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The International Kissing Club

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Piper, Cassidy, Mei, and Izzy have been best friends their whole lives. And they've always agreed on one goal: to get out of tiny Paris, Texas, and see the world. The school's foreign exchange program seems like the perfect escape: Piper will go to the original Paris; Mei will go to China; Cassidy will go to Australia; and Izzy, unable to afford the program, will stay at home. To add spice to their semester away, and to stay connected to their best friends, the girls start The International Kissing Club, a ...

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The International Kissing Club

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Piper, Cassidy, Mei, and Izzy have been best friends their whole lives. And they've always agreed on one goal: to get out of tiny Paris, Texas, and see the world. The school's foreign exchange program seems like the perfect escape: Piper will go to the original Paris; Mei will go to China; Cassidy will go to Australia; and Izzy, unable to afford the program, will stay at home. To add spice to their semester away, and to stay connected to their best friends, the girls start The International Kissing Club, a Facebook page where they can anonymously update one another and brag about all the amazing guys they're meeting. After all, these girls are traveling abroad: amazing guys abound at every turn! But sometimes fun, flirty vacation flings turn into more serious romances, and sometimes you don't return from abroad the same person you were. Will the girls' relationships-and their friendships-be able to survive?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Larnette Snow
Four best friends who are high school juniors from Paris, Texas want to escape the tediousness of their small town. To do this they apply to foreign exchange student programs. Piper, the artist, wants to go to Paris, France. Cassidy, the athlete, wants to go to Australia. Izzy, the vegetarian and environmentalist wants to go to Costa Rica. Mei, the adopted intellect, wants to go to China to find out about her birth parents. All but Izzy get to go. Her parents cannot afford to send her and pay for her brother's college after he breaks his hand and loses his chances for a football scholarship. Before leaving the girls make a Facebook page for their IKC (see title). High school students can identify with many of the problems these friends encounter, "mean" girls, middle child syndrome, teenage drinking, teenage sex, stoned parents, "perfect" siblings, and consequences of posting about romantic liaisons on Facebook. High school girls can live vicariously through their exploits and learn a lot about Paris, Australia, and China while enjoying this entertaining read. Reviewer: Larnette Snow
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Piper, Cassidy, Mei, and Izzy have been best friends their whole lives. Unfortunately, they've also been stuck in the small, boring town of Paris, TX. When Piper hears about their high school's foreign exchange program, she knows they have to participate. Before they separate to go to different far-off locales, the girls create a Facebook page called "The International Kissing Club" (IKC), where they share their kissing conquests under false identities. Romantic Piper leaves for Paris, Mei leaves for China in search of love and her birth parents, and Cassidy heads for Australia. Unfortunately, family money worries mean that Izzy ends up stuck behind. The flat characterizations, predictable plotting, and underdeveloped settings make this novel read like a cheap knockoff of Ann Brashares's "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" series (Delacorte). Each character's sections are written in indistinguishable third person, a lost opportunity for readers to identify with them. Likewise, the minimal use of the Facebook page to move the plot along is disappointing given how inventively other books have employed social networking. When the girls return home and are betrayed by a former enemy turned Izzy's new friend, the fallout is hard to believe.—Jennifer Barnes, Gleason Library, Carlisle, MA
VOYA - Debbie Wenk
Best friends Piper, Mei, Cassidy, and Izzy agree to spend the fall semester of their junior year in high school studying abroad. All have reasons to escape the pettiness of their small Texas town. To make their international experience even more exciting, they devise a kissing competition that will play out on Facebook under a fan page named the IKC—International Kissing Club. The basic premise of the story reflects the overall tone of this Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants wannabe—shallow and vapid. Piper, the one most victimized by the high school's popular mean girl, is behind the idea to take a semester overseas and is most enthusiastic about the IKC. Readers may initially feel some sympathy for her—she is forced to kiss a pig at a town festival and hears pig calls for weeks afterward—but that will disappear as Piper is revealed as superficial and self-centered. Izzy is overlooked by her parents in favor of her brothers, the football star and the musical prodigy. The parents are one dimensional and unbelievable. Mei goes to China to search for her birth parents—a great premise and probably the best part of the story. Cassidy lives in the shadow of her out-of-wedlock birth to her single mother, which just does not ring true in this day and age. While each girl's backstory has some merit, there just is not enough to overcome the insipidness of the basic plot. Fans of the The Clique and Gossip Girls books will be the only ones to pick up this book. Reviewer: Debbie Wenk
VOYA - Sarah Phillips
This book has no moral value, as the characters abuse the exchange student program so that they can meet new guys to kiss. Each kiss is worth points. This competition is posted on Facebook, and those with the most points are congratulated. Other countries' cultures and lifestyles are intriguing to read about. The social emotions between peers are very realistic. Teens interested in relationships will enjoy this book. 3Q, 4P. Reviewer: Sarah Phillips, Teen Reviewer
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802723185
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 1/3/2012
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,391,552
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

IVY ADA MS is the pseudonym for three friends and writing partners: Emily McKay, Shellee Roberts, and Tracy Deebs. Though The International Kissing Club is their first novel together, they have written more than thirty novels between them. They shop, gossip, and watch movies in Texas. Look for The International Kissing Club on Facebook.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Fun, friendship, and kissing :)

    The International Kissing Club is one of those books that I had to let grow on me a little before I really got into it. As I started reading, I found it hard to really stick with it. When I first started reading this one, I have to admit that I was a little put off by the characters and what struck me as shallow personalities. However, as the book progresses, we get a much better look into the characters' personalities and what this book really is--a journey (or four journeys really) of self-discovery and growing up.

    Each main character seems to embody a female high school stereotype. Piper is trendy, flirty, and boy-crazy. Cassidy is athletic and reserved. Izzy is a tree hugger. Mei is the super smart Asian girl. While the stereotypes might make the characters easy to envision, they seemed a little too forced for me at the beginning. What I did like about the characters though is that they do have to grow-up throughout the book. Each girl hits more than a few road-bumps in their travels abroad that make them reconsider what they really think/believe.

    While I did love when the girls really started to grow-up, the entire premise of their club (i.e. kissing lots of boys) seemed a little out there and promiscuous for high school girls. Actually, Piper's enthusiasm for the project was a little off-putting at first and I wasn't sure I was going to like her character at all. Thankfully this book moved beyond the shallow premise and into deeper issues of personal growth and first love. I only wish that what I loved seeing in the second half of the book could have happened sooner and that we would have had the opportunity to spend more time with the girls as they continued to grow.

    I think that the premise will appeal to lots of high school readers with its blend of humor, romance, and friendship. The bonds of friendship are tested and hold true, giving readers hope that there really are strong friendships that will stand the test of time, distance, bullies, and boys. While the entire book isn't a home run per se, it is definitely worth a read if you find yourself intrigued by the premise (and maybe if you loved The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants for its honest narrative on high school friendships).

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

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