Review: Kiss, Crush, Collide by Christina Meredith

Publication Date: December 27th, 2011
Greenwillow Books
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars
Leah has the life most high school girls would kill for—popularity, glowing grades, a rich, athletic boyfriend. So why does she feel like she can’t breathe? And why can’t she stop thinking about the boy from the country club? The one who isn’t her boyfriend, the one that her mother would never, ever approve of, the one that her perfect older sisters would never, ever look at twice. The one who is always looking back at her. Irresistible attraction, smoldering glances, the bad boy and the good girl—Kiss Crush Collide has everything that a steamy forbidden romance should, and then some.

This book was such a disappointment. Cold, shallow characters and sparse conversations made for a very blasé read. The main character’s family – especially the mother, single-handedly made me want to quit reading altogether. My anticipation for this book was through the roof and I’m annoyed that it didn’t even come close.

Leah Johnson has everything going for her; wealth, looks, intelligence, perfect boyfriend – she doesn’t have to work hard to achieve anything she wants. But dissatisfaction and boredom bubbles near the surface as she slowly realizes that her life is not even close to the life she wanted but is nothing but copycats of her sisters’. It would take doses of a boy on the other side of the tracks and an over-achieving nemesis for her to rip the blue print of a life drawn by her over-bearing mother.

Pretentious characters. Check.
Whiny, why-doesn’t-he-like-me girl. Check.
Unrepentant, cheating girl. Check.
Misleading cover. Check.

Kiss, Crush, Collide has the perfect recipe for a rant review. But I couldn’t, for the life of me, bring myself to do it. This book managed to keep my interest from page one to the last, albeit I was impassive for the most part. And considering how much I wanted to gouge my eyes with a dull knife every time any of the Johnsons was in the scene, I say, this was quite a feat. There is much to be said about an author’s ability for keeping a reader’s attention in their book regardless of the reason. For me, it was because I wanted to find out if Leah could redeem herself in the end. I wanted to know if she was going to let her mother roughshod her way until all that would become of her was a shadow of her sisters. I also wanted to know if my wish for her mother’s bloody and gory demise would come into fruition but because life doesn’t work out that way, one of these three wishes didn’t come true. Read this book to find out.

Anyway, the characters were one dimensional. But somehow, it worked in this book. After all, if you’re trying to paint the most insipid, ostentatious group of people, this was the way to do it. What got to me was Leah’s inability to finally get rid of the grabby boyfriend when she clearly hated being with him. This guy salivated over her sister, Fred and yet Leah was so nonchalant about it all. Minor details. I fully expected a steamy romance. Sad to say, it wasn’t even close to lukewarm.

Lesson Learned: Take your anticipation down a notch. Life is too short for disappointments. Incidentally, this wasn’t the lesson in the book but just life in general. 😀

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