Kissing the Bee/Headlong: Two Novels by Kathe Koja

Kissing the Bee/Headlong: Two Novels by Kathe Koja

by Kathe Koja

NOOK Book(eBook)


Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now
LEND ME® See Details


Two complete young adult novels by Kathe Koja


Senior year is flying by, the prom is approaching, and Dana, her best friend, Avra, and Avra's boyfriend, Emil, are about to encounter the pains and pleasures of that intricate beehive called adult life. While Dana plans on college, Avra plots escape once school is over―and plans to take Emil along for the ride. What does Emil want? He's not saying. Dana studies bees for a biology project, fascinated by their habits and their mythological imagery – but in real life, emotions can sting, and while two's company, these three may just become a crowd. As Dana reminds us, in every hive there is only one queen bee.

A 2008 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year

"Poetic, realistic, and filled with memorable characters, this spare novel captures first love's exquisite, earth-shattering joy and the struggle and thrill that comes with claiming one's own life."


"Koja incorporates facts and folklore about bees as a metaphor in this spare and haunting novel...Her understated, tightly focused language evokes vivid scenes and heady emotions...each line of dialogue, each interaction illuminating struggles that readers face as well."

―STARRED/Publishers Weekly

"Koja takes the typical teen love triangle and spins it into a layered, intricate, emotional read. This story is thick like honey, humming with beautiful imagery and dialogue. The characters are multifaceted and interesting...Kissing the Bee is a short but rich psychological exploration of the intense complexities of friendship and love in the teen world."

―School Library Journal

"Teens who have suffered their own stings will appreciate Koja's honest and hopeful rendering."
―Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
"A beautiful novel about relationships."
―Publishers Weekly, ShelfTalker
"Readers will find it hard to pry themselves away from this brilliantly written story...A must read for young romantics."



"What sets Vaughn apart is the quality of our girls. We do draw from all over, girls from every kind of background, girls for whom Vaughn is a major life experience. And not every girl is the right girl for Vaughn. You can often tell, early on, who these girls are."

The Vaughn School. Home of domed ceilings, gleaming checkerboard floors, and the Vaughn Virgins: the upper stratum of girls who have perfect grades, perfect lives, and perfect friends. Lily Noble is a lifer – she knows all the rules. Then sophomore year, Hazel Tobias arrives as a scholarship student, with her model's looks and unconventional family, and shows Lily everything she's been missing. Can you ever fit in someplace you don't want to be? As Lily befriends Hazel, both girls discover what it means to dive deep beneath the surface – of friendship, of commitment – and to live life with all their hearts, with all they are, headlong.

"The book takes place at an élite prep school, a haven for the children of the rich, but there the similarity to Gossip Girl ends; Headlong is a closely observed tale of a privileged girl beginning to perceive the constraints of her background, who channels her restlessness into a friendship with an emotionally elusive free spirit."
--The New Yorker's Book Bench Blog
"Besides reliably recreating the dynamics of teen-girl friendship, Koja (Kissing the Bee) relays this story with her usual insight and, through her lightning-fast characterizations, an ability to project multiple perspectives simultaneously."
--STARRED/Publishers Weekly
"This lovely story portrays friendship--what it is and what it is not. Many teen girls will wish themselves into this book."

"Koja is one of the treasures of fiction, and of young adult fiction especially."
--Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother, on

"Boarding school stories may not be a rarity, but one that sounds the prep-school caste system with such probity certainly is."
--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"An engaging, haunting novel."
"Anyone who has had to make a tough, possibly life-altering decision can relate to Lily's character and the pressure she feels from the people around her."
--ALAN's Online Picks
"Koja creates compelling, nuanced characters."
--Kirkus Reviews
"An excellent character study of both Lily and Hazel and an in-depth look at how real friendships demand a soul-searching dive beneath the nature of one's own feelings while trying to understand the complexity of another's."

-- School Library Journal

"Teen girls passing through a tentative dark and edgy phase will dive in and claim this book as their own."

-- Booklist

Product Details

BN ID: 2940161743843
Publisher: Roadswell Editions
Publication date: 10/08/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 1,103,265
File size: 604 KB

About the Author

Kathe Koja is the author of seven YA novels: Straydog, Buddha Boy, The Blue Mirror, Talk, Going Under, Kissing the Bee and Headlong. She lives in Detroit.

Customer Reviews