Kissing in America (Hardcover)
HarperCollins, 9780062322371, 400pp.
Publication Date: May 26, 2015
Acclaimed writer Margo Rabb’s Kissing in America is “a wonderful novel about friendship, love, travel, life, hope, poetry, intelligence, and the inner lives of girls,” raves internationally bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love).
In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that’s still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who can relate to Eva’s grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California with barely any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her first shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.
In this honest and emotional journey that National Book Award Finalist Sara Zarr calls “gorgeous, funny, and joyous,” readers will experience the highs of infatuation and the lows of heartache as Eva contends with love in all of its forms.
Since publication, this novel received 4 starred reviews and has been named:
- A Chicago Public Library Best Teen Book of 2015
- A New York Public Library Best Book for Teens 2015
- A Miami Herald Best Book of the Year
- A Spirit of Texas selection
- A TAYSHAS High School Reading List Selection
- An Oprah Summer Reading List selection
- A Junior Library Guild selection
- An Amazon Best Book of the Month
- A Publisher’s Lunch 2015 Buzz Book for Young Adults
About the Author
Margo Rabb is an acclaimed novelist whose debut, Cures for Heartbreak, was hailed by critics and young readers alike. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Rumpus, Zoetrope: All-Story, Seventeen, Best New American Voices, New Stories from the South, and One Story, and have been broadcast on NPR. She received the grand prize in the Zoetrope short story contest, first prize in the Atlantic fiction contest, and a PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Award. Margo grew up in Queens, New York, and has lived in Texas, Arizona, and the Midwest; she now lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two children.
Praise For Kissing in America…
— E. Lockhart, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Liars
“A wonderful novel about friendship, love, travel, life, hope, poetry, intelligence and the inner lives of girls. Margo Rabb writes with compassion and clarity about lives that are worth telling, journeys that need to be taken, peace that needs to be reached. I loved it.”
— Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray Love
“That Margo Rabb can write a story so gorgeous, funny, and joyous that is also unsentimental and honest is a testament to her skill and to her heart. I loved everything about Eva and the supporting cast in this beautiful novel.”
— Sara Zarr, author of The Lucy Variations
“It is a marvel and I love every word of it: the carefully structured plot, the memorable characters, the wholly apposite style and tone. It is funny, sad, wistful, wise, and altogether memorable.”
— Michael Cart
“Rabb’s funny and big-hearted second novel is bursting with resonant themes of love, death, family, art and identity, fully embodied in a diverse cast of wonderfully fallible and entertaining characters.”
— New York Times Book Review
“This feminist rom-com reminds us it’s never about the boy but the joyride.”
— O Magazine
“Rabb eloquently gets grief right in this compassionate, perceptive, and poignant story, deftly leavened with irreverent humor, of a girl in conflict with her mother. Wise, inspiring, and ultimately uplifting—not to be missed.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A smart teen’s novel. [The] characters are authentic and complex. Rabb knows the perfect point to interject humor to diffuse a potentially devastating situation—a leavening of sorts to the reality that death and love inexplicitly alter the landscape of a person’s life.”
— Booklist (starred review)
“In this indelible coming-of-age story, Rabb seamlessly weaves together multiple narratives. Sprinkled with the poetry Eva reads and writes, this story makes for a hilarious, thought-provoking, wrenching, and joyful quest.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“[A] well-balanced read that exposes readers to weighty ideas and difficult feelings while keeping them entertained and emotionally invested.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
“With a full cast of multidimensional characters, this novel explores the complex nature of relationships and the many faces of grief and love with equal parts humor and poignancy.”
— School Library Journal
“Humor and depth . . . Often entertainingly snarky”
— The Horn Book
“A young-adult novel that deftly weaves humor and snippets of poetry into its road-trip story. A beautifully crafted coming-of-age story that illuminates the layers of relationships.”
— Austin Statesman
“It made me laugh until I choked, and it made me cry-it’s a book that made my heart feel full.”
— Leila Roy, Kirkus Reviews Blog
“Tender, expansive . . . Eva is a likable, sympathetic character whose horizons expand literally —during a New York-to-L.A. bus trip with a friend—and metaphorically.”
— Chicago Tribune
“Kissing in America” is a road-trip story with humor and heart.
— Boston Globe
“Rabb’s coming-of-age story has a sweep as wide as the star-spangled sky. [Her] snapshots of America are witty and perceptive and appropriately poetic. There’s not just one love story in Kissing in America, there are many.
— Austin Chronicle