TITLE: Kiss Me Not
BY: Emma Hart
SERIES: Kiss Me #1 (can be read as standalone)
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
PUBLICATION: August 27th 2019
What do you do when you’re the reigning kissing booth champion but the only person you want to kiss is your best friend’s brother?
Let me make this clear right here, right now: I, Halley Dawson, do not care that Preston Wright is kissing other women.
Not a lick. Not at all. Nuh-uh-freakin’-uh.
I do care that he’s doing it six feet away from me behind a gaudy velvet curtain—making him my competition in this year’s kissing contest.
Why do I care, you ask? Because I’ve had an unfortunate crush on the insufferable idiot since I was sixteen years old, but I also know it’s never going to happen.
He’s the Creek Falls bachelor to die for, and I’m the Creek Falls racoon lady who puts peanut butter sandwiches out for them every night.
I’m not going to let him break my four-year-long reign—no matter how many times he breaks the rules and slides the curtain across to do the one thing he’s not allowed to: Kiss me.
Prior to reading this, I’ve heard a lot of great things regarding the author’s writing. But I guess, we readers can’t really like the same books every time and it’s OK. 🙂 I wanted to like this book but after reading it, I ended up having two big issues. I do agree that it is a fun read. It has its hilarious moments and yes, also the sass. But speaking of sass, let’s get on with my issues…
1.) The CHARACTERS
I love sass in my reads like everyone. My issue with this book is everyone’s sassy or snarky to the point that the characters’ voices are almost identical. Like if I don’t give my 100% attention to reading, I wouldn’t know who’s speaking. This is one of the few books I read that I got a problem with the characters’ voices. I mean, I’m all for making everyone funny and sassy but at least give them different voices so I can identify them. For example, I think the only difference between Halley and her two friends is their current lives. Halley is the reigning kissing booth champion and feeds the raccoons. And her two friends, one always lose on bets and the other always wins. That’s not enough distinction of character personalities. I can’t even remember their names because, in my mind, they’re all the same…
And when I say everyone, that includes Preston Wright, our dear male protagonist. His humor and character are almost identical to the girls. One more thing, I have a problem with Preston’s way of seeing women. It’s not always verbal or actual, but in his point of view, he kinda addresses or sees the women lining up for him to be kissed as…let’s just say Preston is a bit too full of himself. Like these women, most women seem low because they’re doing what they’re doing. I mean, he’s handsome and everything, of course, women will line up. And it’s a f*cking kissing booth. Let me put it this way: for him, Halley is so f*cking perfect, like level-10 perfect, and other girls didn’t even reach level 1. I understand that he’s in love with Halley and Halley is a perfect catch, but really???
And by the way, the sass gets old too quickly so it’s not fun anymore.
1.b) Conflicting characterization
For example, Halley is a catch, she knows it and even says it herself, but sometimes her tone implies the opposite. She’s one of those women who we know is perfect but she has lots of doubts about it. It’s like the author is trying to make her perfect but at the same time, make her seem relatable which is the most annoying thing about a character. For God’s sake, if she’s perfect, so be it. The readers know this is fiction so we can understand if she’s more than perfect than a non-fiction woman. And it’s the same with Preston. He’s celibate but a few times, Halley mentioned Preston dating many girls, girls who are opposite of hers, (so you know, Halley thinks she’s not Preston’s type.) Ugh! Whatever. It’s like making Preston a perfect catch, like an ideal man but he must also be wholesome to make him more perfect. Again, ugh!!!
I think the conflict is too weak. We all know most Contemporary Romance end happily, right? But would we call books in the contemporary genre as predictable? OF COURSE NOT. Why? Because we love the journey towards the end. We love the conflicts that the couple resolve before they get their happy ending. THIS IS NOT THE CASE IN THIS BOOK. Really, the only thing preventing the two of them to have a relationship is their sass and whatever they have that they call as humor. Whenever they meet, they just snark at each other. I think it’s to prove that this is a hate-to-love romance. LOL.
Can’t they have a proper conversation like two adults? And yeah, I kinda picture them as young adults. I don’t mean that young adults never have proper conversation but Halley and Preston is just too immature, I can’t picture them as adults, and of course, I can’t picture them as kids (they’re in kissing booths, hehe) so I settled on picturing them as young adults.
Aaaaand Halleys friend and Preston’s sister (who again, I forgot the name) is almost basically telling both of them that they’re into each other and encouraging them every singly chance she gets. So really it’s not that hard or complicated to make Preston and Halley’s romance happens.
I’m sorry if this ends up as a ranting review. When I started reading it, I never thought I would end up disliking it. I also didn’t plan on reviewing it, but then I realized this is my first flop read this year (and decade) so I though I needed to publish a review.
Have you read this book? Or planning to? What do you think of it? Do we agree on some points? Let’s chat.