A Kiss in the Dark

Image result for a kiss in the darkFirst Lines: It’s funny how they say a picture is worth a thousand words, because the one I’m looking at has me pretty speechless.  There’s nothing special about it.  Not to anyone else, anyway.

You know, I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve read a straight-up YA contemporary romance.  It seems like there’s always something else to it than just the drama of high school and I was (weirdly) kind of missing that.  Also, like, that car is really hot.  Growing up in a family where my brothers and dad are all into fixing up cars and me being a history buff, I love looking at old cars.

When the power goes out at a Friday football game, someone kisses Macy Atwood senseless in the dark–and then disappears before the lights come back on.  All Macy knows is that there was something special–and a bit familiar–about that kisser.  Noah Granger, resident bad-boy and recent transfer student, has no problem accepting credit for the kiss, but Macy thinks he’s lying about it.  Especially since a photo resurfaced of Macy and former star football player Joel Hargrove only days before.  It’s all a reminder of how she fell for Joel last year and how her lifelong friendship with Meredith Kopala and Ben Collins went up in literal smoke.  Somehow, what happened last year is tied to this secret kisser, Macy just knows it.  But discovering his identity means opening old wounds with Meredith and Joel and Ben–and discovering what Noah is hiding.  And Macy must ask herself…what if the boy who stole her heart and the boy who stole a kiss are two different people?

Having read Ciocca’s first book, I thought this one looked cute. And the premise behind it is pretty cute. Macy, a former cheerleader and current yearbook photographer, has had most of her friendships implode around her in the past year. She’s struggled to pick up the pieces and create a new identity for herself that didn’t include the best friend she lost and the boy who broke her heart, all in a single night. So when the lights go out and someone kisses her in the dark, Macy is startled to realize this felt familiar, even though she has no idea who did it.

Probably what drove me craziest was the timeline. It jumps back and forth between junior and senior year, which in and of itself is fine. (Even if it is what Ciocca’s last book did too.) But it got so slow sometimes that I went a day or two without reading the book. I get why books do it, but it slows the plot down so much.

I did like the characters, even if I was kind of meh at the beginning. When their personalities and their secrets come out more near the end of the book, that really got my attention. I’m just sad that for a few of them it took that long to get to something meaty.

But what I did respect was that there were times when the story actually did hit on some really interesting topics.  Friendship, responsibility, and trust were common, but also things about identity and forgiveness and what it really means to stand by someone.  And there were a few others that I can’t even mention without spoiling the book.  I respected that it did some things thematically that I don’t see very often.

So, the book was entertaining, even if it wasn’t the greatest. It’s fluff, but it does delve into deeper topics at times.

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