The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams
400 Pages (Hardcover)
Walker & Company
January 3, 2012
Piper, Cassidy, Mei, and Izzy have been best friends their whole lives. And they've always agreed on one goal: to get out of tiny Paris, Texas, and see the world. The school's foreign exchange program seems like the perfect escape: Piper will go to the original Paris; Mei will go to China; Cassidy will go to Australia; and Izzy, unable to afford the program, will stay at home. To add spice to their semester away, and to stay connected to their best friends, the girls start The International Kissing Club, a Facebook page where they can anonymously update one another and brag about all the amazing guys they're meeting. After all, these girls are traveling abroad: amazing guys abound at every turn! But sometimes fun, flirty vacation flings turn into more serious romances, and sometimes you don't return from abroad the same person you were. Will the girls' relationships-and their friendships-be able to survive?
When the novel opened, I was not impressed... but that quickly changed. It took a few chapters for the speed to pick up, but once it did, I was completely hooked.
After an extremely embarrassing incident leaves Piper in constant torment, she, with the help of her three best friends; Izzy, Mei and Cassidy, come up with the International Kissing Club (or IKC for short). They plan to each take part in their school's international exchange program; Piper to Paris (the real one), Mei to China, Izzy to Costa Rica and Cassidy to Australia. Their plan? To rack up as many kisses as possible - one point for each boy, three points if the kiss is epic. They create a Facebook page to keep track of it all and to stay in touch... Little did they know how different of an experience it would be then they'd thought, and little did they know how much their adventures would change their friendship.
This book is definitely more towards the "cute" label, but I was surprised by how much depth the authors (Ivy Adams is a pseudonym for three co-authors) were able to weave into a seemingly light plot. The characters each come from their own versions of dysfunction, and they each are met with unexpected challenges. I was happy to see that this novel was much more than a fun plot, this book really surprised me in that way.
My only real criticism kind of goes two ways... The novel switches POV (if that is even the correct term... it is a third person narrator) from all four characters each chapter. I was split between loving getting to know and experience each character's story and being confused and frustrated with the changes. In the chapters you get really caught up in one's story, then you are shoved into someone else's and forced to wait three more chapters to see what happens next. But maybe I only felt this way because I favored Cassidy...
So overall, I'd say definitely read it, I really enjoyed it.