Featured Review: A Kiss in the Dark by Gina Ciocca!

35238027

About This Book:

When the lights go out at a Georgia high school football game, Macy Atwood finds herself in the arms of a boy who kisses her senseless – but is gone by the time the lights come back on. All she knows is that there was something special – and oddly familiar – about her mystery kisser. Noah Granger, Ridgedale’s resident bad boy and newest transfer student, has no problem taking credit for the kiss, but Macy can’t shake the feeling that he’s lying. Especially since a photograph of Macy and former star football player Joel Hargrove resurfaced online moments before the blackout, a not-so random reminder of how hard she fell for Joel last year. And how doing so ultimately sent her lifelong friendships with Meredith Kopala and Ben Collins up in literal smoke. Soon junior year’s wounds begin to reopen as Macy realizes the events that unfolded are somehow tied to her mystery kisser. Discovering how means finally facing what really went wrong with Meredith, Ben, and Joel – and finding out what Noah is covering up. But the closer Macy gets to figuring it all out, the more she starts to worry that the boy who kissed her in the dark and the boy who is stealing her heart might be two very different people.

 

*Review Contributed by Paige C., Staff Reviewer*

Compulsively readable

WHAT I LOVED:

Macy is a likable, layered character and her narration flows easily. Even when my frustration mounted at how these characters refused to communicate, it was simply too darn readable to put down. Her two years of worries about how homecoming will go are both entirely reasonable for who she is and very realistic for where the story is set. As I learned when we happened to visit my small-town-Georgia-living grandparents the same weekend that the homecoming dance and game was being held, I got to see how enthusiastic local students were about it.

It also makes a strong effort in regards to representation! We’ve got plenty of characters of color, queer kids, and disabilities like multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis are mentioned in passing because characters’ relatives live with those diseases. Noah, one of her three love interests, is a quarter Comanche! Admittedly, that’s according to his great-grandfather and he makes no mention of having tribal membership with the Comanche Nation. White families will make stuff up like that sometimes.

Really, I like Macy too much to want her with any of her three possible love interests. Readers will figure out very, very quickly who her mystery guy is, but I’ll leave him nameless for this review.

WHAT LEFT ME WANTING:

Anyway, Mystery Kisser doesn’t deserve her. The sole reason they’re not together earlier in the book is because he keeps throwing tantrums and refusing to just talk to Macy about why he’s mad. It goes like this: she got blackout drunk, did something with him, and he treats her as though she remembers when he very well knows she doesn’t. He could clear that up with her so quickly that the scene wouldn’t even be long enough for a short story, but his refusal to talk drags the book out a long time. The handful of times he actually tries to clear it up, he takes any outside interruption as though Macy is personally insulting him when she has no control over what interrupted them.

Communication is a vital part of any romantic relationship. When you and your partner can’t or won’t communicate about either person’s problems or feelings, things are almost certain to go down in flames. Macy is too good for a guy who still acts like a child.

Further worsening the problem, almost every single conflict is the result of a misunderstanding or refusal to communicate. Macy fails to ask the right questions or the person she’s talking to completely shuts down. It’s not an unrealistic source of conflict; but it’s the only source of conflict in A Kiss in the Dark, breeding a world of frustration that might make you put down the book if you’re less than invested in Macy.

Toward the end, some of the characters are talking and they make very valid points about being openly queer in a Southern state like Georgia. That’s a pretty good reason for some of these characters to clam up: they can’t be sure the person they’re talking to is homophobic. However, I have this to say:

Don’t turn the reveal of a queer character’s sexual identity into a twist. Our identities are not a twist to shock people with.

FINAL VERDICT:

As frustrating as it is compulsively readable, A Kiss in the Dark is a difficult book to describe and recommend to someone, but it sure made me miss my home state even though I’ve always been glad we don’t live there. Just avoid the Albany area of Georgia altogether, okay?

Good Points
*Fun main character
*Noticeable attempts at representation

*Find More Info On This Book HERE*

 
Spotlight on Seventh Born by Monica Sanz, Plus Exc...
Spotlight on A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova R...

Related Posts

 

Comments

Already Registered? Login Here
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy (The Chronicles of Never After, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Real life and fairy tales collide in Never After: The...
The Cousins
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of One...
A Curse of Roses
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Based on Portuguese legend, this #OwnVoices historical fantasy is an...
I Don't Want to Wash my Hands!
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
From beloved children's author and illustrator Tony Ross, comes a...
Dance Like a Leaf
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
As her grandmother's health declines, a young girl begins to...
The Bitterwine Oath
 
3.3 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
San Solano, Texas, is a quaint town known for...
Sing Like No One's Listening
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A moving YA debut about a talented young singer...
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first book in an epic and romantic YA...
The Good Girls
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
One of Us Is Lying meets Sadie in this...
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Iduna harbors a dark secret. On the surface,...
The Camelot Betrayal
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Every summer, they say goodbye. Dorit goes to Tel Aviv...
Incredible Animals
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this illustrated guide, discover fascinating and unusual information about...
Special Delivery
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A lovely book to share with children in an expecting...
Eyelike Stickers: Trains
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hundreds of irresistible, reusable, and collectible stickers to mix, match,...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
It is twenty years since the events of La Belle...

Latest Member Reviews

Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy (The Chronicles of Never After, #1)
 
5.0
"NEVER AFTER is a completely charming middle grade fantasy. We are introduced to Filomena Jefferson-Cho, a young girl who is..."
The Cousins
 
5.0
"THE COUSINS is a highly devourable and engaging family drama/mystery. The Story family is very wealthy, running a bunch of..."
Golden Curse (The True Story of Rapunzel)
 
5.0
"This beautiful story is highly enjoyable. The writing flows easily, and the characters feel relatable. The main conflict was interesting..."
The Raven and the Dove
 
4.0
"An intriguing tale of forbidden love as two young lovers fight to stay together. Well written and entertaining. ..."
The Devil's Apprentice
 
4.5
"This was actually a pretty interesting story. At first I really wasn't sure how it was going to go so..."
A Curse of Roses
 
3.7
"A CURSE OF ROSES is an intriguing YA historical fantasy based on a Portuguese legend. The book tackles themes of..."
Speechless
 
4.7
"this story is amazing! i have a project for honors english 10, and this is a great story to chose..."
I Don't Want to Wash my Hands!
 
3.0
"I DON'T WANT TO WASH MY HANDS is a picture book about the need for frequent hand washing. The little..."
Dance Like a Leaf
 
5.0
"DANCE LIKE A LEAF is a beautiful book about grief and loss of a loved one. A young girl loves..."
The Bitterwine Oath
 
3.3
"THE BITTERWINE OATH is a YA fantasy and light horror read. Nat is the descendent of the girl who put..."
Heart Sister
 
4.8
"The story: When Emmitt’s twin sister Minnie dies in a tragic accident, it cripples not only him..."
Incredible Animals
 
5.0
"INCREDIBLE ANIMALS is a fascinating collection of animals by special skills, including clever camouflage, devoted parents (such as penguins), and..."
Special Delivery
 
4.0
"SPECIAL DELIVERY is a delightfully silly picture book. A little duck is eagerly awaiting the delivery of her baby brother...."
Eyelike Stickers: Trains
 
5.0
"EYELIKE STICKERS: TRAINS is an unbelievably cool collection of stickers. These 400 stickers include many photographs of trains, as well..."
 
4.3
"If your expecting the same type of books that you’ve been reading in this series, you’d be wrong. This whole..."
The Kinder Poison
 
5.0
"From start to finish I absolutely adored this story. The opening scene was so much fun to read while Zahru..."
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
"HEIRESS APPARENTLY is a YA rom-com with deep themes that make it such an engaging and captivating read. Gemma is..."
The Good Girls
 
4.0
"THE GOOD GIRLS is an enthralling read. The book begins after the disappearance and seeming murder of the police chief's..."
All our Hidden Gifts
 
4.0
"Maeve finds a pack of tarot cards while cleaning out a closet at her school. What starts off as curiosity,..."
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
"DANGEROUS SECRETS: THE STORY OF IDUNA AND AGNARR is a great MG/YA fantasy romance. Based on Frozen, this book tells..."