Monday, October 17, 2016

KISS CAM BY KIARA LONDON - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, Kiss Cam by Kiara London. Thanks so much to Raincoast Books for sending me an eARC of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.


This was a great story about teens, and I think, relationships today. In a world full of social media presence and documenting every. Single. Aspect. Of one's life, this book was a refreshing step in that 'new age' direction.

Basically, this story follows three teens who have a vlog channel on VlogIt (I'm assuming that's like a generic YouTube? Unless there's actually something called VlogIt) where they document their lives, answer questions and do weird dares. Although the only perspective we get is June's, the story also follows her friends Jasper and Lenny, who she vlogs with, and June's other friend Allison.

The fans of their vlog, called "WereVloggingHere" (which, sidenote: I loved, even though they didn't use an apostrophe) have decided that Jasper and June are meant to be, and relentlessly "ship" Jaspier. Although, truth be told, if that's not what you're after, they also have Jenny (Jasper and Lenny) and Lenniper (Lenny and Juniper).

During one of the Truth-or-Dare episodes of the show, fans dare Jasper and June to kiss on camera. When they finally agree, their channel explodes with fans asking for more, and Kiss Cam is born. They each try to surprise each other with harmless, sparkless kisses to prove to the audience that they really are JUST best friends. Until someone decides that maybe, there's more to them...

One of the things I really loved about this story was the writing style. It was so descriptive I felt like I was right there with the characters, but not over the top and tedious. I also really loved the dynamic between June and her dad. They had some really meaningful conversations, and I loved how frank and honest he was. There was no beating around the bush when he wanted to ask embarrassing questions. June was able to talk to him about anything and he voiced his opinions, but ultimately, supported her.

I also really loved the inclusion of some of the modern-day life aspects in the story, specifically with the vlogging. It's fairly uncommon these days for people to not document things with photos or videos and share everything going on in their lives on social media, so I thought the vlogging added a unique, realistic interpretation of "kids these days."

Another thing that I appreciated was that even though the core friendship is based on 2 guys and a girl, there was never a concern of a love triangle. I thought a connection was a little more visible with Jasper than with Lenny at the beginning, so there was never a moment when I was worried Lenny would, out of nowhere, declare his undying love for June.

There were a lot of things I really enjoyed about this book, but there were also two main things that stuck out to me that I didn't love.

The first of which was Allison. As a character, she was great. But I just wished we saw more of her. I the beginning, she is introduced as June's history project partner, not friend, so maybe that was part of why I felt she was not really fully integrated in the story. I *think* she was meant to be a closer friend than she ended up as, and I wish she was more in the story. I get that Jasper is June's best friend, but she and Allison was supposed to be closer than just an acquaintance, especially with some of the things she was talking with her about. On a conversation-level, she was close with Allison, but she didn't FEEL close with Allison in general, if that makes sense.

I also didn't love how we only got June's perspective. Usually I don't mind single perspectives much, but I felt like we could have benefitted so much from even just a couple of chapters in Jasper's perspective. It is clear from pretty early on that they are not on the same page, and while I had my hunches, I would have had loved to see his take on certain things. I also felt like the story was lacking something with just her perspective, it could have had an extra dimension with his input.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book despite it's flaws. If you are looking for a cute, enchanting read, definitely check this one out!