Published: February 2nd 2012, RHCB
Pages: 278 pages, paperback
Acquired: Kindly sent for review
Summary (from Goodreads): What if you could change your friends' lives and loves through the settings of a computer game...?
Lex Murphy's group of friends have all dated, hated, ignored and lusted after each other for the last few years. If only there was a way of matching people perfectly to avoid all the unrequited love, dumping and drama! Then Lex's friend George is given a mysterious Sims-like game by his software-testing dad which involves building character profiles in the categories of Life, Looks and Love. Lex and George populate the game with avatars for all their mates, making a few 'wishful thinking' adjustments to the settings - and find that the next day these tinkerings have come true! But how long can this new calm, loved-up atmosphere continue?
My review: Hooray - another Luisa Plaja novel! It's always such a treat when one of her novels is released, they're guaranteed fun and laughs and everything that's great about YA. She's a true talent and one of the best contemporary YA writers we have in the UK. The very first book I ever reviewed was her second novel, Extreme Kissing, and I've been a huge fan ever since.
Kiss Date Love Hate is pure fun from beginning to end. If you're in need of an escape from the outside world and want to curl up in another world for a few hours then don't hesitate to pick up this book. I promise you'll finish it with a smile on your face and you wouldn't be able to stop yourself falling in love with at least one (or probably more) of the boys. Plaja is a pro at creating gorgeous, sweet, funny heroes and the male characters in Kiss Date Love Hate are definitely no exception - watch out for Drew, you'll be hooked.
I love the premise of Kiss Date Love Hate, that your looks, personality and relationships can be controlled via a video game. I think anybody who grew up addicted to the Sims (and weren't we all?) will understand just how exciting that might be. It was really interesting to see Lex and George debating whether or what to change about themselves and the other characters and I loved the dynamic between the two of them. Gemma was a great 'mean girl' as well, managing to be a little bit evil but still human at the same time.
Lex is a wonderful protagonist and a fantastic character for teen readers to relate to. Kiss Date Love Hate definitely brings some important issues to light and I think this one's a lot more powerful than people first think - especially as you get further into the story and more details about the characters are revealed. Luisa Plaja's done it again - this is another wonderful novel that's even better than the last. Awesome!
First line: 'It's just another lunch time on the Chairs of Doom outside Mr Trench's office.'
Read if you liked…: The Future of Us - Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Total: 17/20 (A)