ABOUT THE BOOK
In Heather Truett’s Kiss and Repeat, a teen uses the scientific method drilled into him by his scientist father to begin a kissing experiment. Only the experiment gets messy, and Stephen will have to come clean if he wants to win one girl’s heart in this heartfelt and funny YA debut.
Stephen Luckie isn’t so lucky in love. He’s completely inexperienced when it comes to girls, and wonders if his tics – caused by Tourette’s Syndrome – are the reason.
Then a game at a party reveals that his body goes still while kissing. Using the scientific method drilled into him by his scientist father, Stephen begins the best experiment ever–one that involves kissing as many girls as possible. Who knew science could be so fun?
But when the experiment gets underway, Stephen begins to question how he treats girls – and if his tics have been standing in his way at all. With two girls interested in him, he has to figure out what really matters to him and what he’ll risk – and gain – by being his true self.
This is a fun and informative debut novel told by a male teenager with Tourette’s Syndrome. I appreciate the thoughtfulness the author put into this story for those like me who know very little about Tourette’s. Watching Stephen struggle with not only his tics but normal angsty teen stuff like bullies and girls, is realistic and eye-opening.
Being the son of a Methodist minister, Stephen has to toe the line, but when the stress of school, his best friend’s big mouth, and rumors going around about his kissing experiment to see if kissing several girls will still his tics, he comes to the conclusion that there is only one girl he wants to kiss. If only she wasn’t involved with the biggest bully in school.
Stephen is a really good kid and my heart goes out to him as he slowly digs himself deeper into a hole of lies and deception. The whole kissing thing backfires as he gains a “girlfriend” he doesn’t really want, pisses off a long-time friend in a drunken bender, and gains a questionable reputation that gets him grounded by his parents. When he finally gets the girl of his dreams, everything blows up in his face all at once. So he man’s up and tells the truth while getting points for a grand gesture to get his girl back.
The supporting characters were very important to the story such as Stephen’s best friend, Ballard, who is a bit of a douche, but was one of the first kids to accept Stephen as he is. Stephen’s parents are also a big part of the story as they wrestle with Stephen’s changing attitude and the fear of a mental break.
Though I felt the ending was a bit rushed, overall, I enjoyed this young adult story about being yourself and not letting a mental or physical disorder define you.
Thank you to Ms. Truett for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
- Print copy of Kiss and Repeat
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Heather Truett is a novelist and poet. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Memphis. She is represented by Hilary Harwell of KT Literary.