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Kiss Collector

Review

Kiss Collector

Wendy Higgins is the New York Times bestselling YA author of numerous novels spanning multiple genres. Before becoming a writer, she was a high school English teacher and currently resides in Virginia. Her first works, the supernatural Sweet series, debuted with SWEET EVIL in 2012 and concluded with SWEET TEMPTATION in 2015. She also self-published a standalone Irish fantasy called SEE ME. Her fantasy duology began with THE GREAT HUNT in 2016 and ended with THE GREAT PURSUIT in 2017. Her first ever full-length contemporary romance is KISS COLLECTOR, a December 2018 release.

Zae Monroe is a 17-year-old who just discovered her boyfriend was cheating on her. Soon after, her parents announce their separation to her and her little brother. Everything seems to be going wrong, so she decides to create a competition with her friends. They all compete to kiss the most guys with no strings attached over their school break. She’s collecting kisses, and she wants to forget about everything else going on in her life.

"If you're looking for a fun, addicting, and quick read, this is the book. I highly recommend this brief but enthralling read."

The characters of KISS COLLECTOR grew on me throughout this short book. Zae is likable if a bit frustrating to read from sometimes. She is a typical high school junior with a core group of four friends who really stood up for and supported one another. I loved seeing a close-knit group of girls who were friends with each other no matter what because friendship troubles tend to consume the plot of many YA contemporaries.

While this novel is filled to the brim with drama, most of the drama did not emerge between Zae’s friends but more from interacting with different guys. But, relationship drama is not the only important part of the story. Zae had to deal with many real-life issues with her family, friends, and financial situation. My favorite part of the story was Zae’s relationship with her brother because it was endearing and adorable. I’m so glad Wendy decided to highlight the sibling dynamic. Her entire family was also central to the story. Her parents were facing divorce and a lot of other issues but were ultimately remarkably supportive of Zae.

While the competition was interesting, it was probably my least favorite aspect of the book. All it managed to do was create tension between Zae and her friends. I think the competition could have been the first half of the book and then the last half of the book could have expanded the romance. While Zae kissed several guys, there were a few that I liked much more than the others, and I wish we got to see more of them in the story. I found myself rooting for many of the guys who liked Zae, but I was thrilled with the ending of the story.

Wendy Higgins is one of the first authors I ever met, and I have read all of her books since then. I had high hopes for KISS COLLECTOR, and I am so happy Wendy decided to venture into a full-length contemporary romance. The story is relatively predictable but also a joy to read. I read it on one sitting, and I think that is the best way to do it because it takes place over a relatively short period and the book itself is short. Readers who aren’t a fan of drama probably shouldn’t read KISS COLLECTOR. If you're looking for a fun, addicting, and quick read, this is the book. I highly recommend this brief but enthralling read.

Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member on December 18, 2018

Kiss Collector
by Wendy Higgins