6 Times We Almost Kissed (And One Time We Did)

6 Times We Almost Kissed (And One Time We Did)
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Release Date
January 24, 2023
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Six moments lead us to two girls, one kiss, and three little words that were maybe always true in this gorgeous novel perfect for fans of Nina LaCour and Jenny Han.

After years of bickering, Penny and Tate have called a truce: they’ll play nice. They have to. Their mothers (life-long best friends) need them to be perfect, drama-free daughters when Penny’s mother becomes a living liver donor to Tate’s mom. Forced to live together as the Moms recover, the girls’ truce is essential in keeping everything—their jobs, the house, the finances, the Moms’ healing—running smoothly. They’ve got to let this thing between them go. 

There’s one little hitch: Penny and Tate keep almost kissing.

It’s just this confusing thing that keeps happening. You know, from time to time. For basically their entire teenaged existence.

They’ve never talked about it. They’ve always ignored it in the aftermath. But now they’re living across the hall from each other.

And some things—like their kisses—can’t be almosts forever. 
Told through two girls’ present and six moments from their past, this dynamic love story shows that sometimes the person you need the most has been there for you all along. 

Editor review

1 review
emotional YA contemporary romance
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6 TIMES WE ALMOST KISSED is a story about challenging family, falling in love, and finding your own path. Penny and Tate have a complicated relationship - they are not really friends, but since their mothers are best friends, as in give-your-organ-to-the-other friends, they have lived in each other's orbits, being there for a lot of things the other would rather forget. Penny's mother is giving Tate's mother some of her liver, a transplant desperately needed. However, the recovery time for both of them means funds will be tight, so they are moving in together.

Penny and Tate set some ground rules for their new lives on top of each other, but complicated feelings keep swirling. While everyone seems sure they will in their will-they-won't-they style of relationship, Penny and Tate are not ready to consider what that could mean.

What I loved: This was a much heavier read than I expected based on the synopsis. A major point of the plot has been the trauma both girls have experienced and their complicated mother-daughter relationships. This is particularly true for Penny. Her adolescence has been overrun by trauma and the way her mother reacted to it. She loves her mother while also feeling incredibly hurt and stressed by being around her. Her life has not been easy - and it has been tough with Tate having courtside seats to the whole mess.

The story jumps back to these key points in time when Tate really shows up for Penny, and their love for each other is showing through. While some of them were clearly almost-kisses, others were actually much deeper connections and understandings that irrevocably changed their lives. These deeper plots were quite moving and powerful, full of pain and angst but also showing resilience and how they moved forward. For readers who have experienced their own complex relationships with parents, this book will really resonate.

Penny's relationship with her mother is juxtaposed with Tate's, as though her mother has been very sick with the threat of death of hanging over her head, she manages to fuse emotional maturity and stability into the discussions she has with the girls. These themes around family and complicated relationships/emotions, the power of trauma to make or break you, the importance of therapy, the value of friends/found family, and the importance of connection really make this into an emotional story. I also really appreciated that both main characters were bi, which was not a rep that is seen super-commonly!

What left me wanting more: I struggled a bit with the relationship and understanding why they were so resistant to it. This was not fully explained to the reader, particularly in the later parts of the book as it builds to something that did not fully make sense. It was then tough to follow the outcomes from that and really get what was happening next and why. I am leaving this vague to avoid spoilers, but considering the book is described around their relationship, I wanted it to have a powerful and understandable path/ending. Perhaps, if you read it without expectations around the kisses or almost-kisses, it makes a bit more sense.

Final verdict: 6 TIME WE ALMOST KISSED is an emotional and heartfelt YA contemporary romance that I would recommend for people who enjoy deep reads about challenging family relationships and winding paths to love.
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