Author: Luisa Plaja
Publisher: Corgi Children's
Publication Date: 6th March 2008
Jo has just moved to America with her mum. She's always been a fairly average girl - not a nerd but certainly never one of the popular kids. But on her first day in her new school, she seems to be adopted by the It girls - and is invited to one of their parties. There, she meets Jake Matthews, officially the hottest boy in school, and when they begin to play the kissing-in-the-closet game, Seven Minutes in Heaven, amazingly Jake picks Jo join him in the closet! She can't believe her luck. But the reality of being kissed and groped by Jake is not quite as great as the fantasy...Jo has a choice to make: should she carry on, kiss Jake and secure her position in the It crowd - or should she tell him where to get off and risk relegation back to the land of the ordinary ...? At this moment - Jo splits. She's Josie the Cool - girlfriend of Jake, member of the It crowd. She's also Jo the Nerd - rejected by the It crowd, single ...Will her two halves ever come back together again? Is Jake the guy she's meant to be with or could some of the other people she meets along her journey - Rachel the scary goth, David the misfit or Albie the rocker - be the answer? A fabulously inventive, heartwarming and funny take on the Sliding Doors idea, for teen readers.
Split by a Kiss, is the story of Josephine Reilly, who has to move to Boston, USA, with her mum, who receives a better offer for a job there. It’s complicated, you know, leaving her best friend, her dad, Lauren ‘Lolly’, the daughter of her stepmother, especially moving to America from Boringtown, England! How diverse can the two countries be?!!
But soon, Jo finds herself in a ‘closet’ playing Seven Minutes in Heaven with Jake Mathews. THE coolest boy in her. New. American. High school. Yes. And HE picked HER. However, sometime while in the closet, Jo begins to have mixed feelings, and she can’t decide whether she likes this, or not. But then something happens. She splits. Into two: Josie the cool, and Jo the Nerd.
After this, the rest of the book switches between the two characters’ lives; giving us a look at both experiences, and what would happen if she was Josie, or Jo. This was written in a really clever and tricky way, and still managed to flow nicely. And through each eyes you follow something that only the other would do, releasing the fact that she isn’t the clichéd girl we thought, but that both directions can come together and show us exactly how each path doesn’t always have a ‘wight’ way to go. This has a truly moving message, in a really subtle way, and shows, even to the ‘cool girls’ that being ourselves can sometimes be the best way.
I haven’t given much away about the other characters, because I really think that girls everywhere should read this, and learn this valuable point. But, I will say that they include French men with moustaches, gorgeous boots with the most beautiful illustrations on, and *of course* the obvious ‘it’ girls. Eurgh. I hate them so much.
I also really liked the change in the vocabulary; for some reason, it really made me laugh. I think it was because when I read the words, I imagined someone saying them in an American accent. Haha :P
Look out for the sequel for this, Swapped by a Kiss, which is being released on 29th April 2010 ! :)