Author: Kiara London
Length: 272 pages
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: October 18, 2016
Source: eARC via NetGalley
I can't think of the last time I've been so conflicted over such a simple book. It doesn't seem like there's that much to be conflicted over - teens run vlog, fans ship teens, teens indulge them by kissing with no feelings attached, except WHOOPS, unexpected feelings ensue! But while I was reading, I kept going from smiling to cringing and then back again! So let's take a look at the good and the bad:
- Good: Cute, unique premise. Sure, the best-friends-fall-for-each-other trope isn't exactly innovative, but firstly, who doesn't like that, and secondly, the specifics are what made this really interesting! And I'll be the first to admit that if you give me a cute contemporary, the cuteness factor alone (if well done) will make me like it.
- Bad: Plot based on questionable decisions. I can't even begin to count the number of times I internally groaned, because please, can't the characters make literally any other choice? There were even points where the characters making the decisions acknowledged that things would probably end up bad or complicated - and guess what? They were right! This is definitely my biggest complaint.
- Good: Totally shippable. (And shippable is totally a word, I don't care what spell check says.) I was rooting for the main couple the whole way through! They fit so well together - that's one of my favorite parts about the best-friends-to-dating trope - and it was that perfect kind of can't-you-just-get-together-already frustrating!
- Bad: Zero diversity. It really doesn't take that much to add diversity to a book. One passing reference to someone's romantic partner of the same gender, or someone's Chanukah celebration, or somebody's skin color, and BOOM - diversity! Not great diversity by any means, but at least it's there. And this book, like so many, still managed to have absolutely none.
- Good: Connections to the real internet world. Yes, the real internet world. And it's not an oxymoron. I know that there's good things about having contemporaries with no concrete references to modern technology and trends so that they don't suddenly become dated as soon as the next big thing hits, but that doesn't mean that you have to steer clear of these things entirely! I thought this did that really well - it had so many references to YouTube - er, sorry, VlogIt - and music and TV shows, but it didn't depend on existing in a too-specific moment in time.
What do you do when characters make questionable decisions? What's your favorite short-and-sweet contemporary? Tell me in the comments!
In Kiss Cam, teen author Kiara London asks, what's a little harmless kissing between friends?
Juniper, Jasper, and Lenny have been friends forever and co-own a vlog channel called WereVloggingHere. Their fans are huge "shippers" who believe that Juniper and Jasper are perfect for each other, and, despite warnings from friends and family, a simple Truth-or-Dare inspired kiss soon spirals out of control into a whole new world of making out and surprise kisses.
Juniper and Jasper's relationship begins to shift. But as fan requests for different "Kiss Cam" segments keep pouring in, Juniper puts her worries aside and convinces herself that it doesn't mean anything. After all, it's just kissing…right?