Review: “Confessions of a Serial Kisser” by Wendelin Van Draanen

For the love of books

Evangeline loves rock ‘n’ roll music, her best friend, and her mom.  She currently hates her two-timing dad and her social life.  However, everything about Evangeline turns into a full rebellion against the woes of love: after seriously perusing romance novels, she is ready to solve all her fantasies with a “crimson kiss.”  The target is the vast jungle of teenage boys in her high school.  But when her kissing quest goes too far, Evangeline has to backtrack and decide what it is she really wants from her future.  Some would immediately categorize Wendelin Van Draanen’s Confessions of a Serial Kisser as “chick lit.”  It’s not.

While the novel gives considerable notice to Evangeline’s personal coming-of-age story, it also revolves around relationships and family troubles.  For example, Evangeline is still hurting from her parents’ divorce and her father’s betrayal of her mother; she is stubbornly determined never to forgive him for the past.  Nevertheless, as she experiences the fiascoes of high school love affairs and complex feelings, her obsession with romance novels and rock n’ roll teaches her to look further than the closest set of appealing lips.  Her search for happiness is lined with witty retorts, candid observations, and a new understanding of what romance really is all about.

The author not only gives her main character a biting, sharp sense of humor and a unique personality but also provides the reader with two-sided ridicule of common notions and expectations in the dating world.  Evangeline’s newfound respect for romance novels is between sarcastic and hilarious, while her specific rock ‘n’ roll song recommendations are quite notable.  Perhaps Confessions of a Serial Kisser is not profound intrinsically, but it is scintillating, entertaining, and educational on a romantic level.

Original review: How’s a teenage girl to find a perfect kiss in an imperfect world?, Examiner.com

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