Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler
Release Date: October 1st, 2012
Number of Pages: 312
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: ARC from Publisher
She Never Thought A Kiss Could Kill. . . Samantha is new at school and just recently joined the swim team. She’s been flirting with one of her teammates, Zee, who invites her to a party and just as quickly dumps her for another girl. Hurt, but pretending not to care, she turns to his best friend, Alex, and gives him a kiss. And he dies—right in her arms. Alex was allergic to peanuts, and Samantha had eaten a peanut butter sandwich right before the party. She didn’t know. Overnight, Samantha turns into the school pariah and a media sensation explodes. Consumed with guilt, abandoned by her friends, and in jeopardy of losing her swimming scholarship, she will have to find the inner-strength to forgive herself for the tragedy.
I never thought I would get as caught in the story of Who I Kissed as much as I did. Wow. What a brilliant novel. It is about grief and guilt. And the strange thing about this book is the idea of someone dying because of something you ate. I think it is part of the reason why you just need to know what will happen, how everything will end for Sam. There’s more going on in the novel than just Sam’s own guilt, which is already a good part of the novel. There’s also everyone’s reaction to Alex’s death, his or her grief. We can’t forget about the media coverage, which add another layer to everything Sam has to go through.
Sam’s pain was simply heartbreaking. The story shows how one little mistake can change your life and the life of others forever. Things aren’t easy for her already, with everything going on. She also doesn’t make thing easier. She ends up punishing herself over his death. We also meet Alex’s family, his best friends and everyone who knew Alex. All those characters were simply gripping, and they simply felt true. The emotions rang true, I could understand the motives behind the actions of the characters, and it’s something that is really important for me. It makes thing believable, even if many will find the idea of someone dying because of a kiss unbelievable.
This was my second novel from Janet Gurtler, and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed. Once again, I was given an amazingly written contemporary book. Janet Gurtler’s style is captivating and addicting. She knows how to balance everything perfectly. The book is in no way boring. There is always going on, leaving us wanting more and more. There’s a mix of drama, guilt and a little touch of romance that will seduce many readers. The ending was slightly predictable since I’ve known people allergic of peanuts, and how affected they can be by only the smell. If you still haven’t read anything by Janet Gurtler, you really should do so soon! Her books are really worth it.