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e-Scribes: Final Book Reviews

Just One Kiss -- Amelia Whitmore -- Submitted for consideration on August 8th, 2016

Author resides in: USA

REVIEWED on August 30th, 2016

Our editor said:

There is no doubt about it; Amelia Whitmore writes beautiful, emotional books. Looking at the reviews for this one, a single word stands out time and again: sweet.

And it is indeed, from the first word to the last.


Maybe some authors wouldn’t want their books to be called sweet?


From our perspective, however, it’s one of the best descriptors possible, in an age where everything seems invariably filled with gratuitous sex, swearing, and violence.

Whitmore’s work is a delight as it's not only skilfully written but is free of all these, leaving a simple impression of refreshed senses and uplifted mood; it’s so wonderful to read stories that move and touch the soul, where you’re able to turn pages and know, absolutely, that each new page will carry as much heart, warmth and integrity as the last.

She manages this adeptly, managing to hold both tone and pace throughout. There are no weak points, no faltering, and it's very hard to put this book down as a result.


So, yes, what’s coming is always sweet, always wholesome, and yet in all of this—the writing still manages to be different and unique.

Only a few authors are skilled at drafting books that can mend hearts and give courage, and Just One Kiss is one such book. The fragile heart of the protagonist is pieced back together, step by step, breath by breath, and we, the readers, feel quite privileged to be there to see it unfold. At times, it's almost voyeuristic as we feel and experience everything along with Annie.

Whitmore describes, with—at times—agonising precision, the pains of youth, of insecurity, of loss of self-worth, and of how it is to be an uncertain young woman in a culture of bullying and torment by peers. The main storyline is one with which many of us can empathise; we’ve been there, haven’t we? Nothing in this book makes you exclaim I don’t think so, or it wouldn’t happen like that. The situations and characters are so real you cry when they cry. Oh, it’s just a cold, you’ll say, caught once again with your tissues out. 

No, I couldn’t possibly be left whimpering at a Young Adult novel. Oh, no, not me.

Whitmore’s particular talent—that which leaves you reeling--is in fresh, bleeds-off-the-page dialogue, so lifelike and moving are some of the exchanges. The characters, beyond this, are well-crafted and three-dimensional, Annie and her young love Brayden so alive they could almost step from the book.


There is no doubt that any young woman suffering a confidence crisis could learn much from Just One Kiss; the story shows how it’s important to just be brave and be 'out there', irrespective of the inner turmoil. It teaches that erecting barriers and walls because nobody will want me like this will only become self-fulfilling, and taking a leap into the unknown can bring unexpected rewards.

So, too, could young men learn from Brayden--but, then again, we all could learn from these characters, couldn't we? Although essentially addressing a Young Adult readership, there is no reason at all why this book cannot be enjoyed by teens or by the middle-aged, or any age! 


We should never forget how much we have to learn about the fragile human psyche, and Just One Kiss brings us back to core messages of what it means to be empathic, caring and kind.

This is a lovely, fresh book. Oh, and we adore the cover, too. It brilliantly conveys the flavour of the book, and the photography and fonts are perfectly matched to the book's content.

Well done all round, Amelia Whitmore.


Our scores:

Visual appeal: 4.5/5

Storyline (Content): 4.5/5

Dialogue: 5/5

Editing and proofreading: 4.5/5

 

Final Score : 18.5/ 20


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