Review of Kissing in America

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 seems to truly understand Eva’s grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast to see Will again. 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.
 I love book covers, like so many of us. So when I saw the cover for Kissing in America, I knew I had to read it. I honestly did not read the synopsis (which is normal for me), so I had no idea what the book was about.

  • Eva’s grief story was interesting. As horrible as that sounds, it was intriguing to find out what it would be like to be in her situation. We have heard so many stories on the internet lately of airplane crashes, so it was interesting to read about it from a family member’s POV.
  • I love Eva and Will’s situation early on. The way they could communicate was cute and when Will finally started to realize that Eva was someone he needed to pay attention to.
  • Annie and Eva’s relationship was reminiscent of my own friendships. I love YA books with strong friendships, and friendships where they are honest and call each other out when someone isn’t acting correctly.
  • Road trips are fun. Add a crazy aunt and some interesting things are bound to happen!

  • I just wanted to bang Eva over the head so many times. I do think that being a 30-something who loves YA really gives me a tough perspective. I lived through the teenage years, was stupid and reactive like so many YA characters, but I have grown in wisdom and my sense of self. I think when I read YA books I forget where I am now and I want YA characters to realize their self-worth and see the future before the make decisions. These are not things I did when I was a teenager, so I can’t expect a teenager in a book to act less rash or more conscious of their decisions.
  • Will. Argh Will. I get both sides of the coin, but argh.


  1. Great review! This one looks pretty good, but I haven't read it yet. I've seen a lot of mixed reviews for this one.

  2. I am the same when reading YA novels with young naive characters! As long as the story is still entertaining those character niggles can be over looked.

  3. I like that this book has a strong friendship, something I love to see in YA novels.

    And I do think that as older readers, we can be pretty tough on YA characters sometimes.

  4. It is a great cover! And yes to strong friendships. YA skips over those far to often.

  5. I love books that have strong friendships in them :) it often feels like those are forgotten for romantic interests.

  6. This sounds like a great roadtrip book! although reading about the air plane crash (or hearing about her POV) might freak me out a bit since I'm already terrified of flying! i usually have to psych myself up just to get on a plane these days!
    Great review!
    Emily @

  7. This was another book that I read and enjoyed.

    I really liked the diversity in Kissing in America. I wasn't really expecting all the references to the Jewish faith, but I felt like it was a nice touch. I learned a little bit more about the religion. I also liked the road trip part of the book. It was cute to see Eva and Annie explore the country and interact with one another.

  8. This cover IS pretty. Though I only recently left my teenage years, I too get super frustrated with stupid YA characters. ;) I might check this one out next time I'm on a road trip myself! Thanks for the very helpful review!


I'd love to hear what you thought of the book or others you think I will like! Please share your thoughts! Thank you for the thought, but I am not participating in awards.