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Kissing Kate

Kissing Kate

3.8 135
by Lauren Myracle

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Kate was lissa’s best friend. they’ve shared everything for four years. then one night at a drunken party, Kate leaned in to kiss lissa, and lissa kissed her back. And now Kate is pretending lissa doesn’t exist. Confused and alone, lissa’s left questioning everything she thought she knew about herself, and about life. but with the help of a


Kate was lissa’s best friend. they’ve shared everything for four years. then one night at a drunken party, Kate leaned in to kiss lissa, and lissa kissed her back. And now Kate is pretending lissa doesn’t exist. Confused and alone, lissa’s left questioning everything she thought she knew about herself, and about life. but with the help of a free-spirit new friend, lissa’s beginning to find the strength to realize that sometimes falling in love with the wrong person is the only way to find your footing.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
MyracleÆs enchanting first novel will reach teens who are wrestling with identity. . . . [A] gem. (VOYA)
Publishers Weekly
Myracle's promising but uneven first novel introduces a misfit teen struggling with her sexuality. Lissa, who has lived with her little sister and bachelor uncle since her parents' death years ago, feels different from other girls: she drives a truck, shuns eyeliner and kissed her best friend at a party. Now she and Kate avoid each other. Through her weekend job delivering for Entrees on Trays, Lissa gets to know a burgundy-haired, nose-ring-wearing free-spirited classmate who calls herself Ariel (my spiritual name). Ariel helps Lissa feel more comfortable in her own skin, a process reinforced by Lissa's experiments with lucid dreaming and by helping her sister deal with an overly precocious friend. Lissa slowly reveals the details of exactly what happened that night with Kate, as if building the courage to think about them. Her tentative reconciliation with Kate, followed by another blow-up, also rings true. Unfortunately, a number of characters, like Ariel and eccentric EntrEes on Trays owner Darlin, read as clichEd, and while Lissa's circuitous narration seems realistic given her difficulty thinking about Kate, some readers may be fed up with it before they get to Myracle's point: with Ariel's help, Lissa realizes that she may be gay or just in love with Kate, and leaves herself open to possibility. The author's sophisticated, supportive and unusually candid approach to sexual orientation will reward those with patience for the ruminative narrator. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Lissa and Kate, high school sophomores and inseparable friends since seventh grade, have a falling out over their kiss, and Lissa mentally replays their past relationship while searching for resolution. A sweet, sympathetic narrator, wholly believable in her pain and confusion, Lissa plods ahead, enduring home, school, and work while wrestling with her sexual identity and nursing her broken heart. At home, she is the role model for her younger sister Beth. At school, she must see Kate in history class and at lunch. Work provides escape, as owner Darlin provides understanding support and zany Ariel works to distract Lissa. Everything, though, cycles back to the basic quandary of Lissa's life: She reveres the beautiful Kate, who despite having a boyfriend was the one to initiate the kiss. Lissa returned the kiss before they were interrupted, but Kate's homophobia now is apparent. Working with new friends and a new book on lucid dreaming, Lissa soldiers through life until she and Kate can settle their differences-and agree to be different. Myracle's enchanting first novel will reach teens-whether queer, questioning, or straight-who are wrestling with identity and relationships and provide another view for them to ponder. A smooth, uplifting read, it pulled this reviewer through within a day. Lighter than Nancy Garden's classic Annie on My Mind (Farrar Straus Giroux, 1982/VOYA August 1982), this gem is one all libraries will want to add to their shelves. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, Dutton, 176p,
— Cynthia Winfield
Kate and Lissa have been best friends for four years, ever since being paired in a 7th grade gym class. Going to the movies every Saturday afternoon, sharing secret jokes, collecting starfish at the beach, two halves of a whole, "Kate and Lissa." It all ends one summer night at a party where Kate has had too much to drink, and they find themselves alone in a gazebo kissing passionately. When they are interrupted by the arrival of two boys, Kate leaves Lissa alone with her feelings of love and confusion, later ignoring her entirely. Lissa wrestles with her emotions, questioning her sexuality and stinging from the betrayal of her best friend. She retreats into herself, exploring the concept of lucid dreaming and fending off the friendly overtures of Ariel, a weird classmate and new co-worker. Gradually, Lissa realizes that nothing can ever be the same between her and Kate, and she even tries her hand at dating. It's only when she's able to decipher her troubling dreams, with the help of Ariel, that Lissa can begin to understand her feelings, and accept herself. Myracle's sensitive coming-of-age story speaks honestly, and at times humorously, to teens who are in the same struggle to understand themselves and their feelings. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2003, Penguin Putnam, Dutton, 199p.,
— Michele Winship
Children's Literature
This book covers sensitive subject matter in a tenderhearted manner. The story is about Lissa and Kate, the best of friends for the last four years who are able to finish one another's thoughts and sentences, laugh at anything, and know one another inside and out. Their friendship is abruptly halted because they both share a kiss that was initiated by Kate towards Lissa. The story is written from Lissa's point of view and how she discovers she has feelings that she believes are not normal, according to what she has been raised to believe, until she meets a new friend Ariel and experiments with dream therapy. Ariel teaches Lissa through her actions and kind words that it is okay to have feelings different from the norm and to believe in them too, because what is most important is to love yourself for who you are; don't try to be something you are not. Myracle has created a way of thinking for the readers to help them understand and empathize with how Lissa feels about her homosexuality without passing judgment on her. A great book for teens to read and reminded that it is important to accept and love yourself and to not be afraid of the type of person you may be on the inside, as long as you are true to yourself. Also an important read for adults and/or parents, counselors, teachers to better understand the many different feelings and emotions and frustrations that teens experience. 2003, Dutton Books,
— Christy Oestreich
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-The kisser is best-friend-since-seventh-grade Lissa. The kiss is no peck on the cheek, and therein lies the rub. Since the fateful event, Kate has been cold to her friend. In this first-person narrative, Lissa, hurt and confused, details her present state of inner turmoil, with frequent flashbacks to the girls' blissful (pre-kiss) days. To complicate matters, Lissa and her younger sister are being raised by an uncle (their parents died in a plane crash), and lack the emotional rudder a maternal figure might have provided. At first Lissa misses Kate dearly, but gradually, through personal insights derived from some new and unexpected friendships (and forays into new-age dream therapy), she finds the strength to confront both Kate and her own sexual identity. While the message is sound, the delivery is seriously flawed. The friendship between Lissa and Kate, the linchpin of the story, is unconvincing. The girls are defined from the get-go by their differences in appearance and personality, but Myracle fails to make the case that opposites truly attract. It seems ungenerous that Lissa and Kate are painted as such stark contrasts, with Lissa being the brave one and Kate in denial of her sexuality; they are, after all, only 16, an age when sexual conflict is the norm.-Mary Ann Carcich, Mattituck-Laurel Public Library, Mattituck, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.58(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Myracle's enchanting first novel will reach teens who are wrestling with identity. . . . [A] gem. (VOYA)

Meet the Author

Lauren Myracle is theauthor of many popular books for teens and tweens,including New York Times bestsellers ttyl and ttfn(Abrams). She lives with her family in Fort Collins,Colorado.

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Kissing Kate 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 135 reviews.
lilmudduckmuffineater More than 1 year ago
It was an OK book. It helped pass some time for me.I just think so much more could have been done with it.It explores feelings most of us go through from lonliness,embarrassment,to anger and confusion when we are younger and having feelings for others for the first time .Although it's through a girl(Lissa) who is in love with her best friend Kate. One night before school began at a party Kate gets drunk and kisses Lissa. Lissa who isn't drunk has all these feelings because of it. She tries to talk to Kate about it but Kate chooses to ignore her for a couple weeks. Lissa soon realizes she has feelings for a girl and doesn't know if she's gay. And when Kate finally does decide to be friends with Lissa again she refuses to talk about the kiss with her. And it makes it harder on Lissa.
Chelsia Melendez More than 1 year ago
being gay isnt nasty . if u love a girl and you are a girl. or if you love a boy and you are a boy it is still love. love is love no matter in what form. we r still humans with emotions we love with our hearts not our eyes. love sees no race gender or age. we dont say ur love is degusting why should u say ours is. when we are no different than you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kissing Kate is, hands down, the best book I have read in a very long time, if not forever. I read it in two days and loved every second of it. Her sister reminds me so much of my sister. This book is sensitive, funny, touching, and so realistic. The characters stick with you and I can relate so much to both Lissa and Ariel. Kate not so much, but I can see what she might be thinking at a situation like this. She must be scared and feeling awkward and angry at herself and Lissa. I feel sympathetic for her, but I HATED what she called Lissa towards the end. Same with what Vanessa called Beth! Ariel and Finn are much better friends to Lissa. I love Darlin's character. Same with Jerry's. As you can see, BUY THIS BOOK PLEASE!!! It is amazing! One more thing: I am Christian and BEING GAY OR LESBIAN IS NOT A SIN. Jesus loves you so much He doesnt care who His children are born to love! He made you that way, and God is such perfection and loves His children so much He makes you just how He wants you and whether you are gay or straight , that is God's plan and ut will all work out if you STAY STRONG AND LOVE WHOEVER YOU ARE BORN TO LOVE. JESUS IS PERFECT AND LOVE IS LOVE! Y'all can know both! Love is Love and back off haters!
DefiantlyOkayInside More than 1 year ago
Kissing Kate is a well written reminder to girls everywhere to never settle for less. All over the country I know girls can relate to this book. Sure, not the majority of them, but in a country with millions of people a minority is a lot. Reading this book may help girls confused about their sexuality become a little more comfortable with it. It might push them to find out more about the situation there in so they don't feel left out in the dark. Coming out can be a very scary thing in the world, this book and other could make it feel not so bad.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay so this is what I have to say to people about being gay. Im christian and I think looking and people and judging them because theyre gay is wrong. And people who are christians will around treating gays wrong. It just makes christians look bad. I dont think being gay is a sin. I think having gay relationships is a sin. Not actually being. Think about everyone has the ability to lie. But that doesnt mean theyre going to. Everyone even straight people hav ethe ability to have relationships with someone of the same gender. Doesnt mean they will. So I will also ask people who think christians all hate gays to back off. An I also ask christians to stop giving people that impression. If someones gay I will love them the same way as I love others. Being gay doesnt define somone. I hate how people put labels on everyone. Its horrible. Just be yourself. So thats my oponion and I live for Jesus.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I want some of you on here who are christian or whatever your religion may be who think being gay is wrong to read the book "The childern are free" it is written by two pastors who think being gay is perfectly fine and deals with the bible and taking a closer look at what it really says
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this story. I feel like it was a very realistic look into the life of an lgbt teen. It was honest and the characters are extremely relatable. I wanted more at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I know this book is about a topic people dont like to talk about but it is an amazing book. I wish people would give it a chance. My best friends friend is bi but that doesnt change a thing between our friendship. Just like it is in the book. Give it a chance you will love it.
dayzd89 More than 1 year ago
I find Kissing Kate to be a pretty cute yet realistic coming of age story. I related to the main character, Lissa, a lot throughout the story. It's a pretty short novel and I read it in two days, but I was captivated by the plot and writing. The secondary characters are great, too. There isn't that happy ending that so many people long for here, so it makes the book more realistic to me. Don't get me wrong, I love a happy ending like the next person, but I get a little sick of it when I read it all the time. Life doesn't work that way. I wish I had read this novel earlier, I think it would have helped me a lot with my own sexuality. Lauren Myracle is a great writer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You are so right i truely think u are an inspiration to all. That was a beautiful thing u said there
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i love love love love this book , i read it not to long ago and i fell in love , i do recommend reading this book! im a lauren myracle lover , her books have been a favorite of mine for sometime.(:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So i was really into this book amd it was something i could relate to, to an extent but what got me was i was all i to this book waiting for what was going to happen next then it just ended. The ending is what really left me a little annoyed but i still loved the story and i still reccomend.
jennalunaVerse More than 1 year ago
IGNORANT. That is the worst thing to be in this day & age. Very sad. I would gladly read this book, & I'm in my 30's. Gay, straight, black, white, Muslim, Christian, who cares? As long as you are a decent person & kind & good hearted. That is ALL that should matter. ~Hippie Chick~
Rhiannon Bantner More than 1 year ago
Peop need to grow up. If you dont like how these people live there life then maybe you should just be quiet. Its not their fault if they are gay they cant help it so why cant you just accept them for who they are and move on with your life? I dont think being gay should be something to be ashamed of and people like you who think its wrong make me so angry because you are all immature people who dont understand. And if youre going to bring religion into this then why dont you think about how god made them that way and if the are sinning by being gay then why would god make them that way? How would you feel if yoi were mean to someone for being gay and then you found out they killed themselves? Or what if your best friend who you had known for years came out and told you they were gay? Would you treat them any differently? If you said yes then you are a horrible person and deserve to be shunned for your entire life. I kniw this probably wont change anyones mind about being gay but i hope you at least think about it before you go and say something about it. And to ms myracle i say You rock!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was ok... it wasnt anything amazing I was waiting the whole time for it to really get going but it never did. I would reccomend this book to someone who likes to read something with no meaning.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed Kissing Kate, even though it really let me down. I had been expecting a better plot, although the character development was okay. I liked Kate's character, but I couldn't get emotionally attached to her fate. It's a nice book, but I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book and why are people worrying about likeing the same sex being a sin? If you have a problem with gay dont read the book. And people cant help if they are gay or not its how they were made. And for the people saying its wrong to be gay your the reson people that are gay kill their self. So stop worrying abot if its wrong or not,is it affecting you?NO SO STOP WORRYING ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is nothing wrong with being gay so you sexist a******* better shut up!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best storys ever writen
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
best book ever! I loved it and btw im a big christian and nothing is wrong with being gay! If god didnt like gays he wouldnt have made them that way so there! So shove off
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Does it have it with both girls.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First of all i am not going to call gzys that that tht was the only time i will call them g. Now I loved this book... BUT I feel laura could have done more with the end i was very disspointed Like if some one could have ATTEMTED suiside.. thats hard hitting like lissa could get feed up and her feelings were to hard and she tries to shoot herself infront of jerry and beth but earlier she calls kimberly/ariel and says you should come witness my death or you have been A good friend to me and then areil comes busting in with kAte and kate comfesses now thsts a good story ending
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just read my freaking life story.