The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles

The story of Beth Reekles a teenage British girl who in the middle of doing her a’levels posted a story online and ended up with a three book publishing deal intrigued me. I requested and received (via netgalley) a free review copy of The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles in exchange for an honest review. My understanding is that The Kissing Booth is the story she originally posted on Wattpad.

The synopsis:

Meet Rochelle Evans. Pretty, popular – and never been kissed.

Meet Noah Flynn. Badass, volatile – and a total player. And also Elle’s best friend’s older brother…

When Elle decides to run a kissing booth for the school’s Spring Carnival, she locks lips with Noah and her life is turned upside down. But this romance seems far from fairy-tale and headed for heartbreak… Will Elle get her happily every after in the end?

The first published book by Beth Reekles – the internet sensation everyone is talking about!

The details:

How many pages? I have an e-copy without page numbers. Amazon says the paperback is 448 pages but I thought it was a lot shorter than that.
Release date? The Kissing Booth has been out for a few months.
How long did it take me to read this? a couple of hours
Would I recommend this book? No
Would I lend this to someone? I’d probably give my copy away, I wouldn’t want it back. But to be honest there are better books out there.
Do I want to read more by this author? maybe if Beth Reekles released a book in five years ago I might to see how her style changed.
Will I read it again? I don’t think so.

In my family when we get together for dinner we often watch a film afterwards. These films are either something by the Coen Brothers (or in that genre) or what we call Sunday Night films. Sunday night films are so called regardless of the day they’re watched. Silly, a bit funny, nice but completely ridiculous a Sunday nighter is one that is kinda bad and you know you really shouldn’t enjoy it but at the same time you somehow end up ignoring how pointless it is and enjoying it almost in spite of yourself. Something like The Hangover or Hot Tub Time Machine.

The Kissing Booth is a Sunday Night Book. It was fun and an enjoyable way to end a Bank Holiday Monday spent mostly in the sun. But it’s not one of those YA books you can enjoy at any age. If I was 13 I’d probably have loved it. At 31 however I find the glossing over of certain things such as the way Noah threatens all the guys at school to stay away from Elle uncomfortable. It’s not cute, it’s borderline abusive. And one or two of the other things he says to her push that line even more. It could also have been improved by a better edit. It’s set in America but written by a Brit and you can tell in terms the teens use.

I really liked the character of Elle and her twin like friendship Lee was brilliant. As a teenager growing up with a disability I did loads of stuff and had great friends but there were always parents or other adults around. Which was fine. The life style Elle and Lee have in the book and the way they relate to each other is so very teen. It’s what I dreamed of. As an adult however I strongly suspect that for most teens its never more than a dream. And, ironically, I’m glad I didn’t have it.

Beth Reekles seems to be someone who could have a lot of potential. It’s a hard thing putting your writing out there and I applaud her guts in doing so and chasing the dream at such a young age. I’m not sure The Kissing Booth fulfilled that but I could definitely see nuggets that given several years could turn into some very good writing.

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