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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Novella Review: Kiss and Tell

Release Date: February 14, 2014
Author: Sandy Green
Publisher: Buzz Books USA
Length: 96 pages

In Kiss and Tell, two stories alternate between JENNA, a contemporary teen, and VERITY, a former ancient water spirit paying penance as Jenna’s truth-telling magical lip gloss.

After a life of lies and deception, Verity has been transformed into a Sibbecoss – the Kiss of Peace – and permitted to offer and reveal the truth to the ones with the courage to hear it. When Verity reveals Jenna’s painful and shocking past to her, Jenna forgives those responsible and forsakes those who would control her. But that isn’t quite enough to save Jenna from deadly harm.

Verity has one last chance to ultimately atone for the horrors she caused in her past and repair the link between her and Jenna. Will Verity find redemption and peace in the present by protecting Jenna’s future?


Review:

Protagonists: When we meet Jenna, she is an average girl who doesn't fall under any sort of clique, has a complete bitch as a best friend, and has a raw talent for art. When she meets Verity she discovers more about who she is and discovers some shocking truths that will shake her to her core, well sort of. Then we have Verity, a naiad turned truth teller after some unfortunate incidents. Her story begins when she was known as Amelie, and to say she was a bitch is an understatement. She's a very dark character, in the past, and many times during the story she comes off as uncaring and belligerent. Both these characters grow, but unfortunately, since this story is so short, their development comes off choppy and it's hard to see a gradient of their development.

Romance: This love triangle also suffers from the length of this story. Since it's so short, there's really no time to establish and develop a real love triangle and it suffers along the way. The romance is nice at face value but since there's no development it was hard to really enjoy it. I felt like I kept missing things and that things moved a bit too fast. This romance definitely needed to be fleshed out a bit more to really have a great impact on the story. It was also very predictable what would happen from the moment both love interests were introduced which also attributed to it falling flat.

World-Building: As many of you may know I'm a sucker for anything having to do with mythology and this book was no exception. Taking Greek mythological water denizens and moving them to the coast of Spain was  a nice twist and I really enjoyed Amelie's story and how she interacted with her family and those she meets on land. Of course with her having such a horrid personality it made it only more interesting to read. I loved the twist on naiads and how the magical met the contemporary. Also, when Amelie now Verity, the truth telling lip gloss, communicates with Jenna I was really surprised and impressed with how it was done. It's not too odd and was something I wasn't expecting.

Predictability: So yes, due to this story's length there were a great many things that I saw coming from a long ways away. Unfortunately though there were some surprises, they came so out of the blue that I ended up more confused than shocked or surprised. This book really needed to be longer to add in foreshadowing and really give the shocking moments a good build up.

Ending: The end of this book was sort of an epilogue. The book really comes to a good conclusion in the second to last chapter, but the last chapter kind of gives a look at everything that happens after. I still felt like I wanted more in this world as there were things that were taken care of too hastily and I wish that this could have been a series of novellas instead of a stand alone story.

Rating:


Honestly, I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did. It's a nice light fun read, and while there are some things that could have been made so much better if this story was made into a series or a longer more novel length story. The characters, romance, and many of the plot details were either skimmed over or only shallowly explored which was disappointing considering how much I liked the story. Thanks so much to the author, Sandy Green, for providing me with a copy to review.

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