Kiss Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
But as they become teenagers, things begin to change. They go to different schools and have different friends. Sylvie still wishes she could spend all her time with Carl. But Carl has a new friend, Paul, who is taking all his attention. Carl seems much less happy to be called Sylvie's boyfriend and in a game of spin the bottle, he avoids kissing her. Sylvie can tell his feelings have changed and that her plans for the future may be affected. But can she guess at the true reasons behind it all?
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|Listening Length||7 hours and 13 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||04 December 2007|
|Publisher||Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 84,493 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
3,785 in Literature & Fiction for Children (Audible Books & Originals)
12,259 in Literature & Fiction for Children (Books)
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Top reviews from other countries
thanks for readyQue
by 11 year old
Well, I liked how it dealt with intense themes such as LGBT, namely homesexuality here, and how emotionally and mentally confusing it could truly be at that age, with the lead gay male here, Carl, trying to figure it out and come to terms with it. It was handled really well there, depicting it clearily as a real, intense coming of age event. I loved the sad, but bittersweet realism that was depicted in it with Sylvie having really loved Carl and been hoping to end up with him, them having been childhood sweethearts and everything, but sadly reality shows us that things don't always work out that way and the reality of putting all your eggs in one basket. It was great exploring the complexity all that, but also bittersweet and beautiful showing the beautiful love Sylvie and Carl did indeed share and always would share overall, being that of a platonic love. Carl didn't love and seemingly never would love Sylvie in the way she'd loved him, but he did still love her very deeply and greatly in that platonic way, as a friend of course, a beloved, cherished, treasured best friend. I'll admit this felt very close to home and identifiable to me, having a profound, special friendship and bond with a gay guy myself, only of course the situation/story is definetly not the same as it was here, not all complicated and dramatic like that of course! But still it's that platonic love that's so strong and beautiful that I could really connect with.
Okay, now unfortunately I must get to my major issue with the story, as I know I've just been longing to get it off my chest, which is that I really could not stand Miranda!! I found her so incredibly irritating and unlikeable, the way she imposed on Sylvie and Carl's close friendship the whole time, not even seeming to realize how important it actually was; she was so crass,selfish and overbearing yet she was meant to be the secondary heroine of the story, and thus viewed in a positive light! She was just focused on pursuing Carl for herself, rather than actually rooting for her "best friend" Sylvie and her "boyfriend", which even though he wasn't really was still made apparent to her that he was nevertheless. I was just like "wait, we're seriously meant to like her?!" Of course the main purpose of her role was to be the friend Sylvie had always needed to give her more confidence, but couldn't she have at least been made, you know, (a lot!) more likeable, less racy and sexualized?!
Like it was made out that this was just the way she was, all domineering and overconfident, like "screw being decent and respectable, if it's just the way you are then so what!" I just couldn't stand how much she imposed and how crass and overbearing she was, throwing her weight about all the time. I felt she dominated unneccessarily in the book as well, having more page time (or whatever the book equivalent to screen time is) than was needed, just in the typical way that dominant, ostentatious, brash, loudmouthe, overconfident people like that do dominate! Like what was the point as well of showing her mum being anorexic as well, like it was just to fit in another adult theme that wasn't even really relevant to the plot. I was glad at least Carl wasn't too enthusiastic about her, as he took the words right out of my mind when he said to Sylvie he didn't know what she saw in Miranda. That's another thing that annoyed me, Sylvie admiring Miranda as much as she did being absolutely flattered to have become her best friend, like it all seemed so superficial to me, not making her much different from those other girls who admired and worshipped Miranda at the beginning, who of course suddenly disappear from then on as Miranda becomes best friends Sylvie! That being said it seemed a bit ridiculous how Miranda just exclaimed to Sylvie that she was her best friend ever that quickly and Sylvie being too easily manipulated and influenced by Miranda, never standing up to her because she's too busy bloody grovelling to her! I hate that Miranda had to intrude on Sylvie and Carl's friendship like that, as I felt it undermined the true importance of Sylvie and Carl's profound friendship, that like Sylvie had said it had always been just the two of them, but Miranda joining them, making them ultimately a best friend trio now basically really spoiled that concept, especially as she seemed to want to dominate and have Carl for herself, not seeming to respect the profound relationship between her best friend and her "boyfriend". When Carl was in bed depressed and just wanted to be left alone as well yet of course Miranda tried forcing her way in, I found this incredibly crass and inall the more annoying that as kept annoyingly, repetitively happening, she just "ran off" before anyone could stop her. Like okay we get it she's ridiculously wild and imprudent, this seemed to be emphasized to us like 100000 times throughout the book. Like couldn't JW at least have drawn a line with Miranda somewhere, given her some sense of character development of developing just a tad bit more sensitivity and respect? I just wish she'd left Sylvie and Carl to it, just the way they were and gone and got her own friends, especially since she had loads of people who wanted to be her friend at the beginning, who suddenly disappeared from then on! Her and Sylvie could've still been on good terms but come to the realization that the friendship with the whole best friend status was better being waned off. It was only meant to ever be Sylvie and Carl in this friendship together why the hell did she have to geg in on it, sticking her nose in and ruin that?! It annoys me as well to see some people here saying how they really liked Miranda, or worse, absolutely adored her, but am glad to see a few others that have expressed my sentiments exactly! I think JW REALLY could've dialled her character down here, if there was gonna be a a confident, louder character, with the way she was an underage/13 year old drinker, dressing sexually, having sexual encounters, skiving school, constantly imposing and throwing her weight about, completely lacking a filter, being so extremely wild, overbearing, overconfident and brash, all of which made her portrayed in a very heavy-handed way indeed!
Okay, that's my Miranda ranting over now, I think! I'll admit my other issues that were more minor but still annoyed me a bit include, like other people have expressed here, the mention of Carl's homesexuality possibly being a "phase". Like I felt this made out that being gay is something like other, embarrassing, cringey phases that teenagers go through that they look back on cringing about, as that's what phases tend to be of course, whereas really it is not something to be embarrassed about of course, and should not be even remotely implied as such. Something as big as being gay/coming out isn't usually something that is "just a phase" either, especially when it's that intense. I mean yes of course he was still young and had years ahead of him, but still, being gay should not be thought of as something that may simply be "a phase". I also thought that, like others have also mentioned here, there was too much of the glassworld story shown here, like it went on for several pages, something which I, and am sure others, would easily feel the need to skip. Like someone else has mentioned here the odd extract/preview of text from it for example would have been a much better way to go about it. I also found Sylvie's mum, while otherwise really nice, a bit harsh and unfair the way she kept snapping at her telling her to stop chasing after Carl 'cause it's not gonna get her anywhere and how she's acting like a five year old. Like was this tough love or what? I also found the whole thing with Lucy, while she was a rather dull, mediocre character, a bit weird and unfair, like even though she was made out to be annoying, she ended up just being discarded away from Sylvie who found the much more mature Miranda as a best friend now while Lucy, who was now dismissed completely, went off and befriended a friendless, spotty girl instead, like....?! It all just seemed a bit weird to me I guess, the way she was also made to not be liked anymore because she dared badmouth Miranda, which Sylvie annoyingly even reprimanded her for, because Miranda's her friend now!
Back to the positives, I think the book did a good job in general at covering and addressing various other important, adult themes in life as well as the LGBT, such as LGBT bullying, image and insecurity with appearances, focusing interestingly on puberty and coming of age. It just goes to show what a powerful and versatile writer Jacqueline Wilson truly is, like it's amazing to think this is actually the same author of the likes of "The Worst Thing about my sister" and "The butterfly club" which are targeted for much younger readers than this and much more innocent and lighter; it's that versatility of writing, addressing various themes and types of stories throughout her writing that is so remarkable!
It made me so sad and mad seeing about Carl getting bullied for being gay. I loved the loyality of Sylvie's friendship to him as well, that he confided in her personally and the symbol of this deep loyality of friendship of them holding hands. Showing how painful it could be of that going through not only your first love at that age but trying to come to terms with your sexuality as well, then realizing that person not only doesn't recripocate your feelings but even bullies you as a result, with everyone else then bullying you too. It was such a sensitive issue to touch upon and was handled so well like this, like the pain of it was depicted in such a sadly real way. Coming of age and growing up is clearily never easy. I actually found Carl the most likeable character in the book, as he's the only one who wasn't too big a fan of Miranda, even though she pursued him so needily as well, he seemed like by far the most sensible out of all the characters, though even then he wasn't all that likeable himself. None of them were really, with Sylvie even being very annoying the way she admired and worshipped Miranda the way she did!
I found the ending to be very satisfying, with just the two of them, Sylvie and Carl, alone, and no Miranda. It was so beautiful and moving, not to mention heart-warming, symbolizing the true significance and depth of Sylvie and Carl's friendship and bond, no matter what their status of love was, romantic, platonic, they still loved each other deeply and always would do. Even if Sylvie could never be with him romantically and marry him, Carl still made it clear that he loved her a lot and was the only girl he needed.
I'd definetly recommend this book to girls aged 12+, given the graphic, adult themes depicted rather heavily throughout.
Though, the characters aren't extremely relatable or memorable they are not shallow either. Sylvie is a character I found endearing; however, at times she was quite annoying following Miranda everywhere. On the other hand Sylvie's irritating behaviour made her slightly realistic and not a typical Mary Sue character.
Meanwhile, Carl is a character, who I could sympathise with. Unable to cope Carl is a character, who has quite a few layers of characterisation. Throughout the book, I felt that he was one of the more likeable characters.
Paul and Miranda are two characters, who I cannot cope with. At first I found Miranda quite likeable; however, after my twin sister explained to me how typical and unlikable she is I started to despise her. Paul is a character, whom I hated from the first page I read about him.
Overall, the plot tackles the issue of homosexual bullying; though, Ms Wilson could not execute it properly. In the end a character's homosexuality was merely described as a phase, which is extremely disappointing and quite patronising in my opinion. At first, I was going to rate this book three stars; however, the way the homosexuality was portrayed made me rate it two stars.
This book is not the worst and it's not the best so I will leave it up to you if you should read this or not. There are many better teenage books such as What I couldn't tell you, Just as long as we're together, Dandelion Clocks, Violet Ink, A million angels and many more.