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Book Review: The Kissing Game by Aidan Chambers

The Kissing Game
Title: The Kissing Game
Author: Aidan Chambers
Series: Standalone
Pages: 224
Publisher: Bodley Head
Date of Publication: 1st March 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: United under the banner of flash fiction, this is a collection of stories, or little 'cells', complete in themselves but connected by the overarching themes of betrayal and revenge. All featuring teenagers and often with an unexpected twist, these frighteningly realistic stories will take you to the very edge and beyond.

My Thoughts:
I don't really know what to think about this book. I don't know whether to think that I completely missed the point of it, and that I've just not picked up on a fundamental theme within the book, or whether there just is no point. There were a whole bunch of short stories, flash fiction, that seemed to have nothing in common with each other, and I don't quite know what to make of them.

Having never read any kind of flash fiction before, I was intrigued as to what they would be like. And I don't think they're for me. I can't decide whether it's because the stories in The Kissing Game were either extremely weird or just uninteresting, or whether it's the format of the stories that I didn't like. (As you can tell, I'm very indecisive about everything about this book... ;P ) For example, there was one story in which a kid finds a tower, but his dad can't see it. He goes to find the tower, and then the kid's parents find him, floating in the air, because he's in the tower but they can't see it... It was very strange, and I didn't understand what the story was trying to tell me.

There were a couple of other stories like that, and then there were ones that just bored me out of my brain... I can't even remember half of them, unfortunately, so I won't say anymore on that.

And then some of them were just a little bit depressing and strange. In one of the *minor spoilers ahead* it ends after a girl stabs a boy while kissing him over a fence. I finished that story just thinking why on earth did Chambers write it that way? Have I missed something, again? Eurgh, it is SO frustrating when you don't understand things.

Perhaps the only story I really remember very clearly is the first story, about Ursula. She didn't like who everyone thought she was so she felt she had to change herself. So she changes her clothes and gets a makeover, and goes out into the world. It doesn't take her long to realise she doesn't like faking who she is, and it sends a much needed message to the reader to let them know that it's better to just be yourself.

Overall, I didn't really enjoy The Kissing Game all that much. It was a bit hit and miss, if I'm honest. I think it'd be good for people who want a book that will make them think, and people who like to analyse and find hidden meanings within the stories they read. I have a feeling it'd be great for an English teacher, but if you've had enough of studying books in school like me and just want something light and readable, then this one is probably not for you.

*Thanks to Random House for sending me this in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book.


  1. I loved a couple of the stories in this book but like you it didnt sit very well with me the whole way through... I think I must have missed something from it too!


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