Who I KissedFeatured
Samantha didn't mean to hurt anyone. She was just trying to fit in...And she wanted to make Zee a little jealous after he completely ditched her for a prettier girl. So she kissed Alex. And then he died—right in her arms.
Sam is now the school pariah and a media sensation. Consumed with guilt, she'll have to find strength that goes way deeper than the fastest time in the 200–meter butterfly. Because if she can't figure out how to forgive herself, no one else will either.
I liked that this story showed consequences, even if they were a result of a horrible accident. The family dynamic was a positive one and the subjects of grief and forgiveness are depicted in realistic ways.
Besides the food allergy awareness, I think this story also does a good job of showing the importance of knowing one's own worth. This is just a suggestion, but you really should know the person you're playing tonsil hockey with a little longer than a few minutes or a few days.
I definitely think this is a book many readers can benefit from.
In the story WHO I KISSED we follow Samantha who is on the other end of someone having a reaction. She's new in town and doesn't know about Alex's allergy to peanuts. She only wanted to get the attention of the cute guy Zee by kissing Alex. Little did she know what would happen next.
What I loved about this story, besides bringing awareness to a very serious issue, is how we see Samantha's reaction to what happened. She's scorned by her community and called a 'killer'. Some even post very hateful comments on FB. Samantha struggles with what she did. Mostly though, Samantha struggles with forgiving herself. How she goes through this journey is haunting and also very real. Gurtler has a talent for being able to draw out deep emotions of all her characters. She's not afraid to dig down deep. Readers are rewarded with rich characters that we care about.
I also loved the eccentric aunt who comes to help. She balances out Samantha's father who seems to be hiding his own feelings. Samantha even 'decides' to give up one thing she loves: swimming. There's a huge reveal about swimming that deals with her own past and how her father's been sheltering her from it. I didn't see that plot point coming. **Don't worry I won't post a spoiler here!
There's those around her that try to help and those who struggle with their own feelings after Alex's death. Also those who try to take advantage of those who are vulnerable. It's all like a huge puzzle, that little by little come into place.
A huge bonus point for this book has to be how it brings awareness to an issue that also affects me. I can't even tell you the times people didn't believe that just touching a walnut, could have serious consequences for my son. I feel that there needs to be more awareness out there. Knowledge is power. Hopefully nothing as tragic as the premise of this book will happen.
Powerful, gripping tale that shows the consequences of one little act. But mostly this is a story of forgiveness, not only of others but of yourself. Once again Gurtler shows she's the YA Jodi Picoult of this generation.
2. Gripping tale
3. Brings up the whole 'what if' with nut allergies
4. Powerful, engaging