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Kissing in America
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Kissing in America
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Acclaimed writer Margo Rabb's Kissing in America is "a wonderful novel about friendship, love, travel, life, hope, poetry, intelligence, and the inner lives of girls," raves internationally bestselling...
Acclaimed writer Margo Rabb's Kissing in America is "a wonderful novel about friendship, love, travel, life, hope, poetry, intelligence, and the inner lives of girls," raves internationally bestselling...
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Description-

  • Acclaimed writer Margo Rabb's Kissing in America is "a wonderful novel about friendship, love, travel, life, hope, poetry, intelligence, and the inner lives of girls," raves internationally bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love).

    In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that's still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who can relate to Eva's grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California with barely any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her first shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.

    In this honest and emotional journey that National Book Award Finalist Sara Zarr calls "gorgeous, funny, and joyous," readers will experience the highs of infatuation and the lows of heartache as Eva contends with love in all of its forms.

    Since publication, this novel received 4 starred reviews and has been named:

  • A Chicago Public Library Best Teen Book of 2015
  • A New York Public Library Best Book for Teens 2015
  • A Miami Herald Best Book of the Year
  • A Spirit of Texas selection
  • A TAYSHAS High School Reading List Selection
  • An Oprah Summer Reading List selection
  • A Junior Library Guild selection
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month
  • A Publisher's Lunch 2015 Buzz Book for Young Adults

About the Author-

  • Margo Rabb is an acclaimed novelist whose debut, Cures for Heartbreak, was hailed by critics and young readers alike. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Rumpus, Zoetrope: All-Story, Seventeen, Best New American Voices, New Stories from the South, and One Story, and have been broadcast on NPR. She received the grand prize in the Zoetrope short story contest, first prize in the Atlantic fiction contest, and a PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Award. Margo grew up in Queens, New York, and has lived in Texas, Arizona, and the Midwest; she now lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two children.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 6, 2015
    In this indelible coming-of-age story, Rabb (Cures for Heartbreak) seamlessly weaves together multiple narratives: families coping with death, immigrants determined to make it in America, the power of education to transform lives, reality TV offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, first love, first heartbreak, and the conflicted, ardent passion of a mother/daughter relationship. After Eva’s father dies in a plane crash, she lives with an awareness that “the very worst thing you imagine, your biggest fear, does happen,” a fear she mitigates by avidly reading romance fiction. Eva’s mother, a women’s studies professor, disparages the books, but for 16-year-old Eva, “those feelings felt as real and true as any other feelings I’d ever felt. As real and true as grief.” A cross-country bus trip expands Eva’s world as she and her best friend Annie encounter people who “never met a Jewish person before” and discover that “real-life cowboys were better than fictional ones.” Sprinkled with the poetry Eva reads and writes, this story makes for a hilarious, thought-provoking, wrenching, and joyful quest. Ages 14–up. Agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from March 1, 2015
    Best friends leave New York City for the first time and take a transformative road trip to Los Angeles. Sixteen-year-old Eva Roth's penchant for reading romance novels (118 at last count) is termed "your ultimate rebellion" by her mom, a women's studies professor. Eva is a poet, and she used to write alongside her beloved father, but when he died in a plane crash two years earlier, she stopped writing. Rabb eloquently gets grief right in this compassionate, perceptive, and poignant story, deftly leavened with irreverent humor, of a girl in conflict with her mother. Poems by Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson, Adrienne Rich, Nikki Giovanni, Marie Howe, and others are so beautifully integrated into the first-person narrative that the poetry comes alive. Eva's burgeoning, heart-stopping relationship with senior Will Freeman initially helps her begin to find a way out of grief, as does her smart, empathetic best friend, Annie Kim, with whom she can share the absurdity of it all. But Will unexpectedly moves to California, and with Annie's participation, Eva comes up with a truly creative road-trip plan-one in which America, land of endless possibilities, serves as a backdrop for unexpected love. And love is really what this remarkable story is all about. Wise, inspiring, and ultimately uplifting-not to be missed. (Fiction. 14 & up)

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2015

    Gr 9 Up-Two years ago, Eva Roth's father was killed in a plane crash, which is still being investigated. Eva's grief is as fresh as it was the day he died, but her mother seems determined to move on and expects Eva to do the same. As her mother becomes increasingly uncommunicative and obsessed with work, Eva tries to escape her pain by focusing on preparing for college; studying with her best friend, Annie; and losing herself in the pages of romance novels. When the teen is paired with high school heartthrob, Will, in an after-school tutoring session, she discovers that he, too, has lost a family member. Their shared understanding of loss and pain draws them into a relationship that is abruptly halted when Will has to move from New York to Los Angeles. Following the advice of her favorite romance novelist, Eva determines to find a way to go "get her man." She convinces the brilliant Annie to enter the two of them in an academic teen game show that promises a trip to Los Angeles and a $20,000 scholarship to the winner. Together they embark on a cross-country adventure that will test their friendship, and ultimately bring Eva to a deeper understanding of herself and her family. With a full cast of multidimensional characters, this novel explores the complex nature of relationships and the many faces of grief and love with equal parts humor and poignancy. VERDICT A first purchase for most YA collections.-Cary Frostick, formerly at Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • E. Lockhart, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Liars "Wonderful . . . Margo Rabb has created nothing less than a women's map of American mythologies, navigating from Emily Dickinson to Barbara Cartland, from the cowboys of the rodeos to the makeup studios of Hollywood, and from the bottom of the Atlantic to the spacious skies of the USA."
  • Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray Love "A wonderful novel about friendship, love, travel, life, hope, poetry, intelligence and the inner lives of girls. Margo Rabb writes with compassion and clarity about lives that are worth telling, journeys that need to be taken, peace that needs to be reached. I loved it."
  • Sara Zarr, author of The Lucy Variations "That Margo Rabb can write a story so gorgeous, funny, and joyous that is also unsentimental and honest is a testament to her skill and to her heart. I loved everything about Eva and the supporting cast in this beautiful novel."
  • Michael Cart "It is a marvel and I love every word of it: the carefully structured plot, the memorable characters, the wholly apposite style and tone. It is funny, sad, wistful, wise, and altogether memorable."
  • New York Times Book Review "Rabb's funny and big-hearted second novel is bursting with resonant themes of love, death, family, art and identity, fully embodied in a diverse cast of wonderfully fallible and entertaining characters."
  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Rabb eloquently gets grief right in this compassionate, perceptive, and poignant story, deftly leavened with irreverent humor, of a girl in conflict with her mother. Wise, inspiring, and ultimately uplifting—not to be missed."
  • Booklist (starred review) "A smart teen's novel. [The] characters are authentic and complex. Rabb knows the perfect point to interject humor to diffuse a potentially devastating situation—a leavening of sorts to the reality that death and love inexplicitly alter the landscape of a person's life."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "In this indelible coming-of-age story, Rabb seamlessly weaves together multiple narratives. Sprinkled with the poetry Eva reads and writes, this story makes for a hilarious, thought-provoking, wrenching, and joyful quest."
  • Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review) "[A] well-balanced read that exposes readers to weighty ideas and difficult feelings while keeping them entertained and emotionally invested."
  • School Library Journal "With a full cast of multidimensional characters, this novel explores the complex nature of relationships and the many faces of grief and love with equal parts humor and poignancy."
  • The Horn Book "Humor and depth . . . Often entertainingly snarky"
  • Austin Statesman "A young-adult novel that deftly weaves humor and snippets of poetry into its road-trip story. A beautifully crafted coming-of-age story that illuminates the layers of relationships."
  • Leila Roy, Kirkus Reviews Blog "It made me laugh until I choked, and it made me cry-it's a book that made my heart feel full."
  • Chicago Tribune "Tender, expansive . . . Eva is a likable, sympathetic character whose horizons expand literally —during a New York-to-L.A. bus trip with a friend—and metaphorically."
  • Boston Globe "Kissing in America" is a road-trip story with humor and heart.
  • Austin Chronicle "Rabb's coming-of-age story has a sweep as wide as the star-spangled sky. [Her] snapshots of America are witty and perceptive and appropriately poetic. There's not just one love story in Kissing in America, there are many.

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