Friday, August 3, 2012

uk ya review: kiss date love hate

Luisa Plaja
Random House Children's Books (UK)
(received as gift)
Lex's group of friends have been falling apart for a while, but when her and her best friend George get their hands on a Sims-like video game that lets them make changes to people's looks, life outlook, and even who they fall in love with, they never dream that those changes will carry over into the real world. But when they do, Lex sees the perfect opportunity to get back with her ex-boyfriend, Matt, who's currently in love with a girl (Gemma) who used to be one of Lex's closest friends.

I love the idea behind this book and was excited to see how these computer-game personality changes would play out in the real world. But unfortunately if not for the fact that I sort-of accidentally read a few pivotal, spoilerific sentences near the end of the book I probably wouldn't have finished it. But, having some idea what was coming, I wanted to see how things shook out. Because while this is a romantic little story with a wish-fullfilment twist, it's hiding a big secret that changes your view of the rest of the story and especially of Lex. It's the sort of big reveal that, while it adds another dimension to this mostly-superficial story, also puts Lex's narration in question. While I wouldn't exactly call her an unreliable narrator, and the reasons for keeping the SPOILER secret are obvious, as a reader I did feel a little betrayed by how things played out.

And while Lex's narration left some to be desired, her outlook was humorous and Drew, a possible romantic interest here, is a wonderful character -- by far my favorite in the book. On the whole I found myself disappointed by this book. I kept wanting more substance, especially when it came to her rocky relationship with her mother, which was hinted at but never really shown in detail.

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