Title: Second Kiss
Author: Natalie Palmer
Published: September 2010 by Tate Publishing
Summary: "Gemma Mitchell is a normal girl who somehow gets herself into abnormally embarrassing circumstances. And while she thinks she's the biggest loser in school because of them, there are a few people in her life who would disagree. One of those people is her best friend, Jess Tyler, who is opposite to her in every way. He's popular, good looking, athletic, and intelligent, and he can't get enough of Gemma. But while Gemma is dealing with problems like wrong locker combinations and Valentine's Day dances, Jess is living in a world of serious issues that are foreign to Gemma, until she realizes that he's holding on to her for dear life.
Humorous and true to life, Second Kiss is an entertaining saga about a boy and girl who find that their lives have a lot more meaning once they have shared them with each other. "
Thoughts: Second Kiss is a charming coming of age novel that will have you giggling one second and crying the next. The story centers around Gemma, a 14 year old girl dealing with the awkward time of adolescence.
What I adored about this book is how real it felt. Second Kiss brought me back to the embarrassing times that is your teen years. Poor Gemma feels like she's constantly humiliating herself, where it be in front of her crush or her classmates or even her friends. Luckily, she has her best friend Jess to help her through it. While her friends are trying to set her up with Trace, Gemma's crush, Jess is dealing with problems of his own. As the story continues, little bits and pieces begin to reveal the issues Jess is dealing with, and now Gemma must be there for him.
Within each chapter, Gemma begins to grow more and more. I think the character development is probably my favorite thing about this book. By the end of the book, Gemma isn't a naive little girl anymore, and I really appreciate that.
Now, swoon-worthy boys. I'm sure a lot of girls will fall in love with Jess, but for me, he fit more into the best friend category. It's probably because this book is directed more towards younger readers, but I will say that he's a great guy. I wish I had a Jess in my life while I was growing up. It's clear from the beginning that he has more than friend feelings for Gemma, but because he knows she has a crush on Trace, he can't tell her. Oh, the drama! Even though this book is told through Gemma, Jess has a story of his own, and his story is both beautiful and heart wrenching.
Though I found the pacing to be a bit slow at times, I was still able to finish Second Kiss within a day. This isn't necessarily a warm fuzzies kind of book, but it is heartwarming. If you're looking for a book with laughter, tears and smiles, this is a great book to check out. I really hope there's a sequel in the future!
P.S. I'm giving away a signed copy of Second Kiss. Be sure to enter!