When nerdy Brit girl Jo moves to Massachussets, her life changes. Suddenly she’s part of the in-crowd, treated to an all-American makeover, and attracting the attention of class hottie Jake Matthews. Goodbye Jo the Nerd, hello Josie the Cool. So far, so awesome. Until one fateful kiss…
During a game of Seven Minutes in Heaven, Jake chooses Jo as his kissing partner. She should be thrilled, but something’s just not right. ‘Something’ in the form of Jake’s wandering hands and less-than-chivalrous attitude. Jo’s torn: part of her wants to tell Jake where to get off, but that would mean kissing goodbye to her newfound popularity. The other half of her wants to enjoy the fun while she can.
So she splits. Literally. Jo the Nerd, Josie the Cool. One girl: two stories.
Warning: cute book alert! Anyone who visits here regularly will know that I tend to go for speculative fiction in a big way, preferably with a side order of apocalypse. The fact is, all that doom and gloom takes its toll on a girl. Sometimes, we all need a book that will make us smile. Enter Split by a Kiss. We may even need a book that will make us snort out loud on the bus so that other people stare. Again, Split by a Kiss.
As every British teenager knows, when it comes to high school Americans do it better. Of course they do. In Britain, it’s all packed lunches, GCSE coursework and dodgy uniforms. Americans have prom. Americans can drive themselves to school. Plus, what American teenage girl has to wear a shirt and tie five days a week? For Jo, moving to America is an opportunity to exchange her boring everyday British life with the stuff of movies. Or so she thinks. And for the reader who gets to go with her… well, it’s a riot.
The standout aspect of Split by a Kiss is definitely its structure. When our protagonist splits, we follow Josie the Cool and Jo the Nerd through two different versions of the same story. This means we get to experience the same events from different perspectives: the parties that Josie’s invited to but Jo is left out of, the different ways that Jo and Josie spend the same snowy day. The most magical part of all: we’re given one perfect guy for Jo to fall for, but two different journeys to get her there.
Split by a Kiss may be Fun with a capital F, but there’s a whole lot of real life in there too. We’ve all met the intelligent girl who dumbs herself down to fit in with the in-crowd or get the attention of some boy who probably isn’t all that interesting anyway. Rather than go in all heavy-handed with the ‘be yourself’ stuff, Split by a Kiss really gets that it’s as hard to fit in with the nerds as it is with the in-crowd. Also, best incentive ever for chucking out the labels and just being yourself: if you’re off simpering after the wrong guy, you might miss out on your big love scene with the right one.
Whether you’re a fan of light-hearted romantic comedies or a cynical devotee of all things dark, Split by a Kiss is the kind of book that’ll give you a serious case of the warm fuzzies. It’s charming, hilarious and frankly irresistible. Just beware of the snorting.