Juvenile Book Review: “Kissing in America” by Margo Rabb
Families. They take care of us and they give us grief, sometimes in equal measure. For Eva, grief has contracted her heart since the death of her father two years ago in a plane accident. Her mother has thrown out every reminder of her father and refuses to talk about him. Eva tells everyone her dad died of a heart attack in his sleep because the accident is too painful to think about. Eva deals with the cold reality of her life by immersing herself in romance novels with sleazy covers. At least she knows that in these endings, everything works out happily.
Her own life is upended when she meets and falls in love with the enigmatic Will. Will comes and goes to his own rhythm. The two share a chaste, but passionate, evening, and Eva cannot think of anything but Will. When he suddenly moves to California to live with his estranged father, Eva and her best friend, the super-brainy Annie, work on a plan to get on a TV show that will take them to California where Eva can reconnect with the elusive Will.
The cross-country bus trip is an eye-opener for Eva as she encounters distant relatives and new types of people from places exotic and foreign from her New York experiences. Robb has written a tender coming of age story about a survivor who learns that she is more resilient than she thought was possible.
New York: Harper (2015) Reviewed by Lillian Hecker, Children’s Services Librarian: For readers 12 and up.