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Heartwood Hotel 2: The Greatest Gift by Kallie George
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Kiss Number 8 by Colleen A.F. Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw
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Kiss Number 8: 07/06/19

Kiss Number 8

Kiss Number 8 by Colleen A.F. Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw begins with Amanda musing about the people she kissed. From the title one would logically think that it would be about her eighth kiss.

Except it isn't exactly. Instead the book segues into a plot where Amanda overhears her father's end of a phone conversation and believes it means that he's having an affair with a woman. Her complete belief in his infidelity leads her down a path of anger and bad attitude.

All of this unnecessary family drama is set against the family being devoutly Catholic. It's just another in a long list of tangents that make this graphic novel more complex than it needs to be.

The A plot ends up being about Amanda's missing grandparent. Her father's mother realized well into an unhappy marriage that he was actually a man. He ended up leaving (or abandoning as the father remembers it) the family and marrying a woman.

The eighth kiss doesn't actually come around until the third act of this book. By this point I was having a hard time keeping track of plot threads and characters.

Besides the complicated plot threads, there is some confusing character design. For instance, Amanda's mother. She looks nothing like Amanda. It took more than half of the book for me to realize that she was supposed to be Amanda's biological mother. Given the animosity Amanda shows her I thought she was either a housekeeper or a step-mother.

Ultimately this book should have been three books. Book one would have been the plot about the transgender grandfather. Book two would have been Amanda's own discovery that she's bi or possibly pan. The third would be the aftermath and her finding a new more welcoming group of friends.

As is the book is too complex with not enough time spent exploring all the themes. It reads like there was a checklist to be marked off along the way. Also the tone for much of book is very hostile to anyone who isn't cis-gendered, Catholic, and straight. It's not until Amanda is confronted with her own sexuality that the there is some backpedaling with the tone and by then it's much too late.

Two stars

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Comment #1: Sunday, July 07, 2019 at 09:01:27

trin carl

Oh goodie, I love protagonists with some attitude, and I don't even mean that sarcastically. I love the fact Amanda mom could either be mistaken as either a housekeeper or a step mother.



Comment #2: Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at 20:43:00

Pussreboots

By all means, read the book. You would probably like it.

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