Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Kissing List, by Stephanie Reents

Traveling through the rugged terrains of love and sex is never easy, but traveling these territories while trying to preserve friendships is even trickier.  We watch a group of women navigate relationships with various, and at times the same, men, as well as their relationships with each other.  These are their stories.

The idea behind this collection of short stories is that we follow a group of women through various stages of their lives (college, young adulthood, engagements, long distance romances, terminal illness, etc).  However, I found not a single of the females in the book to be well developed or the least bit memorable as characters.  I had difficulty remembering who was who, how they were related, and any previous stories in which she was involved.  In short, I found this book to be a hot mess.

I felt like the author tried to hard to be edgy.  She would use expletives, not to give a rhythm or cadence of realism to the dialogue, but to be shocking.  She had explicit and taboo sex scenes for the same reason.  The plot and dialogue of many of the stories felt flat and stilted.  Nothing intrigued me about any of these women or their stories.  Some of the stories were fairly well written, but all in all I just found myself incredibly disappointed.  Particularly because the summary featured on the jacket and on commercial website indicates the book to be a cohesive collection following 4 women through their romantic travails, much like Sex in the City.  What you get, instead, is a hot hot mess.

I received a review copy courtesy of the Amazon Vine program.

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