Serious Kiss

Serious Kiss

by Mary Hogan


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One summer day, Libby and her best friend hatch a plan: Before their freshman year is over, they will each have a serious kiss. Libby even has the boy picked out. But Libby's too-crazy-to-believe parents have another plan: They're moving. To the middle of nowhere. Far from Libby's friends, all hope of a normal life, and kissing, serious or otherwise.

Just when things are completely falling apart, Libby starts to wonder, Is being happy really about a perfect plan? And if she stops planning, could that be the key to happiness — and to a perfect, incredible, wonderful, serious kiss?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060722081
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/13/2005
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.57(d)
Age Range: 13 Years

About the Author

Mary Hogan grew up near the beaches of Southern California (Bikinis! Aargh!), but currently lives in New York City with her husband, Bob, and their dog, Axel. She is the author of Perfect Girl, The Serious Kiss, Susanna Sees Stars, and Susanna Hits Hollywood.

Read an Excerpt

The Serious Kiss

By Mary Hogan


Copyright © 2005 Mary Hogan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780060722081

Chapter One

My dad drinks too much and my mom eats too much, which pretty much sums up why I am the way I am: a knotted mass of anxiety, a walking cold sweat. Three weeks ago, when I entered my fourteenth year of existence, I realized the only stable, solid truth in my universe: Being me isn't easy.

"Dinneroo!" Mom yelled down the hall like she always yells down the hall each night as she comes home from work. Her perfume instantly gave me a headache. The slamming of the front door and the jingle of her car keys woke Juan Dog. Yip. Yip.

"In a sec!" I yelled back, but I didn't move a muscle. Dinner scares me. In fact, all meals and most salty snacks freak me out. They trigger an inner horror movie: Attack of the Killer Fat Cells. It's not that I hate food. I love it. What's better than hot bread slathered in melted butter? Or Doritos with an extra blast of nacho flavor? My mouth is watering just thinking of it. But, given my genetics - Mom's size has never even come close to my age and Dad wouldn't need any padding to play Santa Claus - I realize that letting my guard down, even once, is an invitation for my fat cells to puff out like blowfish. I'm definitely pre-fat. And food is simply too hard to control, too easy to send your whole life careening out of control. So,when Mom called me for dinner, I ignored my growling stomach, lifted the phone back to my ear, wiggled my shoulder blades into the comfy warm groove of my bed, and kept talking to my best friend, Nadine.

"So what'd he say? Then what'd you say? Uh-huh. Then what'd he say?"

Through my closed bedroom door I heard one of my brothers playing with his Game Boy. "Get him! Get him! Get him!" I smelled the Mickey D fries Mom had brought home.

"Dirk!" Mom yelled. "Dinnerooney!"

My eleven-year-old brother, Dirk, is three years younger than me, but light-years from maturity. He's not what you'd ever call a high achiever. He's forever stalling for time, saying "Huh?" scratching his nose, and slurping back the pool of drool that builds up behind his hanging lower lip. Juan Dog the Chihuahua is almost my age, which, in dog years, means he's like ninety-eight. Juan is what you'd call high-strung. He yaps so much he levitates his tiny, quivering body all the way off the floor.

"Dirk!" Mom shouted. "Shake your fannywannydingo!" Did I mention my mother adds cutesy suffixes to words? She thinks it's youthful and snappy. I happen to know it's too embarrassing for words. One time, about a month ago, she called Juan Dog's business a poopadilly. Outside - in front of everybody.

Mom pounded on my bedroom door. "You still on that thing?" Like she hadn't clicked in on the extension twice already.

"Dinner's on the table."

"I'll be off in a minute!" I said. Then to Nadine: "So what'd he say?"

"Rif!" Mom screeched. "Where the heck is Rif?"

That was a no-brainer. Rif, my sixteen-year-old brother, is never around. He hides cigarettes in the tight curls of his ash-blond hair. When no one is in smelling distance, he lights up, takes a long slow drag, then smothers the end with two spit-wet fingers and tucks the cigarette back into his hair.

"Who needs a nicotine patch?" he says. "I got my own method." Whatever that means. One time, about a year ago, the right side of Rif's head started smoldering when he sat in the family room watching MTV. Mom was like, "Call the fire department!" Dad was like, "Isn't there a football game on?" My parents have never seemed like they belong together. And I've never, ever felt like I belong in this family.

"Now, Elizabeth," Mom pounded my door one last time. I groaned. "I gotta go, Nadine," I said into the phone. "E-mail me later?" "Yeah. Later."

I hung up, fluffed my flattened hair, and walked down the hall to the kitchen. Rif slithered in behind me smelling of burned hair gel.

"It's Libby, Mom," I said, rolling my eyes.

"Whatever," she said, rolling her eyes right back at me. Mom shoved a stray strand of her cottony overbleached hair back into the cat fight she calls a hairstyle. She tugged on her too-tight orange skirt, applied a new layer of magenta lipstick over the faded old one, removed black eyeliner goop from the corners of her green eyes, and tottered around the kitchen on spiked heels way too high for a woman of her age and heft. I'm not talking stare-at-you-in-the-mall quantities of fat, but my mother definitely hasn't seen her feet, or how sausage-like they look shoved into those strappy high heels, for quite a while. It's hard to believe I came out of this person. My hair is long and brown and shiny. My eyes are blue. I've never worn any makeup, unless you consider Vaseline lip gloss.

My brother Rif once graded my looks a "C."

"Who asked you?" I asked, visibly hurt.

"What's wrong with a 'C'?" he protested. "It's average!"

Which hurt even more. Who wants to be average? Mom stepped in for support.

"With a little makeover, honey, I'm sure I could turn you into a 'B.'"

Like I said, being me isn't easy. Isn't your own mother supposed to think you're an "A" even if you're not? While I'm at it, aren't your parents supposed to set a good example? I'm not saying that my mom and dad are bad influences - it's just that they haven't exactly set the family bar very high. I can't remember the last time I saw my mother pick up a book or my father put down the remote control. Mom's idea of the perfect family vacation is Las Vegas, primarily for the cheap all-you-can-eat buffets. Dad dreams of staying home alone with several six-packs while we all go somewhere that has no cell service. Once, he actually said to me, "You know what the worst thing about having kids is? They're always there."


Excerpted from The Serious Kiss by Mary Hogan Copyright © 2005 by Mary Hogan. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Serious Kiss 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
moran42093 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The plot was to predictable for me to enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was enjoyable. I would consider this book as a "quick read" and it taught me so much about what is going on in a teenager's life.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the characters are relatable but the story line is really lacking....well maybe cuz the title waz alittle waz in fact about a serious kiss but onlii slightly......srry didnt really like it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was really good, and at the same time funny. It taught me that no matter where you go, there is always someone there who is going to love you for who you are. It really does deserve to be read. I mean where else are you going to find a funny love story? (That was a joke) So this girl and her friend are in high school and have never had a serious kiss. You know the one that makes your eyes flutter and your knees tremble? Well, they both agree that they are going to get that kiss this schoool year. Things are going not very well when they take a turn. The guy that the main character wants to seriously kiss asks to tutor her. She happily accepts only to go home and realize that they are moving. She has to go without saying goodbye. When she moves there she knows no one, and they are in the middle of nowhere. She finally meets a friend, and a GUY! By this time her other friend has moved on and already gotten her serious kiss. So, this guy likes her, and she likes him. They start going out. He takes her out to eat, then she takes him out. Until she for some reason stops being near him. So she lives her life without him, but will they ever get back together, or will they keep on living their lives without eachother? I guess you'll have to read it to find out...
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved this book. i read it twice and even gave it to my friend to read. it taught me a lot about life, and how to love, even when it seems it the hardest time not to :]
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is pretty funny. i liked it because it was different yet good. Her sitution is werid but funny the way it plays out. Her 'serious kiss' gets interesting so read the book and laugh.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, it was Great, although i wish i could have seen what happened with Libby and Zach Nash. O well it was still great and very funny!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was fantastic!! I read it for a school assignment & I acutally liked doing it because of this book! This book was sure a page turner for me, so if you havn't read it I seriously think you should!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a SERIOUSLY disappointing book and if you are reading, and enjoying it, I pity you. Libby is supposed to be 14 but she's acting 3.If you are thinking of buying this I strongly suggest you don't and save $20.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read ALL the time and I'm telling you, this book is GREAT.I'm 15, and I used to wonder wuz up with these authors??? They think we all want to be princesses or rich b's!! Finally, this is a book that a real kid can love. It's funny and honest. I want a sequel!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fourteen-year-old Libby has drama to spare--she's moving to a new town with her totally dysfunctional parents. Libby's convinced that life would be easier if she could just find a guy and snag a serious kiss...but she has NO idea how complicated her life is about to get. You'll be rooting for her all the way to the end!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved the book! i thought it was great! i told all my friends about it and now they are reading it and they love it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I LOVE this book. My mom bought it for me because she read a review in some magazine. It's real...not some fluff piece about rich girls who lead ridiculous lives. And, it's funny, too. I totally recommend it to anyone.