Published: March 6th 2008, Corgi Childrens
Pages: 309 pages, paperback
Acquired: Purchased myself
Summary (from Goodreads): Jo has just moved to America with her mum. On her first day in her new school, she seems to be adopted by the It girls, and is invited to one of their parties. There, she meets Jake Matthews, officially the hottest boy in school, and when Jake wants to kiss her, she can't believe her luck.
But the reality of being kissed by Jake is not quite as great as the fantasy... and Jo has a choice to make: should she carry on, kiss Jake and secure her position in the It crowd - or should she tell him where to get off and risk relegation back to the land of the ordinary...? At this moment - Jo splits. She's Josie the Cool - girlfriend of Jake, member of the It crowd. She's also Jo the Nerd - rejected by the It crowd, single... Will her two halves ever come back together again?
My review: I’ve read over and over again that Split by a Kiss is Sliding Doors meets Mean Girls and I couldn’t put it better myself. When Jo splits into Josie and Cool and Jo the Nerd she experiences life on opposite ends of the social spectrum and finds out why being Little Miss Popular might not be quite as exciting as she first thought.
Are there any teenagers in the UK that didn’t dream of going to high school in America? No, I don’t think so. I know I did. I was so sure that if I could just attend high school in the USA it would be just like the movies. If any of my American friends ever tell me it’s nothing like the movies, I just don’t believe them.
In fact, when I was trying to decide which university to go to I read a comment on a student forum from a girl who had just dropped out of Bath Spa because (and I quote) ‘it was too much like a bitchy American high school’. Well I was sold. I went on to attend Bath Spa uni, loved every second and am now content that I attended the UK equivalent of a stereotypical American high school.
But I digress. I’m here to talk about Split by a Kiss but that’s just how excited this book makes me. It’s like the lovely Luisa took my teenage dream and turned it into possibly the most fun novel I’ve ever read.
I honestly love everything about this book. Lately I seem to have read nothing but books that make me cry and, while I do like to shed a tear now and then, it’s nice to just kick back and read something funny, something truly entertaining, something like Split by a Kiss.
I must admit that I did prefer Jo’s sections to Josie’s but both interlinked really well and that’s something I really enjoyed. We would see Jo attend an event with her mother in one chapter, then see Josie blowing off her mother’s invitation in the next chapter and it was the details like that that made me champion Jo the Nerd even more.
Though Split by a Kiss is a whole truckload of cute boys, kissing games and ice skating disasters there are some serious issues that are dealt with brilliantly so, while the cover may lead you to believe that this is a fun middle grade novel (I know that’s what I thought when I first saw it) there is actually a lot more edge in Split by a Kiss than you might first think. In my opinion, that’s nothing but a good thing.
There are enough pop culture references and Buffy the Vampire Slayer quotes to make anybody *squeee* and I can promise you now that you won't be able to resist Ms. Plaja's hilarious writing style. Jo's dismay when she's asked whether she wants chips or fries with her school lunch made me cackle to myself - brilliant.
I currently have the second book in the series, Swapped by a Kiss, staring at me from my book shelves so do look out for my review of that, which I’m sure will be coming very soon.
First line: ‘I am in a cupboard, and I’m snogging the coolest and most gorgeous boy in the whole school.’
Read if you liked...: The Ruby Oliver books – E. Lockhart
Total: 17/20 (A)