Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

After the Kiss
  • Alternative view 1 of After the Kiss
  • Alternative view 2 of After the Kiss

After the Kiss

3.6 21
by Terra Elan McVoy

See All Formats & Editions

This moment changes everything.

Becca has been head-over-heels for Alec from the instant they met. He’s a brainy jock with a poet’s heart—in other words, perfect for her.

Camille is careful with her words and protective of her heart, especially since Chicago. Then a new boy in her new town catches her off guard with a surprise kiss.


This moment changes everything.

Becca has been head-over-heels for Alec from the instant they met. He’s a brainy jock with a poet’s heart—in other words, perfect for her.

Camille is careful with her words and protective of her heart, especially since Chicago. Then a new boy in her new town catches her off guard with a surprise kiss.

Too bad that new boy is Becca’s boyfriend, Alec.

Camille and Becca have never met, but their lives will unravel and intertwine in surprising ways as they deal with what happens after the kiss.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
McVoy's (Pure) roots are showing--in a good way. A love of language, literature, and the city of Atlanta, where she lives, pervades her sophomore novel, a thoughtfully wrought coming-of-age story. Camille, whose second-person narrative is light on punctuation and heavy on metaphor, has moved all over the country with her parents and is starting her final semester of high school in Atlanta. She tries to avoid creating attachments, but is having trouble getting over a boy in Chicago. Another senior, Becca, who tells her story in free verse, lives for her jock/poet boyfriend, Alec. Camille connects with and then kisses Alec at a party, unaware that he has a girlfriend. The aftershock of the kiss affects both girls, but this rich story also encompasses their struggles with family and friends, as well as their respective journeys of self-discovery. McVoy's prose is confident and adventurous-- some of Becca's poems are styled after her favorite poets ("The only empress is the empress of gossip magazines")--and while not every stylistic gambit pays off, on the whole it's a fresh, observant story. Ages 14-up. (May)
From the Publisher
"The girls have distinct, believable voices [in After the Kiss]. A poignant tale of two girls on the brink of adulthood faced with real decisions about their future, who they want to be, and what role boys will play in their decisions." —School Library Journal

* "The poetry is richly allusive, with particular entries smartly and self-consciously modeled on poems by Pablo Neruda, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, and Wallace Stevens among others, and the imagery is often startling with an originality that exhales into a perfect aptness for the experience. This is more than simply a language-lover’s edition of traditional chick-lit fare, however; the back-and-forth interplay of perspectives calibrates the delicate edge between the poignant yearning for intimacy and the psychic need for separation, as Becca grows beyond a need to hold on to a love truly lost, and Camille lets go of the fear that’s driving her away from a love that might have a chance." —The Bulletin, starred review

"Vivid." —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"A love of language, literature, and the city of Atlanta, where [McVoy] lives, pervades her sophomore novel, a thoughtfully wrought coming-of-age story....McVoy's prose is confident and adventurous....A fresh, observant story."
Publishers Weekly

Children's Literature - Amy McMillan
Camille and Becca are in their senior years of high school, trying to figure out their places in the world and where to head next. Camille has moved around a lot and is now settled in Atlanta but is determined not to get too close to anyone and is pining away for a boy she left in Chicago. She is counting down the days until school is over and she can escape on her own terms. Becca has a great life filled with school, friends, and a fabulous boyfriend with whom she plans to attend college. When Becca wrecks her car and is forced to get a job at a local coffee shop, the girls'paths cross. While they stay relatively unaware of each other their lives are inextricably intertwined as they each become involved with the same boy. The girls tell their own stories in alternating chapters, one in verse form, the other in stream of consciousness style prose. This book is a quick, light read full of realistic situations that will appeal to most girls. It shows teens dealing positively with their problems and finding believable solutions. Reviewer: Amy McMillan
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Midway through senior year, Camille moves to Atlanta (her family's sixth move). She plans to simply go through the motions until she can escape to Europe after graduation. Meanwhile, at another school in town, Becca is jolted from the dreamlike state of her relationship with Alec when she gets in a fender bender and must find an after-school job to pay back her debt. The girls' lives collide when Camille meets Alec at a party, and, unaware that he is "taken," allows the haiku-spouting-but-athletic catcher to kiss her. At first blush, such a story line has the potential to play up every teen "mean girls" stereotype, yet McVoy elevates the narrative well above any predictable cat fight. Camille tells her side in stream-of-consciousness entries, while Becca speaks in free verse. The girls have distinct, believable voices, and the way in which they slowly become aware of one another rather than facing a direct confrontation shows that given different circumstances they might have been kindred spirits. Literary references and odes to famous poets pepper the pages. These are unobtrusive so that discerning readers will revel in their inclusion while others will skip over them but still enjoy the drama of the story. The result is a poignant tale of two girls on the brink of adulthood faced with real decisions about their future, who they want to be, and what role boys will play in their decisions.—Jill Heritage Maza, Greenwich High School, CT
Kirkus Reviews
Camille is new to Atlanta, Ga. Becca, on the other hand, has lived there her entire life. The two girls don't know each other and have nothing in common save for a haiku-writing baseball player, Alec. Alec is Becca's longtime boyfriend, but since Becca had to take a job at a coffeehouse, they've started growing apart. Alec kisses Camille at a party, accelerating his breakup with Becca. Camille is still fragile from a pre-Atlanta relationship, so she and Alec never quite get off the ground as a couple. The kiss itself, though marketed as the most important event in the book, is only one of many incidents that force both Becca and Camille out of their own minds and into their lives. Speaking in a second-person stream-of-consciousness narration, Camille is hard to get to know; there are often a lot of excess words to wade through before getting to the meat of her ideas. Becca speaks in verse, sometimes free, sometimes parodying famous poems. Her observations are occasionally sublime but sometimes nonsensical. Cheers to the formal experimentation, but it doesn't quite succeed. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

Simon Pulse
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Read an Excerpt


new house #6

pulling in the driveway all you can think is that this is the kind of house they were trying to duplicate back in charlotte: the real southern living deal—a big beautiful old (but newly renovated) house in an area they are calling the virginia highlands, with no hills to be seen and two states separated from virginia. there are brick-based columns across the wide front porch and a real swing and deep white rockers next to huge pots—vats really—full of what you are sure will be hydrangeas come springtime. it’s so stereotypical south (and so very, very far from the noisy cold of chicago) that you want to laugh, but inside the floors are real, dark, smooth, polished aged wood—not parquet like in dc or tile like in houston—and the rugs are just as lush as in the sf penthouse. there are no long hallways to slide down in your socks like the chicago apartment, but rooms leading onto rooms opening into other rooms like a russian treasure box or an alice in wonderland maze. you cannot believe how much space there is here: wide-wide everything so wide. how your dad’s company finds these places and what they pay for you to live in them you still can’t get dad to answer, but you are grateful and astonished every time. this will never be your real home, but it (like the last one, and the one before that) is certainly beautiful, and you know your new friends will (like always) be jealous of where you live, can already hear them (whoever they are) saying i wish i could be you in that gushing-awed way that leaves you cold, because no one ever wants the thrown-around rag doll with the threadbare smile. no one wants to be a girl who’s picked out her own embroidered heart, string by string, and left it for the birds to tangle in their nests.

new homeroom #5

the eyes have it. seventeen pairs of them already turning as you come through the door. you could be argus great defender of juno with all the eyes you have, the eyes you’ve collected from all these new homerooms, these new schools, these new doorways you’re always having to step through. you always wonder what you really look like to them, wonder what it would be to see out of all those different eyeballs ogling—green hazel blue brown brown flecked green—to get a three-hundred-and-sixty-degree view of yourself: forever always repeating only the surface and never having to look further in.

new french teacher #3

is a man this time which interests you because usually they are the same type of used-up–looking woman: a woman in a floral-print skirt with espadrilles or else dansko sandals, with pale skin that is smooth and soft-looking but also thinning and with its own share of wrinkles (sometimes about the eyes, sometimes about the mouth, always the furrow between the brows), blue eyes usually and long or short hair it doesn’t matter it is always dark and shot with gray. (and if she is blond, she doesn’t have fun.) but no today you walk in (the eyes all upon you) and you are bonjoured to your seat by a (blue-eyed, dark-haired, bearded) monsieur. tall and smiling (with wrinkling hands and pink but thinning cheeks) in his floral tie, he welcomes you with a nod and asks en francaise how comfortable are you with the language and when you answer back with your prepared little speech about reading camus in the original french this summer on your own for fun you see the same little glance of delight you always get with teachers: like a boy with a marzipan frog that has just leaped to life.

the sunshine girl

new-school day so far pretty smooth. there have been plenty of curious stares but no one’s snickered or snubbed, which you take as a good sign. two seconds into your third period though and the bright blonde in front of you whips around, sticks out her hand like a company CEO and chirps, hey i’m ellen. this class is awesome. there’s a waiting list so it’s amazing you got in. you’re going to love it. you hear yourself tell her your name is camille, you just moved from chicago, and then there’s something in the way she’s said it—something in her bright frankness—that just by looking at her yachting good looks and her hemp-bead bracelets you know that she’s right—that you will love this class, and not just because it’s about mid-twentieth-century literature. by the time the teacher starts, you have programmed each other’s numbers. by the time class is over, she has her arm linked in yours and is showing you the best shortcut, explaining what to expect from the rest of your schedule, saying it’s weird you’re the new girl in their final semester, but that everyone will love you. that you’re going to have fun. by the time the day is over, you have plans for the weekend, and—somehow—with nothing like the herculean efforts required in chicago, the role of atlanta bff is—just like that—filled.

on being the new girl: atlanta rules

it’s not a bad thing that mom aims for smarts, beauty, and popularity in you. be glad for private school and advanced classes and intelligent teachers and the lack of neanderthalism in general. volunteer after school like last time. keep up the appearance, too. as was the case in sf and chicago, being good-looking still makes everyone want to know who you are, which means, at least, you don’t have to eat by yourself, and you have something to do on weekends.

interchangeable friends: from chicago to atlanta

bff roxy becomes bff ellen. paula and gregor become jessica and flip. mrs. haskell is mrs. capriola and mr. fenway is ms. clary, for sure. betsy is autumn and olive is now connor. there’s a gracen to avoid instead of a stephanie to sidestep, but also look out for bryce and her flock of straight-hairs. dorie and willow are eager to include you just like molly and lucy. sam-paul-jordan-ted in photography class are just like whatever-their-names-were—football guys, enough said. and though it’s not like you’re looking, he-who-shall-not-be-named is still neither duplicated nor replaced, because there will never (you are certain you will make sure of it) be somebody like him again.

© 2010 Terra Elan McVoy

Meet the Author

Terra Elan McVoy has held a variety of jobs centered around reading and writing, from managing an independent children’s bookstore, to teaching writing classes, and even answering fan mail for Captain Underpants. Terra lives and works in the same Atlanta neighborhood where her novels After the Kiss, Being Friends with Boys, and Pure are set. She is also the author of The Summer of Firsts and Lasts, Criminal (an Edgar Award nominee), and In Deep. To learn more, visit TerraElan.com and follow Terra on Twitter at @TerraMcVoy.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

After the Kiss 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hate the structure in this book. It's so distracting and unorganized that I lose focus on the book itself. I find myself focusing more on structure than content. I'll try reading again because it sounds pretty interesting. To any readers, leave your time open so you can focus on both structure and conteng. Good luck.
Victoria Vasquez More than 1 year ago
It is just a wast of money not worth it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Flowerodesert More than 1 year ago
This is a lovely book that tells a wonderful story. While the structure is very different from the conventional mainstream novel, it is very well written and tells a story that is very pertinent to the teenage drama most kids experience on a daily basis. The novel is written in verse. Perhaps this is a big part of the reason many readers did not understand and/or like the novel. However, I thought it was incredibly clever. I also found it interesting that the two main characters, the two narrators, never really get to know each other or come to some sort of understanding. While I believe Camille comes to understand Becca, I don't think Becca ever really realizes how things were for Camille. This proves to be elementally unnecessary, however. I think Becca gets what she needs out of the situation in the end and her understanding of Camille is not required. It is enough that Becca realizes she does not need to get revenge against Camille and that she is better off moving beyond both Camille and Alex that is important to the overall plot and Becca's personal growth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book (even though I haven't finished reading it) but its a little bit inappropiate because there is a sex secene and it is when Alec and her start having sex. I reccomend this book ONLY to kids 13 years and older.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Camille isn't impressed with her new town. It's nothing like her old town (or the one before that, or the one before that). It's tedious making new friends during senior year only to move on like she always does, like they all will with college around the corner. Still, she'll put on a show and pretend it all matters while she marks time until her escape. That's always been her process and the plan is no different here. Not until she meets Alec at a party. He isn't the boy she left behind. But he's here. He's smart. He's a poet. That's pretty close to perfect. Camille doesn't want to get involved or care, not really. But when Alec kisses her out of nowhere at a party isn't that what he's asking for? Isn't that the right thing to do? Becca is in love and it's wonderful. She sees Alec after school, on the weekends, during her free time. Being with him, being a girlfriend to his boyfriend, doesn't leave a lot of time for other things. But Alec is enough. He's smart. He's a poet. He's perfect. In fact, they're perfect for each other. At least, Becca thought so until Alec kisses some girl at a party. After the kiss Becca is heartbroken, Camille is confused. In another life they might have been found each other as friends. That won't happen now, but maybe after everything they can find themselves instead in After the Kiss (2010) by Terra Elan McVoy. Love triangles are nothing new in young adult literature, or any literature really. But McVoy looks at this familiar situation in a new way and from all sides in this clever verse novel. Even though the book is ostensibly about a kiss and romance, it's more than that too as both Becca and Camille are forced to take a hard look at who they are before and after the kiss in alternating narrations in their own unique poetic styles. Both of the characters, especially Becca for me, are authentic narrators who grow and change throughout the story. They are achingly human with moments where they are unlikable and far from perfect. Still by the end of the story readers will find themselves cheering for both heroines and wondering, like the girls themselves, how things could have been different without that kiss. After the Kiss is McVoy's second novel. It is also a smart, smart book written in verse that is filled with emotion, humor, and even nods to other famous poets. If you are an English major or just a poetry lover After the Kiss is a must read. Possible Pairings: A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley, The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg, The Boy Book by E. Lockhart, The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
aubz More than 1 year ago
I loved this book i couldnt stop reading it. I read to oage 284 in one day!
Brianna Nguyen More than 1 year ago
Its not that bad book but i i got cufuzed at first. But caught up later on the only thing i hate about this book is how becca is all like i want to see alec so bad and she is all clingy to alec that is so stupid
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the book at first was confusing but whe i started to really read it got into because i could relate to what was going on in the book .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A_Good_Addiction More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully weaved take on a love triangle type situation, pitched through alternating points of view that are connected in an invisible way. Though it took me a little to really get into the novel, it was well worth it. Camille and Becca have separate lyrical styles, one more prose than the other but it certainly helps paint their overall unique perspectives. The pacing, first and foremost, is unique and endearing. Some events that are classically elaborated on in most books are instead surpassed here, letting the reader know what happened without going into detail. Things rush unexpectedly before slowing again, helping to create the overall feeling of being overwhelemed with events and unsure how to respond. This particular facet did not come across as choppy, instead drawing the reader in more and forcing attention to keep up with the sometimes rapidly occuring events. Despite the two points of view, there is little retelling and choppy overlap and changes. These are two separate stories, twined together because of Alec without either girl knowing the other before his actions. Even after said kiss, the two girls remain strangers, showing the mayhem on each side and pitching each in a vulnerable, victim type light without one girl being particularly in the wrong over the other, at least within each perspective. Though this book is in lyrical form, each girls' personality comes out strongly, creating the overall picture of who they've become over the years, their home life, and their habits and drives. McVoy does a phenomenal job keeping them separate yet together, allowing the kiss to take place early in the book and showing in sometimes great and other times vague detail the aftermath. The most notable aspect of this book is the manner in which McVoy chose to bring these two girls together, putting them face to face despite what happened and continuing to play the events out. Her final outcome was surprising and beautifully played, as was Alec's ultimate ending of the story. Despite the dual perspectives, McVoy brought forth each girl's mentality and pulled the reader in to them through her strong writing even in a lyrical setting. With the many unique elements added in, even with a commonly used love triangle type premise, McVoy has created something that will stand out and engage the reader.
La_Femme_Readers More than 1 year ago
After The Kiss was a delightful story written in a charming poetic verse. At first, I was feeling perplexed since I'm not used to reading this type of style. However, the fluidity of Becca and Camille's point of views were easy to follow. Once I got into the rhythm, I started enjoying the plot and relatable characters. Becca, was an engrossing individual. I didn't really understand her complexity until she started working at the coffee shop. Camille, was a cautious yet respectable and level-headed young lady. I gravitated towards her attitude even though drama fell into her lap. Alec, Becca's boyfriend, was a jerk. After Becca started working and establishing responsibilities, her time became limited. A supportive boyfriend would remain by her side. But, Alec was nothing but a weak minded man. His mistake of kissing the new girl Camille, cost Becca her heart. I felt every emotion Becca went through since I know what it feels like to be cheated on. I started seeing how fragile and depended she was on Alec. But, I admired her courage and restraint for dealing with the heartbreak. Both characters grew throughout the book and I was glad to see an enlightening ending. Overall, a great way to start loving poetic versed novels, I am excited to also pick up Pure and every other future release by Terra!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!