Van Draanen, W. (2008). Confessions of a serial kisser. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN: 9780375842498
Annotation: After her parents split up, Evangeline takes comfort in a boring routine of all work and no play, until she discovers a romance novel that inspires her to start taking some risks and seek out her “crimson kiss.”
Reaction: This was a fun, quick read. Evangeline is a smart high school student who is dealing with her parent’s separation and reinventing her image. She finds a collection of romance novels under her mother’s bed, including The Crimson Kiss, which, along with a self-help book about “living your best life”, lead her on a quest to find her own crimson kiss. Her encounters with the opposite sex are funny and sometimes awkward, but once she sets her mind to finding that kiss, nothing’s gonna stop her.
I really liked Evangeline. She’s gutsy, takes risks and learns from her mistakes. She’s a character to whom teens can relate and look up. I enjoyed all the Classic Rock references Van Draanen threw in, and I appreciated how big a role music played in Evangeline’s life. Van Draanen takes the reader along as Evangeline learns some important lessons and starts figuring out her identity.