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Confessions of a Serial Kisser Paperback – Bargain Price, December 22, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (December 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375842497
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375842498
  • ASIN: B005DI7QCE
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,076,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8–11—When 16-year-old Evangeline discovers her mother's secret stash of romance novels, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to one title: The Crimson Kiss. Although she dismisses the other books as trash, Evangeline is swept away by this story and dreams of finding a kiss as passionate as the one described in the novel. Inspired by a second book of her mother's—this one a self-help tome—the teen decides to take action: she will make her fantasy a reality. When her guerrilla kissing missions leave her with a dubious reputation and land her on the wrong side of her best friend, she starts to reevaluate her search. With a quick pace enforced by short, episodic chapters that conclude with mild hyperbole or romantic suspense, Van Draanen's novel is compulsively readable. While Evangeline's determination to receive the perfect kiss seems a little over-the-top, her growing realization that her behavior is a reaction to her parents' recent separation and their attempt at reconciliation tempers this aspect of the tale. The novel doesn't end on a typical romance-novel note; instead, Evangeline finds a nonromantic outlet for her passion and begins to rethink her goals.—Amy S. Pattee, Simmons College, Boston
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

After watching her parents’ marriage “implode” over the previous months, Evangeline feels cynical about love until she finds her mother’s stash of romance and self-help books. Tired of lamenting her parents’ relationship, she sets out to find new adventures, and a steamy novel, A Crimson Kiss, gives her a focus: she wants to experience a perfect “crimson kiss” of her own. Spontaneous smooches with fellow classmates are far from heart-stopping, though, and as stories of her “serial-kissing” exploits circulate, Evangeline faces hard realities, even as her parents’ tentative reconciliation causes more confusion at home. The hot-pink cover and the hunt-for-romance plotline suggest chick lit, but Van Draanen moves beyond formula with her poignant view of a teen unmoored by parental separation. The boldness and naïveté with which Evangeline embarks on her kissing quest may strike some as implausible. Still, the well-drawn family and friendship dynamics, along with Evangeline’s strong, entertaining first-person voice, will pull plenty of readers, who will root for their heroine as she begins to piece together a grounded, grown-up life. Grades 8-11. --Gillian Engberg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Not a terrible book, just not all that fabulous.
CandysRaves (and Rants)
When she accidentally kisses her best friend's crush, her serial kissing puts her in danger of losing her best friend.
Teen Reads
It's also predictable but kept me entertained for the few hours it took to read.
Nime

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By The Well-Read Child on January 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In Confessions of a Serial Kisser, Evangeline has always been a "good girl," receiving good grades, hanging out with "good friends." She now lives with her mother in a tiny apartment having moved out of her childhood home after her parents' separation. One day she's cleaning in her mother's room and finds a box of romance novels under her mother's bed. One of these books, A Crimson Kiss, draws her in, and she sets upon a mission to get her own crimson kiss. This mission soon becomes an obsession as she kisses nearly every boy who crosses her path, including her best friend's boyfriend. As her reputation and relationship with her friend are damaged, she's coming to terms with her father's betrayal and his attempt at reconciliation with both her and her mother. Her life seems to be spiraling out of control as she searches for her crimson kiss.

While it's a good idea to expose teenagers to classic, thought-provoking literature, to truly make them lifelong readers, they need to have fun with reading. Give them the opportunity to read fun books that interest them because if reading always seems like homework, they will quickly get turned off. Confessions of a Serial Kisser is a light-hearted book whose title and pink cover with the big red lip print will beg girls to pull it off the shelf. Though it is funny at times and a fast read, its flaws will prevent it from becoming as well loved as Van Draanen's Flipped.

Many readers will find Evangeline annoying. She kisses boys without thinking of the repercussions, and she's super quick to judge others when she herself is not a model of good behavior. Robbie Marshall is a "dumb jock," Eddie Pasco is a "stoner," and she's downright cruel to poor Roper Harding who has obvious personal hygiene issues.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on July 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Sixteen-year-old Evangeline Logan is a serial kisser. She kisses jocks, nerds, even strangers in line at Starbucks, hoping that one of them will be the possessor of a "crimson kiss." But kissing real boys is nothing like the descriptions she reads in romance novels. After tongue-thrusters, sloppy ear-lickers, and kissers who miss her mouth entirely, Evangeline wonders if she will ever find the perfect kiss.

It all starts with a romance novel she finds hidden beneath her mother's bed. Reading about the intense relationship between the characters in the novel and the spine-tingling, knee-weakening kisses they share, Evangeline is determined to make her fantasy of the perfect kiss come true.

Her first kiss is with high school hottie Robbie Marshall. Evangeline gives herself a makeover to catch his attention. It works too well. Robbie shoves his tongue down her throat, making her the target of his ex-girlfriend's ire. Evangeline is disgusted. "Mouth to mouth with a mackerel" is not her idea of the perfect kiss.

Realizing that "extreme hotness" does not necessarily guarantee a good kiss, Evangeline adjusts her approach and sets her targets on Justin Rodriguez. He's nice, cute, and the kind of guy who's so romantic he spent a year pining over another girl. She arranges for a rendezvous at the gazebo in the park. Unfortunately, Justin brings his friends. He also is allergic to the flowers in the park and the musky scent of the perfume Evangeline has borrowed from her mother.

Evangeline quickly develops a reputation for her kissing antics. Her name and phone number are markered over the urinals in the boys' bathroom. Girls threaten to beat her up at school. But she stands to lose more than her reputation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Valerie on February 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Evangeline Bianca Logan wants her crimson kiss after reading a book she found in her mom's room called The Crimson Kiss. She thinks this will be easy, so she basically starts kissing random boys, hoping they'll be her crimson kiss. What Evangeline didn't expect was all the drama that comes with kissing and boys.

Confessions of a Serial Kisser is a seriously fast read, and it's really enjoyable. All Evangeline wants is to feel the passion from a kiss. Like a lot of people, she doesn't think things through and doesn't realize bad things can happen even when you have good intentions.
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Format: Hardcover
Imagine how life might change if you were cleaning under your mother's bed and discovered her stash of steamy romance novels and her latest self-help book. That is just what happens to Evangeline Logan.

Evangeline can sort of understand the presence of this collection of reading material since her father recently divorced her mother in favor of another love interest. Forgiving her father is something Evangeline has not even considered. She has watched the hell her mother has gone through and wants nothing more than to move on.

Normally, Evangeline wouldn't be interested in reading trashy novels, but one caught her eye and promptly changed her life. Now Evangeline is in search of "the crimson kiss." The way it is so romantically described, she knows her life will not be complete until she experiences it.

The problem starts when Evangeline begins feeling the need to kiss everyone. The fascination with finding this wonderful kiss leads her into some pretty horrible kissing situations. There are kisses with way too much pressure, kisses with more than enough moisture, and kisses that totally miss their mark. For Evangeline, this kissing experiment seems like a bit of fun, but when she mistakenly kisses her best friend's crush, she realizes that things have gotten terribly out of control.

Wendelin Van Draanen, author of SWEAR TO HOWDY and FLIPPED, will have readers laughing aloud when they read about Evangeline. But CONFESSIONS OF A SERIAL KISSER goes farther than kissing and telling; it offers a serious side as Evangeline learns how to handle what life has thrown at her.

Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
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More About the Author

"Through writing, I open up my heart and soul in ways I never could in everyday life. The joy, the pain, the wonder and loneliness I felt in growing up, meld into stories which I hope will help kids believe in themselves and have compassion for those around them."--Wendelin Van Draanen

Wendelin Van Draanen is the winner of the 1999 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Children's Mystery Book for Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief. Sammy Keyes and the Search for Snake Eyes is a 2003 Edgar Award nominee.


Visit Wendelin Van Draanen's Web site at www.wendelinvandraanen.com for the lastest on The Gecko and Sticky, Sammy Keyes, Shredderman, and more!

How in the world did I wind up writing a book about a kleptomaniacal, talking gecko lizard? I'm the first to admit-talking animals are not my thing. First person, realistic fiction-that's what I like. And yet, after Sticky appeared as a sidekick television character in my Shredderman series and uttered his first "Holy guaco-tacarole!" I was hooked. He's so funny. And so full of mischief.
I always develop a backstory for my characters to get to know them. Even if they're secondary characters, I have to understand their background and motivations before I let them into the story. The premise of the third Shredderman book (Meet the Gecko) is that a television crew comes to town to shoot an episode, and Shredderman helps out the star of the show. Not wanting to deal with the legal complications of using a real television show, I made up my own: The Gecko and Sticky. In the process, I came up with the hero (Dave Sanchez-a boy who has the "superpower" of being able to walk up walls, and is known as the Gecko), the sidekick (Sticky who is, as you already know, a talking gecko with . . . h'hem, sticky fingers), the villain (the deadly, diabolical, and definitely demented Damien Black), and Damien's sidekicks (the Bandito Brothers, who are, in fact, not brothers, but a thieving mariachi band).
It was definitely wilder than anything I'd come up with before, but hey-it was just a made-up TV show, right?
Ah, how diabolically infectious made-up TV shows can be!
Sticky, you see, got under my skin. His "Ay-ay-ay"s and his "What the jalapeno was that?" and his "You cut me to the quick, senor" enchanted me, and I was sorry when his role in the Shredderman books was over.
After the Shredderman quartet was complete, I began getting lots of fan mail from kids (and teachers) asking me to please write more Shredderman books. It was tempting, because I love Nolan and the gang. But I'd completed my mission with the quartet; so instead, I started writing The Gecko and Sticky.
My first attempt resulted in an over 200-page manuscript. That was closer to a Sammy Keyes novel than a Shredderman book. So I hacked it up, threw it out, and started all over.
My next try had me at 150 pages-still too long, and something about it wasn't quite right. So I chucked it and asked myself what in the world I was thinking, writing in the voice of a lizard.
But then on a flight from New York to California, I started hearing a voice. It wasn't my voice. Or the guy snoring in the seat beside me. It was, you know, a voice. One in my head.
Yeah, we writers hear them, and although we will almost certainly deny it if you press us about it, we also listen. It's how I wrote Swear to Howdy; how Bryce appeared in Flipped; where Holly's poems came from in Runaway . . . and it's how the narrator took over the storytelling for The Gecko and Sticky.
It's a man's voice in my head. (Okay, I concede that I might need some help.) But he's funny as all get-out, and I like to listen to him. He's the voice of someone who loves the art of storytelling; of someone who will hold a child's wide-eyed attention as he shares the wild antics of a boy and his mischievous gecko; of someone I'd plead, "Just one more chapter, please?"
So I hope that explains it, because I really must go. He's talking to me again and I've got to get back to Dave and Sticky. They are, after all, in the midst of some deep, diabolical doo-doo . . .

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