About the book
The Kissing Booth is a contemporary young adult novel by Beth Reekle. It was published by Corgi Childrens on 22nd April and the book is 448 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an e-copy for review through NetGalley.
Rochelle Evans is pretty and popular but she has never been kissed. Her best friend Lee’s bigger brother has seen to that. Noah is a bad boy and full of himself. He knows he’s hot and all of the girls want him.
When Rochelle and Lee have to come up with a booth for the school’s Spring Carnival, they decide on a kissing booth – something all the other girls are extremely excited about. Unintentionally, Rochelle ends up kissing Noah which sparks something very unexpected between them. She knows having anything with Noah could ruin her lifelong friendship with Lee but is he worth taking a risk on?
What I thought
The Kissing Booth was originally written through wattpad.com and this is the author’s first book to be published. The author is actually only 17 herself and The Kissing Booth became an internet sensation.
The book follows the story of Rochelle, aka Elle and Shelly. She’s one of the popular girls in school but has never had a boyfriend. Her lifelong best friend Lee is like her twin and they are scarily connected to one another. To start with, I have to say that I absolutely loved the fact that Elle had a guy as a best friend and that there were no romantic feelings between either of them. It’s about time a friendship like this wasn’t ruined and turned into a relationship. Ella and Lee are wonderful to read about together as they are so refreshing and different together.
While I did like the idea of the kissing booth at the carnival, I do think it is a little outdated. Also, the author is British but sets the story in America. This I don’t have a problem with so much but lack of experience in that particular setting shows. Would this kind of thing be done nowadays and would a school even allow it?! There are also problems with British terminology being used and this bugged me quite a bit. I would have much preferred for American words to be used instead of things like jumper or trousers because they just didn’t fit in very well.
The plot is pretty clichéd and predictable. However, I really did like the plot. With a young adult contemporary, I don’t look for complete uniqueness and a tried and tested formula is ok by me. Elle has had a semi-secret crush on Lee’s big brother for some time now but has never done anything about it because of who he is and his reputation. Noah is known as the bad boy who every girl wants to be with. Elle sees him slightly differently though due to knowing him a lot better than the other girls. Her dreams come true when she is asked to step in on the kissing booth and manages to kiss him.
From here, the majority of the plot revolves around secrets and lies. Elle and Noah have chemistry but she doesn’t want to ruin what she has with Lee. She also doesn’t want to think they have something they don’t as Noah has a reputation for sleeping around. I liked the secretive meetings between Elle and Noah as they were exciting and fun.
While I did really like the plot, there were things that I just didn’t understand. Elle’s Dad seemed to be completely ok with her going out to parties without much explanation as to why she doesn’t come home some nights. Noah is a straight A student but constantly gets into fights and trouble without even the smallest detention. Surely these things wouldn’t get passed most parents or schools. If Noah was a bad boy through and through, I could have understood but how on earth did he get away with having the best of everything? That would never happen.
Overall, The Kissing Booth was a bit of a mixed bag for me. While predictable, the story was cute and enjoyable but there were quite a few problems with the writing.