Extreme Kissing by Luisa Plaja

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Carlota and Bethany are best friends. Bethany is the sensible one with a long-term boyfriend, Carlota is the crazy one with a wild past and rebellious nature. All is fine in their world - apart from Carlota hating her stepdad and longing for a old flame. And apart from Bethany thinking her boyfriend is about to dump her and that her period is late...Carlota comes up with a plan to put all their troubles behind them and go on a girls-only wild day out, with only their favourite magazine to guide them through the day. If they open it on a fashion page they have to get hold of a fabulous new outfit and pretend to be models. If they open it to a page on snogging, they have to find a boy to snog. The magazine will take them everywhere they need to go - but will it help them to reveal the secrets they are keeping from each other?

Extreme Kissing is a brilliantly funny, chick-lit novel for teenage girls, which also has some substance to it. Over the course of a crazy day in London, Carlota and Bethany (aka Lots & Bets) both change - their friendship with each other, their feelings about their families, as well as their view of themselves. Carlota is the impulsive, boy-crazy one (she's a fan of the pash'n'dash, to use an Australian term) whilst Bethany is more stable, in a long-term relationship. They're both stressed out - Bethany over her GCSEs, trouble with her boyfriend and a secret she's trying to bring herself to tell Carlota, Carlota about her strained relationship with her family and something to tell Bethany of her own. The point of view jumps between Carlota and Bethany, and each of their perspectives were unique, though it was so frustrating that they couldn't tell each other what was on their mind the entire day (I'm thinking, geez, spit it out already).

Carlota thinks that all problems can be solved with the assistance of her favorite magazine, and when she discovers 'Extreme Travel' - doing crazy, random things while out and about - she sees it as the perfect opporunity to get their minds off their problems, somehow tell Bethany the secret (have you seen that documentary The Secret? Every time I type 'secret' I'm whispering 'the secret'.) and bump into an ex-boyfriend she's still pining for. Needless to say, things don't work out quite as Carlota had planned, though the experience is certainly life-changing for both girls.

I also love the usage of British words. Like snog*. It's classic.

Extreme Kissing is about an unlikely day out for two best friends, though the things they deal with and their voices are completely authentic and true-to-life. I think teenaged girls will find it very relatable, as well as entertaining (some bits are absolutely hilarious). Definitely worth a look.


Extreme Kissing on Amazon
Extreme Kissing on The Book Depository (The Book Depository offer free worldwide shipping! Very cool.)

*Though really, snog? It's such a ridiculous word. Who came up with it?**
**After googling the word 'snog' I've discovered the Social Network of Graduates (SNoG) as well as a band called Snog.***
***Then I googled 'Snog History'. Then I laughed at the word snog again.****
****Definition of snog: Verb. To kiss lengthily, passionately or lustfully. E.g."There was a young couple snogging in the seats behind us, and making such slurping noises that we couldn't hear the film."
Noun. A lengthy and passionate kiss. *****
*****Yeah but where did the word come from?******
******Am I having a conversation with myself about the history of the word snog in the footnotes of this book review?*******
*******They're pretty lame footnotes. They're just rows of asterisks.********
********Shush, you. I can't find the history of the word snog. If anyone cares to inform me as to where this word originated from, I would be grateful.
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