- ISBN-10: 0307951847
- ISBN-13: 978-0307951847
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
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The Kissing List
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Top Customer Reviews
The characters in "The Kissing List" are young women in their twenties who are taking their first steps into the adult world; who are educated and capable but in some ways, still feel like "kids playing dress-up." As they negotiate the business world and the more personal one of intimate relationships, they deal with sexual harassment, breakups, infidelity, and other issues, sometimes successfully, sometimes less so. In "Temporary," Vita learns that being a temp is "like being in the witness protection program." In "This Is Just to Say," the narrator deals with jealousy upon learning her high school best friend, a successful writer, is writing a memoir about their youth; wondering if she will be mentioned inaccurately or even not at all.
If you enjoy short fiction about these topics, I'd recommend "The Kissing List." It's definitely not your sex-and-shopping chick lit novel.
Some of her insights are amazing. The story "None of the Above" captures the thoughts of a young woman who writes multiple choice test questions for a living, and who's recently lost her brother. It's so moving, in part because you can readily access the acute trauma of those silly tests, which then obviously pales in comparison with the trauma of losing someone whom you love deeply. Another of my favorite stories was "Animal Cruelty," which is about a woman who's trying to wrap her head around the state of her relationship and the discovery that she's pregnant...while staying in an off-season vacation cabin that's been invaded by mice. I can still hear the mice scrabbling days later!
Many of the stories have something a little surreal or formally experimental in them, but it's not off-putting. The stories are always engaging and surprising. Looking at this stage of life seems to be the rage right now following the advent of HBO's new series "Girls" (...which got a nod in a recent issue of the "New York Review of Books," so confused young women must now be taken seriously absolutely everywhere). And a book where the female characters don't get punished for being sexually adventurous? Sign me up.
Anyway, I could not put this book down. Reents represents the fantastic, the baffling, and the irrational as real people experience it. She so perfectly captures the tenor of those first years of adult independence. This will be my "go to" gift for friends this summer...even though many of us are not quite in the same age bracket as her characters!
I was excited to read this book, plowed right through it, and only wished it could have gone on longer! It's a great read for a twentysomething who is living through this time of life - or anyone else who wants to re-live it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Full disclosure: Steph Reents is a former colleague and I consider her a friend.
So, I may be too kind, or I may be over-exercising my brand of loyalty, which reserves... Read more
This is a perfectly acceptable book of short stories. But for me personally it had a hip tone that I found a little bit tedious. Read morePublished on April 18, 2013 by Brad Teare
This book inspires me. I am an artist, oil painter, photographer. So, reason for me to choosing this book is because it inspired me when I saw the cover and title. Read morePublished on April 5, 2013 by Parker Knight
Tis was a great book I couldn't put down. The book has twelve short stories of friends leaving Oxford and their discarded relationships.Published on April 5, 2013 by Patricia Walker
The Kissing List will put off many people because of the fact that this is less a novel and more of a collection of loosely connected stories. Read morePublished on March 20, 2013 by Mr. Bey
While there were elements of this book I liked, I didn't end up liking the product as much as I thought I would. Read morePublished on February 9, 2013 by LH422
"The Kissing List", Stephanie Reents' critically acclaimed debut short story collection, is a sterling example of what my friend the fantasy writer Ellen Kushner has described as... Read morePublished on December 31, 2012 by John Kwok
I really thought I would like this book when I read the "blurb" for it...
but to me, it was like a dream you have and when you wake up you are not sure what happened, where... Read more
The Kissing List is a light hearted and entertaining read. The story is easy to dive into and very amusing. It is a well written story whose characters are easy to relate to.Published on December 17, 2012 by Stephen W. Templar