After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy

Product Details

  • Pub. Date: May 2010
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
  • Format: Hardcover, 382pp
  • Sales Rank: 95,290
  • Age Range: Young Adult
  • Lexile: NP  What’s This?// What’s This?
Becca is a sweet girl who is in love with her long time boyfriend Alec.  Alec writes haikus to her all of the time.  He is a jock, but the time that they spend together is magical.  She honestly can’t picture her life without him.  Becca is also part of the literary magazine, and when she narrates her part of the story, you can tell the structure of her poems and the word choices that she really cares about structure in her life.  She enjoys tasks and goals.  After an unfortunate car accident, she is forced to work in a coffee shop to pay off the damage.  This pulls her away from Alec, but she figures that things will be alright.
Camille is very guarded.  She has moved several times and doesn’t allow herself to feel for people because her ultimate goal is to escape to Europe and leave her hectic moving life behind.  Her love was in Chicago, and her heart is still badly bruised from having to leave him.  Her narration is done in free form verse.  There is little punctuation or capital letters.  She write more as a stream of consciousness.  She ends up making a few friends easily at her new school, and doesn’t really think much of the catcher that ends up seeking her out at a party.  It isn’t until after he kisses her that she begins to think about him more.  This kiss leads both girls down a dangerous path.  Becca is heartbroken, especially when Camille seems to frequent the coffee shop and not know who she is.  Camille withdrawals more from those around her.  When she finds out that the savings that she had is just not going to be good enough to go to Europe, her world feels like it is over.  Then she finds out that the catcher had a long-term girlfriend when he kissed her and she feels even worse.  How can these two young ladies find peace?
This was probably the best book that I have read this year.  It’s hard to compare it to the Book Thief, but I have a tendency to like novels that are written in verse.  I was wrapped up in the novel from the very beginning.  I felt like I learned so much about the characters and their heartaches resonated within me.  I don’t often read a book in a day, and this one I just could not put down.  I really couldn’t explain how much I enjoyed it.  I want everyone that I know to read it.  I actually bought 3 copies after I sent it out to the next person so that I would have more copies to let my students read.  The mixture of structured poetry to free verse helped me get an immediate sense of the characters, but really the language chosen for each poem was awe-inspiring.  I think McVoy might be crazy because this seems like it would take so long to put together, but I will buy all of her books from this point on.
5/5 stars (as if that could possibly be high enough)
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  1. Kaydence! What an AMAZING review! Thank you so, so much for the terrific response; I’m so glad that Becca and Camille have readers like you!!

    • I really hope that more people read this book. It was extremely well done. I can’t praise you enough.

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