Monday, April 22, 2013

Book Review: The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles

Pages: 448
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: May 14, 2013 (paperback) - E-book is out now
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Meet Rochelle Evans: pretty, popular--and never been kissed. Meet Noah Flynn: badass, volatile--and a total player. And also Elle's best friend's older brother...  When Elle decides to run a kissing booth for the 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 fairy tale and headed for heartbreak.  But will Elle get her happily ever after?"
Rochelle has grown up alongside the two Flynn brothers, Noah and Lee.  Lee is her best friend and Noah, known as Flynn, is really just a guy that she secretly adores. He's older and the quintessential bad boy who is always getting into fights.  Rochelle, or Elle, has crushed on him for years, but has always been like a little sister to Flynn.  Things change as Elle gets older and when she and Lee organize a kissing booth for the Spring Carnival, things start to get complicated for Flynn and Elle.  She wants more than anything to be with Noah, but is afraid of the damage it may cause to her friendship with Lee. Her friendship with Lee means everything to her.  The Kissing Booth, a debut by teenage author Beth Reekles, is a frothy good time.  Teenage girls will love to be lost in The Kissing Booth this summer.

Elle kind of irritated me.  It's not that Elle was overly girl, it's just her preoccupation with Flynn and the girlfriends' preoccupation with Flynn that was oh-so-drama filled.  But then I remembered, that's how teenagers are.  So, you could say Elle is your typical teenager, except she has a guy as a best friend,  Lee.  Lee is a straight-up awesome guy; he's almost too perfect when it comes to Elle.  I liked how Reekles showed that a girl can be best friends with a guy and it doesn't always have to be romantic.

Flynn is your typical good looking, star athlete, who is super smart, rides a motorcycle riding, and ends up in many a fist fight.  All the girls at Elle's school were overly obsessed with him.  Normally I would be all about this bad boy as well, but he was a bit too violent and protective of Elle. It was almost too creepy. I would have felt smothered this personally.

What is so impressive about The Kissing Booth is the fact that Reekles is a teenager. Incredible! I applaud her for writing such a fun contemporary read at such a young age.  Let's be honest, if I were a teenager, I would be ALL about this book and would have probably read it in one sitting at the beach this summer.  In fact, it reminded me a little bit of The Boys Next Door by Jennifer Echols.

I had a few issues with The Kissing Booth. First, it's set in California, but Elle and her friends use some British terminology from time to time. (Reekles is British.)  Also, Elle's dad is way too laid back. He is aware of her drinking and staying out all night at parties, but seems so "cool" with it.  I feel like she should have at least gotten into trouble for a few of her antics as she is only sixteen years old.  

The Kissing Booth isn't a perfect read, but it's the kind of read that's fun mind candy.  As a teacher, it excites me to see a teenager published and I can't wait to read more of her work in the future as I know it will only improve as she gets older.


  1. Wow, the author is a teenager? That's awesome. I definitely will look into this one even though you were disappointed a little. Thanks for the review :)

    1. I know, right?! I was impressed. It's a fun read, so I hope you get to check it out. Thanks for visiting, Quinn.

  2. That's so cool that she is a teenager that got her book published! I pretty much love that. This book does sound young, but it also sounds really cute. And every once in awhile we all need a cute mindless read! Loved your review!

  3. Sounds like it has a few issues with realism, but still sounds like a decent guilty-pleasure book! And the author is a teenager? Impressive!

    Nice review :)

    1. That's a good way to put it, Lea, but yes, definitely a few issues. It was a fun guilty pleasure read though--you are right! Thanks for visiting, Lea!

  4. This definitely seems like it would be a hit with younger readers Christina! I feel old sometimes when I pick a YA book like this up, where there's lots of drama and emotion flying around, high school just wasn't like that for me and I'm even farther removed from it now being in my 30's. Still, while I think my patience might be tested at times with this one, I'm hugely impressed that the author is a teenager and can't wait to see how her writing develops!

    1. I know, right?! I am the same way, but I can appreciate that my younger self would have probably LOVED this book. :) Thanks for visiting, Jenny!


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