, but her heart wants to draw closer. This romance seems far from a fairy tale.

Is Elle headed for heartbreak or will she get her happily ever after?

My Review:
Well, I am a fan of the happily ever after, so I thought, let's give it a whirl. I downloaded a sample and it was enough to peak my interest. The action doesn't really get going, though, until the school carnival.

Elle, as she is known, is best friends with Lee. They do everything together. He even helps her out with her fashion statement. He seems like a great guy and I like him instantly. It's refreshing to see a girl and boy be able to have a deep friendship that doesn't evolve into a romantic one. He is fiercely protective of her as she is with him. They are a packaged deal. Lee has had girlfriends, but they inevitably break up with him because of his close relationship with Elle.

Elle has never had a boyfriend, but she has had a crush on Lee's older brother Noah. Of course, Lee knows all about that, but he thought that Elle had gotten over her crush. And so did she except that Noah has been acting a little different around her. He has also know her since they were young and he is also fiercely protective of her. The trouble with Noah, though, is that Noah is trouble. So much so, that Elle refers to him as a violence junkie because he is always getting in fights.

Elle and Lee are on the Student Council and they have to come up with an idea for a booth for the school carnival. They decide to run a kissing booth. They get some girls and some boys lined up to work the booth and everything seems to be going as planned. Some of the girls in school keep badgering Elle, though, about Noah. Is he going to work the booth? As a favor to Elle? If not, will he at least stop by? They want her to persuade him, but working at the booth or even stopping by is the farthest thing on Noah's mind. So, it is surprising when he stops by the booth. Elle is tricked into having to man the booth and she, naturally, gets Noah as a customer, so she gets her first kiss. And that's where the trouble starts.

After that, Elle and Noah hook up and end up having a relationship behind every one's back. Why you ask? Because Lee would not approve and Elle doesn't want to hurt her best friend or lose him, but she doesn't want to lose Noah either.

While I did enjoy the story, I had some issues with it and the characters. I think perhaps I had a hard time relating.

  • Noah has been like a guard dog when it comes to Elle. She has never had a date and there is a reason for it. Noah basically got the word out that if anyone comes near Elle, he'll beat the crap out of them. When Elle finds out she goes ballistic. He is constantly telling her what to do, how to dress and how to act so as not to encourage the male folk at school and perhaps lead them on where they might try something with her. She is very naïve.
  • Elle is attracted to Noah, but doesn't feel like she can tell anyone about their relationship. People won't approve. Honey, if you have to go sneaking around just to see the guy, you probably shouldn't.
  • When their relationship is exposed, all the blame is laid at Noah's feet, but Elle is treated as the victim. Hey, she was the one sneaking around and lying to everyone, not Noah. The fact that he was the one put at fault for everything really ticked me off. Oh, he's not blameless, but as they say, and I hate the phrase, it takes two to tango.
  • Lee, while seeming to be the perfect best friend proves himself to be unsupportive of her relationship with his brother. So just because someone does something you don't like you decide to cut them lose? I feel he should try to be more understanding. He is in every other way.

So about half way through the book, I put it on hold, but decided to go back and finish it. Even though I couldn't really connect with the characters on a personal level, it still was enjoyable to read and I believe it is a worthwhile endeavor. I'm not sure it is a book I would read over and over again, but I am glad that I put in the time to read the story through to the end. Does she get her happy ending? Maybe, but you'll have to read it to find out.


  1. Impressed that this was written by a seventeen year old.

    With regard to school carnivals. Not something I can imagine happening here. Unlike proms which have made it from across America, the school fayre is pretty much how it used to be in my day.

    1. I didn't know the author was 17 until after I finished the book, so I was impressed by that.
      I don't really know of any schools that have carnivals and I had never really thought about it until I read this book. I assumed it was a Hollywood fabrication, but I guess they might have things like this somewhere.