Second Kiss by Natalie Palmer

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‘Even my most humiliating moments seemed funny somehow when I told them to Jess.’ Gemma Mitchell is a normal girl who somehow gets herself into abnormally embarrassing circumstances. And while she thinks she’s the biggest loser in school because of them, there are a few people in her life who would disagree. One of those people is her best friend, Jess Tyler, who is opposite to her in every way. He’s popular, good looking, athletic, and intelligent, and he can’t get enough of Gemma. But while Gemma is dealing with problems like wrong locker combinations and Valentine’s Day dances, Jess is living in a world of serious issues that are foreign to Gemma, until she realizes that he’s holding on to her for dear life. Humorous and true to life, Second Kiss is an entertaining saga about a boy and girl who find that their lives have a lot more meaning once they have shared them with each other.
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Rating: 4.5 stars

I’m still fanning myself over the cuteness of this novel a full 24 hours after finishing it. Which let me say surprises me no end. After reading the synopsis I was a little apprehensive about starting it. I’ve never had that much fun with young adult contemporary, I’ve always preferred fantasy because I read to escape and contemporary doesn’t make me feel like I’m escaping honestly. Why would I want to read about other peoples problems unless they involve a dragon or two. Not to say that I absolutely loathe contemporary, I’ve read quite a lot of it and they aren’t all bad. But I have to say I think this is one of my favourites in this genre. I have no idea whether its just because I read it at the right time and I was feeling particularly connected to the book, or it really is a good book.

The first half of the book I felt like I was going down memory lane to when I was a 14/15 year old, in Year 9 at Secondary School doing stupidly naive things and embarrassing myself to the point that I would look back when I’m 20 and cringe inwardly. I actually found it rather refreshing and realistic. The majority of contemporary YA novels nowadays seem to focus on 16 to 18 year olds and it was nice reading from a slightly earlier age. Although at times you do find yourself just facepalming and thinking “WHYYYY?! Are you blind?!” at the main character Gemma. But when you think about it when I was that age I probably would have been doing exactly the same things.

The romance was lovely. I did find myself wanting to bang their heads together, but it was so adorable that I can’t dislike the book because of it. I loved the parents’ role in this aspect of the plot too. It was amusing and as a reader you can really understand exactly what they are thinking. I think the only downside of this book was a lack of proper interaction with the lesser characters, when the book finishes there are some loose ends which probably should have been tied up especially concerning Trace.

Overall, it was a quick, enjoyable, light and just a bit fluffy read and I think if you’re in need of a book that you can just plough through in one sitting, that has a cute romance and a little family drama on the side this is it.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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