(Review & Giveaway) THE INTERNATIONAL KISSING CLUB


THE INTERNATIONAL KISSING CLUB is scheduled to come out today, Tuesday, January 3rd!  The {Teen} Book Scene's tour will continue through February!  Check out the tour schedule to see the list of events. A Backwards Story will be back with a guest post from one of the character's perspective during the final week of the tour on February 13th!

NOTE: This post should have gone up this weekend. I thought I was missing a piece from the tour I needed and only found out I wasn't yesterday.  So....this is pretty late.  Sorry!

Butttttttttttt~!

I can make it up to you with a GIVEAWAY at the end of this entry, yes?  YES!!!


Title: THE INTERNATIONAL KISSING CLUB
Author: Ivy Adams (Pseudonym for authors Emily McKay, Shellee Roberts, and Tracy Deebs)
Release Date: Out Today! (Jan. 03, 2012)
Publisher: Bloomsbury/Walker & Co.
Received: Received from The {Teen} Book Scene for review

SUMMARY:

Piper, Cassidy, Mei, and Izzy have been best friends their whole lives. And they've always agreed on one goal: to get out of tiny Paris, Texas, and see the world. The school's foreign exchange program seems like the perfect escape: Piper will go to the original Paris; Mei will go to China; Cassidy will go to Australia; and Izzy, unable to afford the program, will stay at home.

To add spice to their semester away, and to stay connected to their best friends, the girls start The International Kissing Club, a Facebook page where they can anonymously update one another and brag about all the amazing guys they're meeting. After all, these girls are traveling abroad: amazing guys abound at every turn!

But sometimes fun, flirty vacation flings turn into more serious romances, and sometimes you don't return from abroad the same person you were. Will the girls' relationships-and their friendships-be able to survive?


While the title of THE INTERNATIONAL KISSING CLUB sounds light and carefree (and, okay, yes, it's that, too), the book digs a bit deeper than the title might otherwise suggest.  This book isn't really about a club full of people who only care about kissing.  I wasn't sure what to expect at first, but I wasn't anticipating the extra dimensions that grew as I read.  When I first started reading, I compared the book a little to THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS series by Ann Brashares (and it made me laugh when the girls referred to the series in the novel).  It started off slowly, but as I grew invested in each of the characters, I came to care more about what happened to them and was sad when the book came to an end.

The International Kissing Club isn't just the book's title, but an online Facebook page put together by four best friends (Piper, Cassidy, Izzy, and Mei) after getting opportunities to study abroad for ten weeks.  Piper wants to go to Paris, France after one of the school's most popular girls, Germaine, torments her in the most humiliating way possible--and posts the results online, making Piper a viral sensation.  Over three million people witnessed her humiliation on YouTube and everyone at school still makes fun of her.  She can't wait to get away from Paris, Texas, and go to the real Paris to study art...and boys.  Cassidy also longs to get away from Paris.  She's had people talking about her and her mother, who was an unwed teenager when she gave birth, her entire life.  She can't wait to go down under to Australia, even if it means sucking it up and talking to her estranged father for the first time in years.  Mei is adopted and longs to go to her Chinese homeland in order to discover more about herself and learn a little Mandarin.  Izzy is all about saving the environment and would love to visit the rainforests of Costa Rica, but she's the middle-child, wedged between a football-playing older brother who recently broke his hand and ruined his chances at a scholarship and a younger brother who is a piano-playing prodigy and always traveling to compete in various competitions.  There's no money left for her, "Invisabel Isabel."  Instead, she finds herself working on a classmate's farm...and feeling more for him than she ever thought possible.  While all four girls relish their single status and start The International Kissing Club with the best of fun intentions, they quickly realize that kisses are meaningless if you're not sharing them with that special someone.

My favorite part about this novel was all the character growth.  All four girls grew a lot; no one returned home the same as when they left.  Piper started out as my least-favorite character because she was so self-absorbed, but in the end, I found myself rooting for her the most.  The novel also ends in a natural fashion that remains true-to-life.  No story arc is tied up with a pretty bow.  Readers get hints of what might come--and those hints could potentially lead to stand-alone sequels focusing on each girl in the future--but no one story is too easily concluded, which I really appreciated (as much as I wanted to know more about certain things!).  I like the way the girls evolved abroad, too.  Piper had the time of her life--and grew up a lot before returning home, Mei didn't have the experience she hoped to and went through a lot of culture shock, and Cassidy experienced a lot of home sickness.  All of these reactions are natural when living abroad for any length of time and I was pleased to see them focused on in the novel.  I also loved the four guys that the girls found themselves falling for and fell right alongside them.  The characters were truly well-developed in this novel and I would read any sort of continuation that might come out.


COVER DESIGN:

Fun and flirty is the name of the game when it comes to this cover!  The interior is as cute as the exterior, though I won't take pictures since the design may have changed in the final copy (I have an ARC). 

I like the way the cover is vibrant with many eye-popping colors that all work together.  The same four images of the main characters are used at the start of each chapter, representing a Facebook avatar, to signify which girl's POV is about to unfold.  I also like the snippets between chapters where we can peer at the Facebook fanpage and see what everyone is chatting about. 

The bottom of each page has a little instant message person icon (reminds me of the MSN messaging logo, actually) next to the page number. 

I also like the way there are lip prints on the cover, all tied together by an airplane that links the four girls.

This is one cute design!



And now, it's GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

Here's some cute swag you could win:



I've been using mine as a bookmark.  First I used it for THE INTERNATIONAL KISSING CLUB, of course.  Then I decided to be ironic and have been using it for PANDEMONIUM.  Would it be wrong to use it for THE SECRET SISTERHOOD OF HEARTBREAKERS? *innocent whistle*

How will you use YOURS?

Enter to win and find out!

Comments

  1. Great review! I always look at covers when I'm judging books, too ^^

    Vy
    bbivip@gmail.com

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